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Chapter 1 – Milford


As an iconic location to begin your first event you would be hard pushed to find a place that could compare with Milford Sound. Starting at the rugged west coast of the South Island, teams embarked on an adventure of a lifetime from this most spectacular of places. The route headed southeast through Fiordland and into Southland, before swinging back north to take in the high mountains that surround the giant Lake Wakatipu.

The great lake provided the final push to the finish, taking teams to a memorable conclusion on the beach in Queenstown. The route was linear by nature and was set out to feel like a journey from end to end. As the teams sat on the cruise boat out to the start under a moonlit sky, the sense of doing something special was palpable.


You can check out all the GODZONE photos and videos in our galleries.

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The Teams

Thirty one teams from all over the world made it to the start line, with 12 countries represented - Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Holland, Ireland, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Sweden, UK - with approximately 35% of the participants overseas nationals. The spread of experience was noticeable with the best team in the world, Seagate, in attendance along side a number of teams who had not competed in an expedition length race before. The age of the competitors varied, testament to the attraction of this type of event for all ages. After a seven year hiatus in expedition racing in New Zealand it was great to welcome back experienced teams and at the same time introduce the new generation to this most challenging sport.

Team Name Team Captain Team Member 2 Team Member 3 Team Member 4 Final Results
1. Baba Orientation Daniel Masy Eric Neuteleers Carine Laloy Pierre Collin Unranked
2. Stunts Mark Wallace Katherine Allan Graham Patterson Louise Hales Short Course
3. Kauri Coasters Thorlene Egerton Ross Friedrich Alan Kirkpatrick Barry Ruddell Short Course
4. Get No Sleep AR Ian Huntsman Wendy Riach Finbar McGurren Karen Duggan Short Course
5. Hard Yuccas Andrew Johnson Sally Macready Lisa Antill Joel Deans Short Course
6. Hundreds Killed Mark Hearfield Nick Lowe Robert Smith Keri Devine Short Course
7. Asses Ears Bites Back Brendan Hills Mary McBride Doug Ivey LLoyd Neilson Short Course
8. Little Red Dot Tan Yung Khan Jason Boon Wong Ho Fai Lee Chuen Ling Unranked
9. Kia Kaha David Viitakangas Tim Gibbs Hanna Erixson Lukas Petow Short Course
10. Orion Health Adventure Wayne Oxenham Lisa Godfrey Sarah Clark Sonya Clark Full Course
11. Proactive Physio Marty Macdonald Bernard Robinson Brent Herdson Toni Keeling Short Course
12. R&R Sport Jess Simson Mat Woods Hadyn Key Bas Smith Full Course
13. Rogue Samurai by Macpac Liam St Pierre Craig Edwards Darren Smith Debbie Harksen Retired
14. Shakespeare & Co Rosie Shakespeare Tamsin Chittock Ian Walsh Tony Watson Short Course
15. Seagate Nathan Fa’avae Sophie Hart Chris Forne Trevor Voyce Full Course
16. House of Travel/Starship Ben Meyer Huriana Manuel David Gibson Robert Nichol Unranked
17. Subway Richard Ussher Elina Ussher Braden Currie Sam Clark Retired
18. Swordfox Nick Ross Shane Armstrong Joanna Turnbull Angus Jennings Full Course
19. Moa Hunters Jeremy Warnock Simone Maier Ailsa Rollinson Richard Anderson Full Course
20. Team 215 Emma de Lacey Guy de Lacey Stephen John Mike Charles Short Course
21. Team Bivouac Colts Ryan Thompson JJ Wilson Bex Law Dayne Mc Knight Full Course
22. Team Macpac Girls on Top Debbie Chambers Anne Lowerson Jo Forbes Craig Stevens Short Course
23. Team Mazda Josh Harris Emily Wilson Hamish Fleming William Sams Short Course
24. Team Mountain Designs Kim Beckinsale Gary Sutherland Robbie Andrews Dave Schloss Retired
25. Team Osprey Packs Blair MacKinnon Steven MacLeod Andy Reid Alison Scarlet Short Course
26. Team PB Sports DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
27. Team One Square Meal Sia Svendsen Ian Edmond Stuart Lynch Ross Rotherham Full Course
28. TeamBlackheart.com Rob Preston Kathryn Preston Josh Street Glen Currie Full Course
29. The Go Team Tim Farrant Robert Munro Emily Wall Elisha Nuttall Short Course
30. Tiki Tour Tom Lucas Mike Kelly Michael Walker Joanna Williams Full Course
31. The Able Tasmans Craig Newton Aidan Boswell Steve Lock Emma Mccosh Short Course
32. You’ve Been Chicked DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
33. City Bike Depot Hugh Stodart Rich Mountstephens Danielle Winslow Seamus Meikle Full Course
There was no Pursuit event this year.

The Route

A breathtaking journey through some of New Zealand’s most pristine wilderness. Once out of Milford Sound, teams didn’t see much civilisation until they arrived into Glenorchy which was the final stage of the event. A true adventure in some very remote parts of the South Island. The route covered a total distance of approximately 500km, which included: 126km of trekking, 279km of biking, 61km of kayaking and 36km of canoeing. The west to east character of the route allowed the teams to experience a diverse range of environments, including - rain forest, alpine forest, high country tussock, beech forest, grasslands, high alpine mountains, glacial valleys, rivers and lakes.

This was a tough introduction for those teams that had not adventure raced in New Zealand before or for those domestic teams who had not yet experienced an expedition length race at home. The navigation was tough, nights were cold, and many underestimated the preparation needed to prosper in this part of the world. It was a tough lesson, well learned, and many teams have come back to subsequent Chapters of GODZONE as far better racers because of the difficulty posed by sections of this route.


With no expedition racing in New Zealand for seven years and with no other teams racing internationally it was always going to be hard for any team to challenge the world's best team, Seagate, on home soil. They had the skill, speed and experience to dominate the race from start to finish. The chasing teams managed to stay with them until the first night and the now infamous Stage 4 trek through the Dunton Range. Seagate took an impressive 18hrs to complete this trek with many of the other leading teams taking over 25. They were a class apart on most sections of the race, ending up over 15hrs ahead of their nearest rivals at the finish line.

Second and third place were taken by teams One Square Meal and R&R Sport respectively. Both these teams had a wealth of experience from the Southern Traverse era and understood the importance of good navigation, route choice and pacing yourself over a course as difficult as the one posed. They were able to push hard when needed and took the better lines through the parts of the course where good route choices were necessary. The inaugural Colt Trophy was won by the young Bivouac team. There were a number of highly impressive, young, competitors in Chapter 1 that could be a force to be reckoned with at GODZone in the coming years.

GODZone Chapter 1 - Milford, 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 surfed into Queenstown Beach just after 9pm on Thursday evening, completing the course in a shade under 87hrs.

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, was quick to point out the challenging terrain, technical difficulty of the course, and how the race had combined a balance of testing conditions and beautiful scenery.

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 14Hrs 55Mins
2. Team One Square Meal Sia Svendsen Ian Edmond Stuart Lynch Ross Rotherham 4Days 6Hrs 1Mins
3. R&R Sport Jess Simson Mat Woods Hadyn Key Bas Smith 4Days 10Hrs 25Mins
4. TeamBlackheart.com Rob Preston Kathryn Preston Josh Street Glen Currie 4Days 12Hrs 45Mins
5. Swordfox Nick Ross Shane Armstrong Joanna Turnbull Angus Jennings 4Days 15Hrs 48Mins

There was no GZ Pursuit event this year.