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Chapter 2- Mt Cook

Event Summary

Chapter 2 of GODZone kicked off in the shadow of the spectacular Mt Cook, the highest mountain in New Zealand and national icon. The dramatic start location was followed by a near linear route, flowing north to south, through a mix of terrain that exposed teams to the very best of the South Island’s rugged scenery.

From the high alpine glaciers of the Mt Cook National Park the teams raced southwards to their ultimate destination in Queesntown. The adrenalin was flowing right from the start with exposed ridges, crampons and ice axes, a very lively Tasman River paddle and the small matter of the world’s highest cliff jump just a few km before the finish - which for some teams was a long 6 days after they started.

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The Teams

Thirty four teams from all over the world made it to the start line, with 14 countries represented - Argentina, Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, France, Holland, Ireland, New Zealand, Scotland, Singapore, South Africa & the USA - with approximately 33% of the participants overseas nationals. Every level of experience was represented with the two best teams in the world, Seagate & Thule, going head to head in battle. They were joined by a number of teams who had not competed in an expedition length race before having witnessed the success of Chapter 1. Teams who had been at the previous edition of GODZone upped their game this time around as they learnt the unique demands of racing in the ultimate adventure racing location.

Team Name Team Captain Team Member 2 Team Member 3 Team Member 4 Final Results
1. Harraways Oats Jess Simson Aaron Prince Stu Lynch Dougal Allan Full Course
2. 3 Bald Eagles 1 Fit Kiwi Dan Abel Sarah Bryant Joe Haver Tom Thomas Retired
3. Rab/Arrowfield Apartments Mark Wallace Allister Adams Katherine Allan Gray Patterson Full Course
4. AXA-adidas DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
5. Bivouac Colts Ryan Thompson Dayne McKnight Bex Law JJ Wilson Full Course
6. Brasilia Multisport Team Camila Nicolau Guilherme Pahl Bernard Robinson Sam Clark Full Course
7. Bridgedale Socks Colin Slater Dave Rudge Mary Mcbride Jerome Sheppard Retired
8. Due South Hugh Tait David Burnett Chris Stewart Amie Manning Short Course
9. Sheep Eaters Janet Musker Joel Tate Tim Sikma Grant Pepper Full Course
10. Complete Performance Peter Hall Richard Dove Rosie Shakespeare Simon Lewis Short Course
11. The Go Team Rhys John Tim Farrant Hadleigh Miles Emily Wall Full Course
12. Heartland Ricoh Tony Watson Ian Walsh Tamsin Chittock Mike Robins Full Course
13. It’s All Good Kevin Humphrey Kath Copland Brett Sparkes Sharon Dilly Retired
14. Kauri Coasters Barry Ruddell Graeme Ewanson Anyika Thomsen Alan Kirkpatrick Full Course
15. Konica Minolta Josh Harris Sam Manson Naomi Whitehead Rob Lord Full Course
16. Lost & Lonely Ian Huntsman Wendy Riach John Henson Brent Herdson Full Course
17. Macpac Rob Preston Kathryn Preston Damon Goerke Brent Edwards Full Course
18. Macpac Girls on Top Debbie Chambers Anne Lowerson Jill Westenra Sakkie Meyer Full Course
19. Magellan Adventure Tom Lucas Jo Williams Mike Kelly Mike Walker Full Course
20. Midnight Sun David Kricker Emily Cambier Justin Jarvis Duncan Stodart Short Course
21. Moa Hunters Richard Anderson Simon Bowden Bob McLachlan Floortje Draisma Full Course
22. Night’n Day Jane Matchett Michael Lawrence Neil Burrow Scott Dunavan Unranked
23. Orion Health Wayne Oxenham Lisa Bates Jim Hawkridge Glen Currie Full Course
24. Outer Edge Rohan Kilham Sean King Andrew Renwick Tsalina Yi-Lin Phang Full Course
25. PAKn’SAVE Jim Cotter Sia Svenson Petr Sykora Milan Brodina Full Course
26. AWS Legal Greig Hamilton Robert Jarvis Louise Mark Seamus Meikle Full Course
27. Placemakers Queenstown Lucas Fornes Sam Wright Di Liddell Gary Erving Retired
28. Rogue Liam St Pierre Leo Theoharris Rebecca Wilson Ray Deetlefs Full Course
29. Seagate Nathan Fa’avae Sophie Hart Chris Forne Trevor Voyce Full Course
30. NCX Stephen John Paul Toneycliffe Natasha Trovato Huw John Retired
31. Swordfox Nick Ross Shane Armstrong Fleur Pawsey Ashley Whitehead Full Course
32. The Knowledge Institute William Sams Hamish Fleming Elisha Nuttall Emily Wilson Retired
33. Thule Adventure Team Jacky Boisset Myriam Guillot Marcel Hagener Jacob Roberts Retired
34. Vitalliance Pierre Francis Christine Rossignol Thomas Duchamp Amir Reza-Tofighi Retired
35. Whakatane-NZ Neil Jones Austin Oliver Gordon Townsend Shona Steel Retired
There was no Pursuit race this year.

The Route

The route plunged north to south in a broadly straight line with twists and turns to keep everyone watching from the outside on the edge of their seats. Day 1 was big on technical challenges in the form of glacier travel and cold, turbulent, whitewater canoeing. The middle part of the race was defined by the big route choices of the Dingle Burn trek. The final challenge was the tricky navigation of the last 2 stages, purposely positioned to catch out those teams suffering from severe sleep deprivation.

The route covered a total distance of 513km, which included approximately: 119km of trekking, 267km of biking, 37km of canoeing and 90km of kayaking. The hot weather brought about some severe challenges but overall the terrain, whilst technical in places, was quite open and made for excellent progress. The teams, on the whole, were far better prepared than at Chapter 1 and had fully understood the importance of excellent navigation after the difficulties provided by the first event in Milford. Many had set themselves the more realistic goal of just conquering the course ahead of them, rather than worry about placing.

Results

Seagate were always going to be the team to beat but many predicted that Thule and the newly formed Harraways Oats would run them close. It quickly became apparent in the early stages that Thule were suffering some ‘personnel’ issues and also finding the tough New Zealand navigation to be outside of their comfort zone. Harraways Oats, comprising highly experienced racers Stu Lynch and Aaron Prince, together with young hot shots, Jess Simson and Dougal Allan ran Seagate close for the length of the race. They had strength in depth, experience and great navigation skills. The gap of around 3hrs at the finish was mostly lost in transition - not surprising for a team that came together relatively quickly.

Third place was taken by Australian-based team, Macpac, who raced in their own words ‘as well as they could have done’. Rob, the team captain, had admitted that they were under-prepared and has underestimated the difficulty of racing in New Zealand in their first year at Milford. This time around they raced smartly and made few mistakes which gave them a well-earned place on the podium. Once again it was Bivouac, who triumphed last year, that came through with a fantastic performance to win the Colt Trophy. They were crowned well deserved winners and finished well inside the top 10 overall - a fantastic achievement given the quality of the field.

GODZone Chapter 2 - Mt Cook, was won by the Seagate team. The team comprised Trevor Voyce, Chris Forne, Nathan Fa’avae, and Sophie Hart. Seagate completed the challenging course with their trademark fluency and biked into the finish in Queenstown on Tuesday evening. The team completed the course in approximately 76hrs, a winning margin of less than 3hrs (which compared to their victory by over 15hrs at Chapter 1).

The team was welcomed home by a large crowd of well wishers who had been glued to their progress on the Live Coverage website. Nathan, team captain, recognised the very close racing with the well respected and experienced second placed team, Harraways Oats, who had run them close for long periods of the race.

Team Name Team Captain Team Member 2 Team Member 3 Team Member 4 Final Results
1. Seagate Nathan Fa’avae Sophie Hart Chris Forne Trevor Voyce 3Days 3Hrs 35Mins
2. Harraways Oats Jess Simson Aaron Prince Stu Lynch Dougal Allan 3Days 6Hrs 28Mins
3. Macpac Rob Preston Kathryn Preston Damon Goerke Brent Edwards 3Days 14Hrs 44Mins
4. Swordfox Nick Ross Shane Armstrong Fleur Pawsey Ashley Whitehead 3Days 20Hrs 49Mins
5. Magellan Adventure Tom Lucas Jo Williams Mike Kelly Mike Walker 4Days 3Hrs 1Mins

There was no Pursuit race this year.