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Friday 2nd March 2018

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By Hannah Johnstone

The often invisible cogs that keep the GODZone wheels turning are the volunteers.

Whether it’s logistics, event crew, transition operations, or media, there are dozens of people behind the scenes who give their time for the pure fun and enjoyment of being involved in GODZone.

As teams arrive at Kollats crib to pick up their packrafts and paddling gear they are welcomed by Faith who seems to have assumed the chief role of operations there. She directs them to their gear stash, didymo wash, packraft inflation area, and then points them in the right direction to reach the get-in on the Monowai River.

Her wicked sense of humour and bubbly laugh keeps morale high for the crew at Kollats crib – maybe with the exception of a couple of quiet hours very early this morning. Despite claiming no interest in Richie McCaw, or his progress with Team PWC, a particularly audible schoolgirl-giggle escaped her when she turned around to see him approaching through the shadows last night.

Helping out at TA1 is Conni, a young man from Germany who is on a four month holiday in New Zealand. He met Richie Crawshaw, of Team Kauri Coasters, while hiking the Cape Brett track in Northland. They got to talking and Richie told Conni all about the GODZone adventure he was preparing for. Conni put his hand up to volunteer as he thought it would be a great way to see what all the fuss is about, and the perfect opportunity to spend time in some hidden corners of Fiordland.

Looking ahead as the stages progress, keep a thought for the enthusiastic team of volunteers who keep the cogs oiled, and the adventure racing machine running smoothly.

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