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Chapter 5 – Tasman

Event Summary

Chapter 5 of GODZone was hosted by the wider Tasman District with pre and post event activities being focused on the stunning beach location of Kaiteriteri. Tasman is home to three national parks: Abel Tasman National Park, Nelson Lakes National Park and Kahurangi National Park, all of which were visited during the event.

The landscape in the region is diverse, from large mountainous areas to valleys and plains, and is sliced by such major rivers as the Buller, Motueka, Aorere, Takaka, Matakitaki and Wairoa. The limestone-rich area around Mount Owen and Mount Arthur is notable for its extensive cave networks, among them New Zealand’s deepest caves at Ellis Basin and Nettlebed. Throw in the magnificent coastline, mixed forests and it was a terrific foundation to build a challenging and varied course on.

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The Teams

There was room for seventy one teams at Chapter 5, the largest ever field at an expedition-length event in New Zealand and the largest event of it’s kind in the world. In total, 11 countries were represented - Australia, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, United Kingdom & the USA – showing the appeal of New Zealand’s South Island as the ultimate adventure racing location. GODZone introduced the new GZ Pursuit event at this Chapter and 10 teams took up the challenge of racing in a supported format over a course that mirrored, to some extent, the GZ Pure event.

The event enjoyed the high profile company of Richie McCaw, double World Cup winning captain of the All Blacks. Richie joined the New Zealand Rugby Players Association-backed team racing for our chosen recipient charity, Cure Kids. The team included NZRPA CEO Rob Nichol, Auckland Blue player Ben Meyer, the highly experienced adventure racer Sarah Fairmaid and Richie. There is no doubt that the team presence helped push the event out into the mainstream with a staggering amount of media coverage generated. The team, using GODZone as the vehicle, were able to raise $300,000 for Cure Kids which is a great thing to be able to reflect on.

Team Name Team Captain Team Member 2 Team Member 3 Team Member 4 Final Results
1. Seagate Sophie Hart Lara Prince Emily Forne Fleur Pawsey Full Course
2. Paddy Pallin AR Dave Meyer Cameron Darragh Alina McMaster Peter Preston Full Course
3. Heads Left Tails Right Angus Watson Sam Walton Madeleine Martin Tom Wu Full Course
4. Bivouac inov-8 Ryan Thompson Bex Law JJ Wilson Bobby Dean Full Course
5. Rab / Lowe Alpine Gray Patterson Mark Wallace Greg Thurlow Kathryn Bunckenburg Full Course
6. Cure Kids Rob Nichol Sarah Fairmaid Ben Meyer Richie McCaw Full Course
7. Out for the View David Blundell Rachel Lynskey Robert Lei Cambell Bennett Full Course
8. Adventure Medical Kits Kyle Peter Rob Preston Mari Chandler Jarad Kohlar Full Course
9. Epic Endurance Kelly Boyd Dave Viitakangas Catherine Jensen Meghan Thompson Unranked
10. Earth Sea Sky Tom Bowen Nicole Ranger Nick Lowe Glen Warner Short 1
11. Heartland RICOH Jim Cotter Ailsa Rollinson Mike Robins Ray Hope Full Course
12. Team NeuroPhysics Tom Lucas Mike Kelly George Lucas Sonya Clark Full Course
13. Team Endurancelife Ian Grace Kris Smith Phil Scarf Jackie Scarf Full Course
14. Fairies with Fangs Georgie Griffiths Rachel Smith Hannah Lowe Eloise Watson Full Course
15. The Undecideables Di Liddell Brent Herdson Ian Huntsman Bernard Robinson Full Course
16. Swordfox Brent Edwards Ash Whitehead Naomi Whitehead Stu Lynch Full Course
17. Team Knapps Lawyers Sakkie Meyer Ben McDowall Louise Mark Dene Gavin Full Course
18. Team Cloud Base Nine Mirjam van den Boom Tom Reynolds Ed Lawley Matt Jeans Full Course
19. Adventurejunkie.com.au Hugh Stodart Serge Kurov Bern Dornom Josh Street Full Course
20. Torpedo7 Richard Anderson Simon Bowden Bob McLachlan Jo Williams Full Course
21. Hot Fuzz Amie Manning Nathan White Tracey Bransgrove Hugh Tait Short 1
22. Morrison Cars Tony McGuire Devern Burchett Hayden Prattley Ariana Summers Short 1
23. Real Discovery Goshi Ozawa Takako Takahashi Ayako Nakazawa Kenshi Obata Short 1
24. Midnight Sun David Kricker Duncan Stodart Justin Jarvis Shannon Trimble Full Course
25. Next Generation Tim Farrant Emily Wilson Deklan Hodsell Theo Wordsworth Full Course
26. Mountain Designs Gary Sutherland Kim Beckinsale Leo Theoharis John Cosgriff Full Course
27. Team Awaken Aaron Scott Patrick Higgins Zoe King Richard Bramley Full Course
28. Yealands Family Wines Dan Moore Sia Svendsen Dan Busch Chris Forne Full Course
29. I don't Remember Robin Smith Chip Palzer Sam Wright Tamara Armstrong Short 1
30. Mobico Heart Kids Rupert MacLachlan Hedley Wilton Karen Muller Richard Dove Full Course
31. Sneaky Weasel Gang Struan Webb Georgia Whitla Mitch Munro Byron Munro Full Course
32. Team Bones-Primal Quest Roy Malone Jason Quinn Chris Barry Liza Pye Retired
33. Stromlonauts Clare Lonergan Rohan Kilham Sean King Kim Gilfillan Full Course
34. GaryAnderson.co.nz David Ayre Rhys John Anna Barrrett Huw John Full Course
35. Team Cameltoes Steve Lock Lea Vellenoweth Polly Weston James Korak Unranked
36. Hill Billys Geoff Spark Paul Spark Scott Henry Jo Turnbull Unranked
37. Old and Slow Duncan Hamilton Neil Jones George Christison Rachel Cashin Full Course
38. Endurancelife Gary Davies Kevin Stephens Ben Turner Sabrina Verjee Full Course
39. Village Cycles Gilbert Robertson Robyn Dunmore Gerard Malcolm Ed Steenbergen Full Course
40. The Epics Dean Ford Paul Bird Isla Smith James Coubrough Full Course
41. Team LIC Richard Spelman Christine Couldrey Thomas Johnson Kirk Wotherspoon Full Course
42. Outnorth Adventure Team Christian Ericsson Christer Casselsjo Maarten Svensson Kristina Carling Short 1
43. One Direction Richard McIntosh Shonagh North Richard Shields Mark Cockroft Unranked
44. Muppets Michael Phillips Adrian Beard Steven Phillips Emma Weitnauer Full Course
45. Taranaki Beta Testers Alison Russel Grant Hildred Craig Cook Ross Slinger Unranked
46. Assegai Morne Pienaar Jimmie Fourie Adrian Saffy Kat Reynolds Full Course
47. Team Motueka Brent Steinmetz Jake Stow Claire Sykes Mark Rayward Full Course
48. visitqueenstown.co.nz Andie lowry Sue Tait Megan Longman Sophie Ballagh Short 1
49. Traces of Nuts Luke Nuttall Melissa Nuttall Nathan Hay Az Roberts Full Course
50. The Young and the restless Toby Nielsen Jenni Blyleven Gemma Woods Levi Hibbert Full Course
51. Haast Eagles Dave Cowie Dan Cullen Sarah Bryant Ryan Lobb Unranked
52. CPR Wanaka Darren Clay Mike Plimmer Don Reid Fiona Reid Retired
53. Rebel Food Hadyn Key Lisa Bates Mark Williams Bas Smith Unranked
54. Team MONARX Scott Mead Olof Hedberg Whitney Hedberg Erik Sanders Full Course
55. Tag Team Lucy Noble Craig Tweedie Brandon purdue Tim Bygate Full Course
56. Tri Adventure Alex Austin Gina Dunsdon Cass Percival Dyson Findlay Full Course
57. Yogaslackers Jason Magness Chelsey Magness Neville Thorne Adrian Braaksma Full Course
58. GEEKS Kyu-po Pyun Jeong-ho Kim Yoonhu Seo Hye-lim kim Unranked
Team Name Team Captain Team Member 2 Team Member 3 Team Member 4 Final Results
1. Tussock Jumpers Benjamin Lott Paul Ayres Steve Mosley Sarah Brunton Unranked
2. Isodopes Andrew Earle Douglas Peres Michaella Trigg Ann Campbell Unranked
3. Team NCX Simon Woods Owain John Stephen John Carrie Lakin Full Course
4. Team Adventureracing.co.nz Michael Rait Michele Gillespie Chris Bennett Brian Duffy Unranked
5. Chafing the dream Colin Pearson Steve Strange Destry Harte Elizabeth Woodgate Full Course
6. Greenhorns Nathan Sturrock Simon Bloomberg Lachlan Brownlie Rachel Baker Full Course
7. Lash Landscaping Ltd Matt Lash Paul Rust Russell Price Nev Wells Full Course
8. nEVEREST Brendan Hickman Anthony Oswald David Howard Graeme Ewenson Full Course
9. New Direction David Bennison Caroline Diprose-Rea Daniel McDonald Andrew Black Full Course
10. Struth Toby Johnston Stewart McRobie Rhys Clark Martyn Bowis Unranked
11. Team MD Outdoors Lou Perkins John hart Jared Wadsworth Tracey Perry Full Course
12. Team Opus Matt Fredericksen Bernie Hopkins Fiona Cleghorn Michael Curtis Full Course
13. Team Silky Stephen Busby John Harris Callum Irvine Vicky Shelling Full Course

The Route

The GZ Pure event covered a distance of 517km with approximately 10,700m of ascent. This was made up of 112km of trekking, 276km of mountain biking, 64km of canoeing, 62km of kayaking and 3km of coasteering. The GZ Pure teams also had two stages of orienteering, kindly organised by Nelson Orienteering Club, with one stage of MTBO and one stage of foot O. The GZ Pursuit event covered a shorter distance of 480km, with approximately 8,500m of ascent. This was made up of 76km of trekking, 302km of mountain biking, 47km of canoeing, 62km of kayaking and 3km of coasteering.

Both GZ Pure and GZ Pursuit teams started and finished their 2016 GODZone adventure in Kaiteriteri. The route passed through three National Parks - Nelson Lakes National Park, Kahurangi National Park and Abel Tasman National Park - with a huge array of natural environments. Teams experienced spectacular ridge lines in the vegetation-free Red Hills, beech forest in the Wairoa, amazing limestone scenery in Kahurangi and classic mountain terrain around Mole Tops. There were four paddle sections that explored lakes, a stunning section of Kiwi whitewater in the Matakitaki River and a final flourish in the World famous Abel Tasman coastline as teams headed to the finish at Kaiteriteri Beach.

Results

Overall the finish rate for teams was exceptionally high at Chapter 5. Much higher than in previous editions – with around 70% and 80% of teams completing the full courses of the GZ Pure and GZ Pursuit events respectively. Contrast this with just 25% at Chapter 4 in Wanaka! Yes, the course was in some ways easier, less relentless and the weather was more favourable. However, feedback from some of the more experienced racers was that the quality of racer has jumped a lot, particularly the New Zealand based teams.

The huge community support and number of spectators this year also had a positive impact and encouraged a lot of teams to keep going when they might have previously folded. It was pleasing to see how quick transition times have become and how much more efficient the teams are in terms of organisation - it seems that the teams now understand what it takes to prosper and finish a GODZone Chapter.

The 2016 edition of GODZone, Chapter 5 – Tasman, was won by the Yealands Family Wines team, which comprised Dan Moore, Chris Forne, Sia Svendsen, and Dan Busch. They put in a very strong performance to hold off what was almost certainly the most competitive field to date.

Second and third place was taken by other race favourites, Swordfox and Torpedo 7, respectively. Overall the perception was that the teams were evenly matched on a strength and speed perspective but it was Chris Forne’s exceptional navigational prowess that proved to be the deciding factor. American team Adventure Medical Kits pulled out all the stops in the final segment of the race to jump to 4th place. Bivouac Inov-8 followed up last years 4th place to round out the Top 5 – it was a fantastic performance by the relative youngsters.

Team Name Team Captain Team Member 2 Team Member 3 Team Member 4 Final Results
1. Yealands Family Wines Dan Moore Sia Svendsen Dan Busch Chris Forne 3Days 12Hrs 44Mins
2. Swordfox Brent Edwards Ash Whitehead Naomi Whitehead Stu Lynch 3Days 16Hrs 55Mins
3. Torpedo7 Richard Anderson Simon Bowden Bob McLachlan Jo Williams 4Days 4Hrs 43Mins
4. Adventure Medical Kits Kyle Peter Rob Preston Mari Chandler Jarad Kohlar 4Days 5Hrs 44Mins
5. Bivouac inov-8 Ryan Thompson Bex Law JJ Wilson Bobby Dean 4Days 5Hrs 48Mins

The inaugural running of the GZ Pursuit event saw 10 teams competing for honours. The event was won by the nEVEREST team, comprised of Brendan Hickman, Anthony Oswald, David Howard and Graeme Ewenson. Second and third place were taken by Team Silky and Team Opus respectively.

Team Name Team Captain Team Member 2 Team Member 3 Team Member 4 Final Results
1. nEVEREST Brendan Hickman Anthony Oswald David Howard Graeme Ewenson 3Days 14Hrs 43Mins
2. Team Silky Stephen Busby John Harris Callum Irvine Vicky Shelling 3Days 22Hrs 08Mins
3. Team Opus Matt Fredericksen Bernie Hopkins Fiona Cleghorn Michael Curtis 4Days 00Hrs 10Mins