Chapter 5 – “Tasman”

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 District is a large area at the western corner of the north end of the South Island of New Zealand. Kaiteriteri is a small beach-side town featuring one of the World’s most beautiful beaches, with a great culture of outdoor living. 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.

The Nelson Tasman region has a long history of producing great adventure racers, multisporters and  has hosted many great events. With the variety of terrain, strong field of local competitors, and community love of this sport, it was always going to be a popular Chapter and this was reflected in the fact that the event sold out just a couple of hours after entries opened. Everyone who experienced the event will reflect on the amazing community support that the teams got. We’ve never seen anything like it in nearly 20 years involved with the sport.

There is no doubt that we consider this the most successful expedition adventure race for at least a decade if you consider the positive outcomes. A large field of great racers, a new format of supported racing introduced to the event, massive media coverage with a big TV persence, fantastic national and international press coverage, record breaking live coverage following and a mass of new potential participants inspired to get into the sport. GODZone Chapter 5 left an indelible mark on the Tasman region, the sport of adventure racing as a whole and everyone who was there or who supported it can be very excited about the future.

Images and video from Chapter 5 can be found in the Images and Videos sections.  


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 feedback from this new event was very positive and we believe that this will open up the GODZone experience to a lot more people going forward.

There was a particularly strong showing from New Zealand teams who were well aware of how quick entries would sell out. The event had it’s largest ever contingent of racers from the USA and the UK, including the third highest ranked team in the world, Adventure Medical Kits led by Kyle Peter. It is fantastic to see the North American teams wanting to travel to New Zealand and experience racing in the spiritual home of the sport, no doubt dreaming of being the first international team to win in New Zealand for over two decades. South Korea (team GEEKS) was represented for the very first time with a team lead by adventurer Kyu Po Pyun and team Real Discovery, returning for a second consecutive year, flew the Japanese flag. Australian teams lead the international contingent with 8 teams racing and showed, once again, a very strong presence at the event.

The event also enjoyed the company of none other than 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. GODZone continues to have a profoundly positive impact in many ways.

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

Pursuit-Thumb

Team Name Team Captain Team Member 2 Team Member 3 Team Member 4 Final Result
4. Tussock Jumpers New Zealand Benjamin Lott New Zealand Paul Ayres New Zealand Steve Mosley New Zealand Sarah Brunton Unranked
23. Isodopes Australia Andrew Earle Australia Douglas Peres Australia Michaella Trigg Australia Ann Campbell Unranked
30. Team NCX New Zealand Simon Woods New Zealand Owain John New Zealand Stephen John New Zealand Carrie Lakin Full Course
70. Team Adventureracing.co.nz New Zealand Michael Rait New Zealand Michele Gillespie New Zealand Chris Bennett New Zealand Brian Duffy Unranked
71. Chafing the dream New Zealand Colin Pearson New Zealand Steve Strange New Zealand Destry Harte Australia Elizabeth Woodgate Full Course
72. Greenhorns New Zealand Nathan Sturrock New Zealand Simon Bloomberg New Zealand Lachlan Brownlie New Zealand Rachel Baker Full Course
73. Lash Landscaping Ltd New Zealand Matt Lash New Zealand Paul Rust New Zealand Russell Price New Zealand Nev Wells Full Course
74. nEVEREST New Zealand Brendan Hickman New Zealand Anthony Oswald New Zealand David Howard New Zealand Graeme Ewenson Full Course
75. New Direction New Zealand David Bennison New Zealand Caroline Diprose-Rea Australia Daniel McDonald New Zealand Andrew Black Full Course
76. Struth New Zealand Toby Johnston New Zealand Stewart McRobie New Zealand Rhys Clark New Zealand Martyn Bowis Unranked
77. Team MD Outdoors New Zealand Lou Perkins New Zealand John hart New Zealand Jared Wadsworth New Zealand Tracey Perry Full Course
78. Team Opus New Zealand Matt Fredericksen New Zealand Bernie Hopkins New Zealand Fiona Cleghorn New Zealand Michael Curtis Full Course
79. Team Silky New Zealand Stephen Busby New Zealand John Harris New Zealand Callum Irvine New Zealand Vicky Shelling Full Course

The Route

Both GZ Pure and GZ Pursuit teams started and finished their 2016 GODZone adventure in Kaiteriteri, completing a near 500km linear course, travelling in a clockwise direction. 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 their final destination – Kaiteriteri Beach.

In terms of difficulty, we’d rate this course on a par with Chapter 3, Kaikoura. There were some tough sections, for sure, and the weather was challenging at times, certainly during the early days of the event. However, unlike last years event in Wanaka, there were also stages of respite where teams could take some easy kilometres and push on to the finish in a steady fashion.

The GZ Pure event covered a distance of 517km, with approximately 10,650m of ascent. This was made up of 112km of trekking (shorter than most other Chapters and perhaps one of the main reasons the finish percentage was so high), 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.

Tasman Route

START – Beach start from the beautiful coastal settlement of Kaiteriteri (in front of a massive crowd)

STAGE 1 – Short section of coasteering, a sea swim of 250m and sea kayak towards Rabbit Island with a nice surf landing to contemplate

STAGE 2 – Mountain bike orienteering with teams permitted to split, briefly into two, the Silvan MTB park and a tricky night nav section through the fringes of Richmond Forest

STAGE 3 – A high mountain trek over the Red Hills which offered some high ridge scrambling over tough, rocky terrain and then some big route choices across to Beebys Hut

STAGE 4 – A relatively fast mountain bike ride taking teams into Nelson Lakes National Park with a short section of foot orienteering on the shore of Lake Rotoiti – not easy at night

STAGE 5 – A paddle and trek wrapped up into a single stage. Paddle down to the end of Lake Rotoroa, dump boats and then trek over the Mole Tops area with at least 3 route choices on offer

STAGE 6 – The most exciting section of whitewater to date at a GODZone? Stunning backcountry river section including the now infamous Horse Terrace and Earthquake Rapids

STAGE 7 – Fast section of bike riding from Murchison transiting teams towards Owen Valley

STAGE 8 – A scenic and technical stunner with teams traversing the magnificent Mt Owen massif from South to North before heading off over the Lookout Range – one to always remember

STAGE 9 – Long mountain bike stage linking Kahurangi National Park and Abel Tasman National Park, bringing teams up Takaka Hill, then down the fun Rameka single track

STAGE 10 – What better way to finish than a nice scenic sea kayak through the stunning Abel Tasman National Park to finish back in Kaiteriteri Beach


Results

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.

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.

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 from the New Zealand based teams. We also think that the community support this year had a lot of 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 at GODZone and that augurs well for the future. Watch out world!


GZ Pure Top 5 Pure-Thumb

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

GZ Pursuit Top 3

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