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Saturday 5th March 2022

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GODZone returning champions Nathan Fa’ave, Stu Lynch, Sophie Hart and Chris Forne of team Avaya are leading the charge over the South Islands Main Divide from Jackson’s Bay to Glenorchy on day two of GODZone Chapter 10.

Last night, Avaya made a navigational decision to trek up the Cascade Saddle (above 1200 vertical meters) and onto the Pyke River rather than follow a coastal track around from Jackson’s Bay to Big Bay with more than three-quarters of the rest of the Pure field following in their footsteps.

“Avaya led all the way last night on the trek up, and today they pack rafted down the Pyke River and across Lake Wilmot and Lake Alabaster with teams Tiki Tour, TopSport and Ataraxia Macpac in hot pursuit. When we flew up onto the Divide to film this afternoon, Avaya was at least 4 – 5km out in front of the chasing pack and looking very relaxed which is their racing style,” says Race Director Adam Fairmaid.

“Avaya played a trick on us by swapping their packrafts out at TA2 for lighter packrafts which meant they could transition quicker not have to spend time packing up their original rafts. These new boats are faster on the water, which was a clever move – they started the race in red packrafts and now have yellow ones.”

He says the leading teams all have top navigators, with Chris Forne of Avaya considered the world’s best.

“Everyone was trying to follow Chris’s line up the Cascade, which was faultless. We saw Simone Maier’s team Topsport cut down onto the Pyke River at a higher point than the other chasing teams, which meant they got in front of Ataraxia Macpac.”

Team Tiki Tour is currently racing in the second position, closely followed by Topsport in third.

“There are only 400 – 500 meters between these chasing four teams, so I expect there will be some jostling overnight as they head up towards Park Pass and descend to the Dart River. Its massive country out there with some very challenging and tough terrain still ahead.”

14 of the 81 Pure teams chose the coastal route around Big Bay and then up to the Pyke River with team Highland Events making perfect time to join the leading teams on Lake Alabaster this afternoon.

“We could see Ali Wilson of Highland Events had a broken paddle and was only using a single blade, so that might slow their progress, but this team’s speed around the coastal route proves that it was just as fast as going up the Cascade,” says Fairmaid.

Meanwhile, progress has been plodding for the Pursuit teams who started at Milford Sound early yesterday morning, with many experiencing navigational issues as they made their way up and over Park Pass in the Mt Aspiring National Park.

“We had expected to see front Pursuit teams paddle down the Dart River to Glenorchy mid-morning, but the first team Ocula – has only just made it down at 5 pm,” says Fairmaid. “Some of these Pursuit teams slept in the Hidden Falls hut last night, and others camped down wherever they could and waited until daylight for easy navigation, but it’s still very slow progress.”

“All the teams hit a dark zone on the Dart River tonight, so we won’t see many teams arrive at Glenorchy until later tomorrow (Sunday).”



• 710km of travel over ten varied stages
• +11,000m of ascent
• 218km of packrafting/trekking over three stages
• 379km of mountain biking over four stages (one with a unique twist)
• 38km of kayaking over 1 stage
• 75km of straight trekking over two stages
• Expected winning time of 5+ days, with nine days available to go home with a Full Course sticker
• START LOCATION; Jackson Bay, West Coast

• 643km of travel over 13 varied stages
• +11,000m of ascent
• 74km of canoeing over four stages
• 402km of mountain biking over four stages (one with a pretty unique twist)
• 38km of kayaking over 1 stage
• 129km of straight trekking over four stages
• Expected winning time of 5+ days, with 8.5 days available to go home with a Full Course sticker
• START LOCATION; Milford Sound, Fiordland


Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/godzoneadventure
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/godzonepure

For general information and to follow the teams on GPS tracking, go to: https://godzoneadventure.com/

For more information, interview & imagery requests, contact:

Margo Berryman
GODZone Media Manager
P: +64 21 246 3342
E: margo@qt.co.nz

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