Events GODZone competitor Noel O'Leary looking at maps beside Lake Hauroko

Published on March 7th, 2018 | by adventuremag



Two days, nine hours into the ten-day GODZone expedition race in Fiordland National Park and the adventurous field is spread far and wide.

“ The leading teams have paddled across Lake Hauroko and down the Wairaurahiri River through remote parts of southern Fiordland today and are now trekking into an area by Lake Poiteriteri,” says Event Director Warren Bates.


Lake Hauroko is New Zealand’s deepest lake and located in a mountain valley surrounded by native bush. It is the only access point to the Wairaurahiri River that flows through the Waitutu forest and out to the South Coast.


“ This is a critical navigation stage where teams will have to employ their map and compass skills to ensure they locate all six checkpoints on this stage three section, says Bates.”


Leading the field of ninety-two teams is Yealand Family Wines that consists of six-time World Champion Adventure Racer Chris Forne, Emily Forne, Dan Busch and Aaron Prince.


“ Chris and the Yealands team will be toasting their route choice today after making this stage look easy. Chris love’s nothing more than showing the rest of the field a clean pair of heels and tonight he will show further strength because he is exceptional at night navigation.”


Teams Swordfox and Tiki Tour are in second and third positions having shared the top spots with Yealands Family Wines since the race started three days ago.


“ These leading teams are very well conditioned and will be working hard to keep moving and reduce sleep hours to a bare minimum to fend off the chasing pack. Nathan Fa’avae is in the group and I suspect he may appear closer to the leaders over the next 12 hours as they move back down to the south coast area of Rarakau near the Hump Ridge track,” says Bates.


Former All Black captain Richie McCaw has had an excellent race to date with his PwC team currently in the top ten.


“ Yesterday Richie caused quite a stir at the Clifden Caves where the teams where caving when a busload of local school children turned up to see him. There were autographs asked for and given out and the kids loved it,” says Bates.


One team, the Moose Hunters from Tauranga has withdrawn from the course due to a gastro bug and four teams are continuing unranked due to some of their team members being unable to carry on.


“ The weather conditions are good for racing – not too hot or cold,” says Bates. “ The teams have a long way to go to complete the full 540km course so the next 24 hours will be critical to their success. We expect the winners to cross the finish line in Te Anau from Tuesday next week,” says Bates.


The Chapter 7 course remains open until Saturday 10th March.


GODZone Chapter 7

1st – 10th March 2018


Current Top Five Teams


1st Yealands Family Wines

Chris Forne, Emily Forne, Dan Busch, Aaron Prince


2nd Swordfox

Brent Edwards, Ash Whitehead, Stuart Lynch, Georgia Whitla


3rd Tiki Tour                                                                            

Tom Lucas, George Lucas, Michael Kelly, Corinne O’Donnell




GODZone Chapter 7 Stages


• Stage 1: Packraft/Trek/Packraft  Waiau – Borland 110km

• Stage 2: Caving/MTB  Motu Bush  55km

• Stage 3: Packraft  Southern Fiordland 150km

• Stage 4: MTB  Rowallan Percy 160km

• Stage 5: Kayak  West / North Arm 14km

• Stage 6: Trek  Kepler Mountains 24km

• Stage 7: Kayak  Lake Te Anau 35km

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