Published on March 9th, 2018 | by adventuremag0
TOASTING THE WINNERS OF GODZONE CHAPTER 7 -
A huge crowd of Te Anau locals turned out tonight to welcome GODZone’s first team home. More than 500 people cheered on as team Yealands Family Wines paddled into the beach beside the Marakura Yacht Club at 9.40pm.
Chris Forne, Emily Forne, Dan Busch and Aaron Prince arrived to quite a fanfare and were immediately swept up in the moment. They had to carry Busch out of the kayak and across the finish line due to his feet being infected with trench foot.
“ This is really quite surreal,” said Chris “ We definitely had some great racing especially with Swordfox (currently in second) all the way through. During the first half of the race they kept passing us and we kept battling away but by the end of the bike we felt we had an edge.”
“ Except then I managed to blow it rather badly paddling off in the wrong direction down Lake Manapouri. We thought that’s bad, bad news but we kept racing hard and hoped we could out speed Swordfox on the last stage so there was definitely plenty of excitement there.”
He said the team had some suffering at certain points of the race but also appreciated the stunning scenery and novel terrain of Fiordland and Southland. Forne paid tribute to his fellow teammates including his wife Emily Forne.
“We decided to race together for the first time and that has definitely been cool experience and I think she has been fantastic. Aaron Prince is the one that got me into adventure racing and while he may regret it sometimes it’s been great to have him step in at the last minute to replace Nick Hann who twisted his ankle a week ago. And Dan is our unofficial captain and did all the organising, made us delicious food out there and has been fantastic so it’s been a really enjoyable experience racing with this team.”
The team completed the 540km course through Fiordland in five days thirteen hours. GODZone Course Director Adam Fairmaid said he was pleased that the team made it roughly in the estimated times.
“ They were just about spot on – a fraction behind what we thought the first team could do it in. It is really impressive, particularly because they have raced so hard with Swordfox and had a ding-dong battle along the way.
“ Yealands are hugely experienced team, Chris is a world champion adventure racer and both he and Emily have competed at all seven GODZone’s so they have a lot of pedigree,” said Fairmaid.
The second placed team, Swordfox is expected to paddle into the Te Anau foreshore around 4 am Wednesday 7th March, 2018.