NAVIGATIONAL MOVES IN THE HIGH CANTERBURY MOUNTAINS FOR GODZONERS
Wednesday 13th March 2019
The leading three teams in the seven-day GODZone adventure race have all elected to take different routes overnight on the 84km trek over the Big Hill and Palmer Ranges in between Ashburton and the Southern Alps as the race enters day four.
Teams Tiki Tour, Perpetual Guardian and Thought Sports have had a massive push trekking high mountain peaks overnight as they travelled between GODZone checkpoints towards the Upper Rakaia River.
“ Effectively these teams have been on the trek now for 22 hours and we can see from their GPS trackers that they have stopped to sleep for one to two hours at different points. The pace of the race has slowed down a lot with some big climbs up there and yesterday the teams were out in the constant heat which will have taken its toll,” says GODZone Event Director Warren Bates.
The Pure GODZone teams have been trekking up towards checkpoint 18 on the 600km course which is located on the Te Araroa trail at 1200m as it climbs towards the Clent Saddle and on to checkpoint 19. It is on this section of the course where each team has split off.
“Perpetual Guardian has elected to lose some height heading east while Tiki Tour have gone west over Mt Catherine which is slightly more direct route over the 2085m summit. Both have pros and cons, but Perpetual Guardian are moving very quickly at the moment so may have gained there,” says Bates. “ I like the look of where Tiki Tour are going and think that might be the more optimal route, but only time will tell.”
Australian team Thought Sports who were running in third place yesterday have taken an interesting about turn with their navigational choice.
“We have been watching what Rob Preston is up to with quite a tricky move trekking up to the high checkpoint then coming back down and skirting around the lower flanks of Godley Peak. Their plan is to try and avoid height by doing this which is a much longer route but a good one across the Smite River and directly up the ridgling to Lagoon Peak.”
GODZone Course Advisor Ian Edmond says each route choice is critical to the top team’s progress in making it onto the Rakaia River today before a night time ‘dark’ zone comes into effect.
“ From a course designers’ perspective this is the perfect situation. The first three teams are all heading in different directions which means there has been a lot for the teams to think about in terms of their race strategy and navigation.”
Click to view the GODZone Chapter 8 team list: http://godzoneadventure.com/resources/team-list/
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GODZone Media Manager
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