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Discussion: GodZone Chapter 5

in: Adventure Racing; General;

Mar 22, 2016 11:23 PM # 
Looks stunning as usual. Some day...

Anyone else excited to track what is the most open Chapter to date?

I know a few APers are going (#jealous) so will be tracking you. I reckon Kyle Peter and crew will battle it out with Swordfox at the pointy end. I'm gunning for Team Endurancelife too. Looking forward to sea how the all girl Seagate do and of course Ritchie McCaw and Cure Kids.

What's are your thoughts on the Pure and Persuit events overlapping?
Mar 23, 2016 4:23 AM # 
I figure it just more teams for me to shoot. Bones could be in the mix. Team MONARX has some really strong racers, but they haven't raced together. I will be interested to see what team Yogaslackers put together. Old and Slow has Neil Jones racing.
I am going to watch Team Geek. 4 rookies from South Korea. But they have a good attitude.
Mar 23, 2016 4:46 PM # 
It’s much easier for us to I.D. the strong foreigners, but I’m always amazed at how many relatively “unknown” but really strong NZ teams show their stuff in this race. They just don’t get out of the country often. Bivouc will be up there. If I remember correctly, Torpedo is always quite good. (NeuroPhysics was basically the same team, and they finished 3rd last year) Next Generation finished 6th last year, and half the team is the same this year (and they are young, so only going to get better). Yealands Family Wine is loaded as well with top five racers from past years AND Chris Forne. Reckon they have a real chance to win (Absolute Wilderness vets to boot). I second Old and Slow who has Neil Jones but also has racers from the 5th place team two years ago. Mountain Designs is a contender as well. And there always seems to be a few other NZ teams who emerge that we have never heard of outside of NZ.

I don’t know, aside from AMK, I wouldn’t be surprised if the top 5 is all kiwi. Over the past four races, only 4 non-NZ teams have been top five. And two of these were teams that are basically Mountain Designs. One of the others was half kiwi. The other was Columbia last year. I’m not seeing other international teams that are jumping off the page as serious threats to those odds.

So, it might be Swordfox’s year. I also like Yealands with their line up + Chris Forne. I’ll add Torpedo to the top 5. After that, I’ll go with AMK, and…either a breakthrough for Next Generation or Bivouc. No particular order. Would love to see AMK win this one, but I think it’s going to be a task to beat all the kiwis on their home turf. My darkhorse pick for top 5 is Seagate. I’d actually lean toward picking them for the 5th slot in top 5, but I have no idea who is navving and how their nav will be.

I would more seriously consider Yoga, but I have no clue what’s up with Jason. On that note, does anyone know if he is actually racing after his hip problems in Patagonia? Very curious about that. Either way: if he doesn’t race I wonder who fills in and that’s a big loss. If he does race, it’s hard to imagine him being able to do what he needs to physically to stick with the Kiwis. And I don’t know how competitive-minded Andy is considering he hasn’t raced much in a while. Never count them out though!
Mar 23, 2016 5:37 PM # 
excellent points, broots. and if you lived in NZ, why WOULD you ever leave?
Mar 23, 2016 5:52 PM # 
I love your stream of consciousness, wish I could type that fast.
Mar 23, 2016 7:24 PM # 
I'd say broots is pretty onto it with his picks. The top NZ teams definitely aren't unknown locally. I might add Team Neruophysics and Rebel Food to the mix.

Lara Prince and Emily Forne are navigating in Seagate. Both orienteers and rogainers with lots of experience.
Mar 23, 2016 10:33 PM # 
From Gary Davies on Facebook (GD44 on AP):

"I will be competing in the Godzone World Series Adventure Race in New Zealand from 2 April. I am the team captain for Team Endurancelife (#41) and will race with Ben Turner, Sabrina Verjee and Kevin Stephens whilst the other British team (#14) consists of Ian Grace, Kris Smith, Phil Scarf and Jackie Scarf. There are approximately 40 teams racing in the main event and a further 20 teams in the slightly shorter race. We will be traversing 530km on foot, mountain bike, kayaks and rafts across mountains, rivers and the ocean under our own steam. You can follow our progress online ( and also get regular updates from our Team Endurancelife page (http://www.facebook/teamendurancelife). Happy dot watching!"
Mar 23, 2016 11:48 PM # 
One of my favourite logs. Will be following and rooting for Gary and Sabs (who I met in my very first AR and she duly lectured me about wearing ankle socks!! The blood..., the lesson..)

Actually can't wait. Been bloody ages since a good dot watching!

Anyone want to pick their top 5 then? Broots has already
A point for every one that ends up in the top 5
Bonus point if you guess the right position
A million points if you guess a clean sweep :-)

My top 5
Adventure Medical Kits
Torpedo 7
Yealand Family Wines
Seagate - Gwan de girls!
Mar 27, 2016 12:28 AM # 
I will be talking with Godzone race director Warren Bates next week. I will post the interview next Saturday when the race starts. If you have any questions ask them here and I will ask Warren.
Mar 27, 2016 7:25 AM # 
Hi guys. Great to see that we have a few supporters for Team Endurancelife!

I've been in NZ for a few days now and enjoyed a great MTB near Twizel. Brutal terrain but absolutely great scenery.

I'll be heading north to Motueka/Kaiteriteri on Wednesday. Will be meeting up with Ben and Sabs on Thursday. They've been out here for a bit longer than me and done some MTBing, kayaking and treks too!

Kevin is arriving on 30th.
Mar 30, 2016 12:00 AM # 
OK, so if we are going to rank them:

1) Yealands. I can't go against the best nav in the world!
2) Swordfox.
3) AMK; hate to pick against them, but I think there are way too many super strong Kiwis with a ton of local knowledge.
4) Seagate
5) Torpedo

Dark Horse for top 5: Next Generation.

Also, if you haven't seen:

Looks like Jason is somehow racing. I'm surprised and not so at the same time. I can't imagine them competing as they normally do, but if anyone can do it, the Slackers will find a way!

Just ready for the dots to start moving:)
Mar 30, 2016 2:23 AM # 
Seriously, Jason?!?
Mar 31, 2016 11:04 PM # 
Mar 31, 2016 11:05 PM # 
Logistics Planner:
Apr 1, 2016 1:12 AM # 
another view
Apr 1, 2016 2:55 AM # 
From GODZone Facebook:

"GODZone teams were officially welcomed to Chapter 5 this morning ahead of registration and gear checks at the Kaiteriteri Shoreline Restaurant. As well as introducing them to the area, race director Warren Bates gave them a few clues about what lies ahead for the next seven days.

The competitors will face ten stages over 530km and although Warren doesn’t think it’s as hard as last year, the weather will play a huge role in determining how difficult the course is.

“Maybe not quite as tough as last year but still a pretty tough course. We think about 55 % of you will finish the course. It’s not going to be easy.

You are going to visit three national parks, you are going to see nine very different stages. The weather looks like it might be interesting for the next 24 hours so just stick in there and be sensible."
Apr 1, 2016 3:03 AM # 
Logistics Planner, easier to refer back to. Thanks to everyone who posted it! Next step, please post the maps when you get them. :)

Apr 1, 2016 3:10 AM # 
For those of us watching from central Canada and the eastern U.S., the time difference to Kaiteriteri, NZ is +17 hrs.

The race starts on Saturday at noon local time. So the dots will need to be watched starting Friday at 7 p.m. our time.
Apr 1, 2016 3:15 AM # 
Richie McCaw, former NZ All Blacks captain and current New Zealander of the year, will be the focus of the mainstream media. Hey! Isn't it cool that *any* aspect of an adventure race will matter to the mainstream media?
Apr 1, 2016 7:43 AM # 
Have fun with the dots! We will be pushing harder, knowing that you're all watching!

We're excited and ready to go here in Kaiteriteri. Hopefully the weather holds. When it rains, it rains HARD!
Apr 1, 2016 11:49 AM # 
No doubt about it.... the dot-watchers are pumped and ready!
Apr 1, 2016 6:20 PM # 
Carbon's Offset:
Cheering hard for you and Bones, Slice! (and all the other APers we know there!). Have a great race! GodZone and racing in New Zealand should be amazing!!
Apr 1, 2016 7:20 PM # 
Your welcome. Maps and route book.
Apr 1, 2016 8:08 PM # 
Go, Slice! And thanks *very* much, Randy!
Apr 1, 2016 9:53 PM # 
GODZone starts in about an hour (noon local time). Wishing all the best to our Attackpoint friends!

The first stage is a mix of activities along the coast, estimated to take 4-6 hours for 30 km. Teams will run on the beach until they get close to CP1, which is reached by swimming 150m each way. Then they continue to CP2, staying within 30 m of the sea and not climbing any cliffs. At that point, they pick up their kayaks. I'm guessing the map has a 1 km grid so it's only about 3 km until they start paddling along the coast to Rabbit Island.

Kaiteriteri Beach looks like a really nice place to start a race - except it would be awfully tempting to just hang around for the week. :)

Apr 1, 2016 10:20 PM # 
Every year I track this and feel like I'm missing out on something special not being there. Still looking forward to the start at Midnight here on the Emerald Isle. Swimming coastering and paddling would be my dream start ? Soaking wet from the get go!
Apr 1, 2016 11:44 PM # 
And they're OFF! The top 3 teams have started kayaking - Swordfox, Torpedo7 and Next Generation.
Apr 2, 2016 12:01 AM # 
synchronized dot updates every 15 minutes!!! #nerdalert
Apr 2, 2016 12:07 AM # 
Grrr my devices are acting up. On the bloomin' phone!

Torpedo, AMK, Bivouac, Yieland, Bones, Swordfox all paddling at the sharp end

The guns
Apr 2, 2016 1:42 AM # 
#mapnerdalert - Look at Rabbit Island on the tracking map. It's an orienteering map with all the controls marked!
Apr 2, 2016 1:53 AM # 
Views of the start for the non-Facebook crowd.
Apr 2, 2016 1:58 AM # 
The orienteering map overlay was one of the best features of the 2015 edition. VERY pleased to see them keeping with this standard. Wish other races would do the same.
Apr 2, 2016 2:02 AM # 
Very cool! The lead teams should have paddled into TA1 by now; the tracking is a little behind for teams who may have their trackers pointed the wrong way while they're in transition. Adventure Medical Kits has moved into the front group along with Torpedo7 and Swordfox.
Apr 2, 2016 2:07 AM # 
No, the lead teams just tracked, still on the water. The updated track shows AMK in about 6th place but everyone is close together.
Apr 2, 2016 2:19 AM # 
Stage 2 is 60 km, estimated to take 7-13 hrs. The race started at noon and sunset is 7:18 p.m. so most teams will do most of their riding in the dark. Sunrise is at 6:45 a.m.

The Rabbit Island MTBO has a twist. There are two different courses and teams can split up into pairs to do the courses simultaneously. If they'd rather stay as a team of four, they can do the two courses sequentially. CPs can be collected in any order and by either pair, if the team splits up.

When finished, the team reports back to TA1, then continues on the rest of the stage. They'll travel via the Great Taste Trail (must look that up!) and a road to Silvan Forest Mountain Bike Park, where they'll find CP4 and CP5. From there, it looks like a hilly ride to TA2.
Apr 2, 2016 2:36 AM # 
Some of us North Americans may still be sleeping when Stage 3 begins so...

It's a big one - a 52 km alpine trek through the Red Hills, starting at Wairoa Gorge an estimated to take 18-27 hours. Here are the detailed instructions.

Teams need to be careful of possible high winds, poor visibility, river crossings, steep ground and loose rock. I don't think I've ever seen such cautious AR instructions but this is the way I give instructions to friends so I'm glad to see it. :)

Teams are not permitted to travel on or within 100 m of State Hwy 63.
Apr 2, 2016 2:39 AM # 
Lots of action at TA1 now!
Apr 2, 2016 2:50 AM # 
Randy got a photo of (I assume) CP1, the one teams had to swim to.
Apr 2, 2016 3:32 AM # 
Swordfox, Yealands Family Wine and Torpedo are first off Rabbit Island.
Apr 2, 2016 3:51 AM # 
......followed by Adventure Medical Kits, Bivouac, Gary Anderson and Next Generation.
Apr 2, 2016 4:19 AM # 
Report on Team Bones Facebook page stated that they arrived at TA1 in 14th place. They seem to have gained a few positions in the TA and on Rabbit Island. The tracking map shows them off the island in 10th spot - not sure if that is totally accurate as not all trackers have updated.
Apr 2, 2016 4:42 AM # 
AMK must have a bike problem. Looks like they are looking for some support from local businesses.
Apr 2, 2016 5:31 AM # 
Looks like AMK's issue is resolved. They have finally left Salisbury Road and are back on course - still appear to be in top 10.

Swordfox and Team Yealands have opened a bit of a gap over the chasing teams.
Apr 2, 2016 6:25 AM # 
Thanks for the updates all! Loving the 1:50000 topo layer on the tracking map too...
Apr 2, 2016 9:09 AM # 
Swordfox seem to have taken a wrong turn on the trek allowing Yieland to open a gap.

Wow the night descending on the bike has spat teams out all over the place! AMK at TA2
Apr 2, 2016 9:16 AM # 
Actually swordfox on the right track. Torpedo at TA2 with AMK so 4 of the top team moving well at the front
Apr 2, 2016 9:21 AM # 
Well this looks like fun way to bank.. #Yogaslackers!!
Apr 2, 2016 10:06 AM # 
So Yealands, Swordfox and Torpedo are 1, 2 and 3.

Also featuring in the top 10, AMK, Bivouac

Seagate and Bones a few places back again

Not far behind good to see Yogaslackers and Endurancelife moving well
Apr 2, 2016 10:30 AM # 
The word on the street is a broken pedal for AMK. Its quiet for now. We have no access to the teams until CP 12, 18 hours from now. I am back at the start editing and will shoot the Pursuit start tomorrow.
Apr 2, 2016 3:04 PM # 
Top three are now Yealands, Swordfox and Bivouac. Torpedo appears to have fallen back a piece. Then we have AMK slightly in front of a tight group comprised of Neurophysics, Bones and Moteuka. Then come Adventure Junkies and Seagate.
Apr 2, 2016 3:09 PM # 
Day 1 video summary. Sigh... :)

GODZone 2016 Day One from 100% PURE Racing on Vimeo.

Apr 2, 2016 4:40 PM # 
About an hour before sunrise, Yealands Family Wines leads the race on the Stage 3 alpine trek between CP10 and CP11, followed closely by Swordfox. About 7 km behind is a group of four chase teams including Adventure Medical Kits, who are making up for lost time due to a bike mechanical.

Excellent coverage on the GODZone Facebook page. We never have as much discussion on AP for this race because the official coverage is so good!

Stage 2 sounds tough. "General feedback from most teams coming off the mountain bikes into TA 2 was that the navigation was incredibly challenging in places, bush bashing, brutal hike a bikes, wrong turns , retracing steps and low lying fog delivering 1 metre visibility were some of the challenges they faced."

Richie McCaw's participation has brought tremendous public attention to the event with hundreds of spectators showing up. According to Warren Bates: "We've raced all over the world for more than 15 years. We have never ever seen crowds at an adventure race like we have today. The start was amazing and there were even more people at TA1 to welcome the teams after coasteering and kayaking. Crowds were lining the roads into Silvan Forest. The teams were loving it. "
Apr 2, 2016 4:43 PM # 
Some comments from organizers about reading the tracking map:

Each colour means a different discipline (yellow=bike, red=trek, dark blue=kayak and light blue=canoe). And the two different routes are for our two categories - Pure and Pursuit. The Pursuit guys start Sunday on a slightly shorted route.

Use the Pursuit/Pure buttons at top right to toggle the two courses on/off. It shows one possible route but the teams haven't seen that. All they have on their maps is the location of TAs and CPs; route is up to the teams to pick.
Apr 2, 2016 4:52 PM # 
Leaderboard format is cool too.
Apr 2, 2016 5:33 PM # 
Hmm how many will follow Chris Forne's thinking after CP11?!
Apr 2, 2016 5:42 PM # 
It is a good route choice leg. No easy way to know what's best without some experience of the high and low terrain and what the river crossings are like.
Apr 2, 2016 6:27 PM # 
It'll be fun to watch them!

Checking on some Attackpointers after sunrise on the trek:

- Adventure Medical Kits tied for 3rd with Bivouac Inov-8
- Bones travelling in a group of five teams tied for 7th to 11th place, including Seagate
- EnduranceLife tied for 12th with Yogaslackers
Apr 2, 2016 7:29 PM # 
My team spent a fair bit of time in those hills training.

Some local knowledge may be coming into play here. The blue line I've put on the map is the location of a brand new trail (unmarked) which will be quick if Yealands ends up utilizing it (and then an easy out and back to the checkpoint).

Climbing up to the checkpoint on the "recommended route" isn't a horrible option. The forest there can be tough if you manage to hit the wrong spot though, and obviously steep. Could be very slow in bad conditions.

Going the same way as Chris Forne is generally considered to be good practice.

Apr 2, 2016 7:33 PM # 
Another note: Daylight savings time in New Zealand stopped about 6 hours ago. Clocks went back, so competitors essentially get an extra hour to reach short course cutoffs etc.

I wonder if any Pursuit teams accidentaly waiting at the start line an hour early...
Apr 2, 2016 7:41 PM # 
Thanks for that time zone info. (And the route info too!) So for central Canada and the eastern U.S., the racers are now 16 hours ahead of us. Sunset is at 6:16 p.m. and sunrise at 6:45 a.m.
Apr 2, 2016 7:42 PM # 
Note from Nathan on Facebook.
Chris 31& Stu 17 are taking different lines to next CP. Yealands are leading by about 90-minutes so it'll be an interesting few hours. Yealands route will take them through some bog and marsh fields on the plateau, but then they'll get the MTB trail from Red Hills hut to the Beeby's Ridge. Swordfox have more climbing, a more direct route but some twisting and turning through untracked forest, some of the forest is thick and slow travel, and some wind throw damage depending on the way they attack the CP. Chris pretty much has clean travel, open mineral belt and trails. That said, my pick is Stu may get this one ... but Chris does have a habit of proving people wrong!
Apr 2, 2016 11:12 PM # 
Wow Yealand were gunning but now dropped well south of CP 12. Swordfox more direct route may make up the deficit but they have other ideas than the suggested route now. Should be ok though, either stay low and follow the valley or climb up onto the ridge and follow that. Either way, veer south while Yealand veer North and bump into each other at the CP!

Neurophysics in 3rd?

AMK 4th although Bivouac, in 5th, have taken the most direct route of all so far. If it pays off they could beat AMK to CP12, if not, oh dear...

The next 2 teams really moving in 6th and 8th are Torpedo and Seagate cutting their way through the field. Torpedo particularly having overtaken Seagate.

In 11th and 12th are Bones and Yogaslackers both at CP11

Meanwhile Endurancelife were hauling ass until then did a figure 8 in the last 90 minutes. Doh!

Just outside the top 20 and moving gradually through the field is Mountain Designs, one to watch.

Ritchie McCaw and Cure Kids tracking well and making good progress in top 30
Apr 2, 2016 11:48 PM # 
As you all know, I am not a racer. I have a question. Does anyone else find it a little surprising that, after 24 hours of racing, the teams are all still relatively close together? Or does this speak to the strength of the teams who are participating?
Apr 2, 2016 11:51 PM # 
Yealands approaching CP12 now. Swordfox has not tracked for awhile so yes - I wonder too if they will meet.
Apr 3, 2016 12:00 AM # 

I think its more to do with the fact that the Seagate team that dominated the last 4 races, are not racing (together). 3 of them are racing (Chris - Yealand, Stu - Swordfox and Sophie - Seagate) but in separate teams (all of which are in the top 10)

What I have noticed is bunches or pairs of teams.

Another point is that 61 teams is a lot to break up when the speed differential is so small. Its when they hit the interesting Nav choices like CP11 to CP12 that it gets more interesting
Apr 3, 2016 12:02 AM # 
25 hours in, hard to know if Yealand or Swordfox have slept yet beyond a power nap.

I'm impressed so far with the line Bivouac are taking. Brave...

Not so much though with Yogaslackers line from CP11!
Apr 3, 2016 12:09 AM # 
Thanks Shotgunmcos! Yes...I think you are sort of saying what I was thinking - but saying it better than I did. :) A lot of really strong racers are spread over more teams.
Apr 3, 2016 12:12 AM # 
The tracking site has a "rest" indicator. If you open up the teams menu from the top left hand side each team has three checkboxes:

-Show Current position
-Show Previous positions / breadcrumb trail
-Show rest

If a teams beacon pings in pretty much the same position repeatedly it will mark it down as rest I believe. It's currently estimating that Swordfox had 1Hr rest, presumably a powernap before sunrise.

Currently looks like Swordfox are going to hit CP12 a wee bit behind Yealands, but with an hours sleep. May not be much difference between the two choices!
Apr 3, 2016 12:16 AM # 
Awesome, thanks Camma!
Apr 3, 2016 12:23 AM # 
Yes Thanks Camma. I was wondering what that 3rd checkbox was. Neat!
Apr 3, 2016 12:38 AM # 
Hmm Yealands tracker looks like they are just 2.5km off TA3, but the tracker looks like it turns back 400m shy of CP12. They can't not have punched it surely?! If so, they have a very healthy lead and Chris Forne stole a decisive march!
Apr 3, 2016 12:47 AM # 
Memory failed me slightly on previous comment. Swordfox tracking says they rested for an hour on the way up Ben Nevis, which I suspect not to be true given they were pretty much tied up with Yealands at that stage?

Yealands have definitely hit CP12 and are currently setting a HOT pace to TA3. Looks like it'll be a gap in the order of two hours. This Chris Forne guy is pretty good.

Further back it looks like the field is splitting relatively evenly between the two options. I suspect a few of those teams will be aiming to get a few hours nap in Red Hills hut tonight, provided it isn't full!
Apr 3, 2016 1:31 AM # 
For those not on Facebook - from Godzone Adventure page just now:
Apr 3, 2016 1:33 AM # 
Meanwhile: Teams 02, 16, 41 & 43 have the map upside down.

Regaining the elevation they just lost will be painful. Harsh country there.
Apr 3, 2016 2:03 AM # 
Carbon's Offset:
(Insert massive Chris Forne admiration here)!!
Apr 3, 2016 2:06 AM # 
Yogaslackers took a little dipsy doodle south but have corrected. I hate to say that Bones is heading north at the moment. Come on you lads and Slice - go west!
Apr 3, 2016 2:50 AM # 
Yealands through TA 3 and headed out on Stage 4. Swordfox almost at TA3. It is hard to say who will be third to arrive, with teams traveling different routes. AMK has made a sharp turn in a northeasterly direction. Bones finally heading southwest, I am happy to say.
Apr 3, 2016 4:51 AM # 
From FB, looking ahead: "TA5: THE DARK ZONE...and by this we don't mean the mental state that some of the teams will soon be entering. Matakitaki River will be closed each day between 6:45pm and 6:15am. Any teams that are paddling on the water when this close period strikes will be required to pull over and exit the water. Any teams that reach the Godzone Darkzone when closed will not be allowed to enter the river."
Apr 3, 2016 5:42 AM # 
Aww, Team Bones Primal Quest has retired from the trek. Chris Barry has lacerations and an injured ankle, presumably from a fall. The team is hoping to walk out to TA3. :((
Apr 3, 2016 5:49 AM # 
Yealands transitioning into their boats again. Swordfox have just finished the orienteering at CP13. That puts Yealands 2hr 40min ahead.

Currently Fighting for third, Torpedo7 and Bivouac just checked CP12 and are heading down to TA2 now with NeuroPhysics right behind them. This puts them about 4 hours behind Swordfox.

The predicted fastest times indicate that Yealands are 9hrs away from the start of the canoe. That would make it 3am local time. The dark zone lifts at 6:15 AM and they will then have 12.5 hours of daylight to finish a predicted 7.5hr paddle.

If they play their cards right Yealands can get a few hours sleep tonight, hit the river tomorrow and make it off before darkzone.

Swordfox, a few hours back would be cutting it very fine. Especially if they went for it with little to no sleep.

The race against the darkzone may decide who wins here. Either way it looks like it's going to give Yealands and Swordfox a pretty sizeable gap back to the rest of the field
Apr 3, 2016 6:09 AM # 
Wow, Leanimal and I are incredibly gutted at the injury on Team Bones. Such bad luck. I really hope they continue on as three to experience the NZ wilds.
Apr 3, 2016 7:34 AM # 
Sucks for Bones…

Interesting that Yealands is so far ahead of projected fastest times. They have been way faster on the MTB sections than predicted. And TA times haven't been bad either… Their pace certainly makes the dark zone a bigger player in the race. Based on the fastest predicted times none of the teams would have made it through the dark zone with a big regrouping. I wonder if that played a role in pacing strategy for some of the teams in the top ten?

As a race organizer wouldn't you want to design the course so that the dark zone is more likely to split the field a little lower down (with little chance of a split near the top)? Or maybe by making the dark zone almost achievable that leads to more spirited racing in the first few days to beat the time predictions…

In either case 12 hours is a long dark zone in a relatively short expedition race. Too bad it will play a big role in results.
Apr 3, 2016 1:45 PM # 
So very sad to hear this news about Team Bones - Primal Quest. After all the hours, weeks and months of training and preparation, I am sure they are devastated. That said, it is what it is. Let's hope that Chris will soon be safely evacuated and that he recovers quickly. I am really hoping that the team will consider continuing unranked.
Apr 3, 2016 2:40 PM # 
So sad for Bones and especially for Slice...
Apr 3, 2016 3:24 PM # 
Carbon's Offset:
Soooo bummed for Slice and Bones :(
Apr 3, 2016 3:49 PM # 
anyone know what would make Swordfox take the north west line their on from CP 16? Looking at the maps, I'm trying to get into their head and understand what possible advantage it would be providing. Looking to you more senior Nav's and dot watchers.
Apr 3, 2016 3:55 PM # 
Maybe the conditions have poor visibility and they want to stay low? Interesting as they are only a few kms from Yealand who appear to be sleeping. I really though they would push on and get in the canoe before the dark zone. It's a long one and could effectively restart the race again for the top 4-5 albeit with progressively diminished rest time
Apr 3, 2016 4:00 PM # 
Actually I think W was the plan but they went a valley too early? Expecting a sharp turn South or a double back to confirm either or
Apr 3, 2016 4:14 PM # 
The topo maps show a track along the route Swordfox is following - perhaps they are banking on being able to move faster on the longer route, particularly in the dark.
Apr 3, 2016 4:39 PM # 
And there's the turn south down the channel. Staying low and a less overall up and down so faster? Let's see
Apr 3, 2016 4:44 PM # 
I'm a bit puzzled by all the talk regarding Yealands darkzone strategy. At their current pace (heading downhill now) they should hit the darkzone at almost the time it lifts at ~6:15 am (less than 2 hours from now). If they get in early, the transition and any rest will be brief. Leaving immediately gives them maximum time to get downriver (it's a LONG ways downriver) before the dark zone begins again, perhaps clearing the section without being stopped. Every team behind them will be hard pressed to complete the leg before being snagged at 6:45pm tonight.
Apr 3, 2016 5:18 PM # 
Gah got my timezones wrong. I had the closing time in mind rather that the opening time. Yealand strategy sleep then would make all sense to hit the dark zone just before it lifts. How many teams will make it on with a chance of completing it?

Really like the "theoretical tracker short course line" Currently over 40 teams behind it!!
Apr 3, 2016 5:47 PM # 
Come on GD44 get it together! Endurancelife making a meal of the Red Hills, going right then the little decisions adding kms and hours. Really hope they find a groove and nothing like punching C12 to inject the motivation and momentum again.
Apr 3, 2016 6:14 PM # 
Sun's coming up...perhaps the nav gods will make things right over the next few hours for those who are struggling.
Apr 3, 2016 6:29 PM # 
So the moving short course line is at TA3.
21 teams at or in front of it and Ritchie McCaw and Cure Kids just a km behind it.
Apr 3, 2016 6:47 PM # 
yep, Endurancelife (41) have been having a nightmare in the Red Hills. Looks like they stopped for a 5hr sleep when it all got too much, and then chose to take the "Chris Forne" route down the valley. Sadly, they're now climbing the eastern side of the main valley. Not sure why....

This brings back nasty memories of the Mangroves of Doom in the Costa Rica Worlds a couple of years ago, in which Sabs and I ruined our race by taking 28 hours doing laps of the swamp. She wasn't happy then and she won't be happy now!
Apr 3, 2016 6:57 PM # 
One of the fastest moving teams at the moment is Sneaky Weasel Gang (34). Pretty impressed with their line through the Red Hills (gained 10 places) and they are lifting on the bike. 13th at the moment and 4 teams within 3km including Seagate in 11th.
Apr 3, 2016 8:24 PM # 
Fi McB:
Seagate ladies are now in 9th paddling down the lake - awesome!! Apparently the river is running fast with the rain, so top two teams will easily clear it before the darkzone. I don't think any of the chasing teams are close enough to make it through though - hopefully it will be a nice clear, dry night for a riverside sleep!

Who would have thought Swordfox's route CP16-17, at double the distance of the 'direct' line, would be so much quicker? (5:45 versus 7.5!). Amazing.
Apr 3, 2016 8:44 PM # 
Why is Yogaslackers apparently redoing the foot-O course?
Apr 3, 2016 8:46 PM # 
Fi McB:
Maybe it was just sooo much fun they wanted to do it again?? Or more likely a mispunch...
Apr 3, 2016 9:27 PM # 
Fi McB:
must have missed cp 4 - they look to have popped out to get it, then back to TA and on bikes now.
Apr 4, 2016 2:45 AM # 
Regarding the route and times between CP16-17, it appears that both routes are similar in time and perhaps the direct route is bit faster. The difference between Swordfox and Yealands can be attributed to the stop Yealands made for ~2:45 around midnight before they reached CP17. Swordfox stopped before the paddle to rest.
Apr 4, 2016 6:13 AM # 
Looks like Torpedo7 will just miss out on finishing this paddle before the darkzone closes. 45min to paddle ~15km. I don't think the river is flowing that strongly! And the "no portaging boats during the dark zone" rule will also be very cruel for them as they'll be camping right next to a beautiful road, parallel to the river, which would take them straight to transition.
Apr 4, 2016 8:47 AM # 
Torpedo7's facebook page just shared a video of them through one of the rapids on the river. In all likelihood 30+ kayaks will be launching at 6:15AM, it might be a tight squeeze through there!
Apr 4, 2016 9:16 AM # 
It will be carnage!! Great to see teams making better progress though and the full course is still on for most of them. The theoretical short course line is now lingering bewteen the second Orienteering course and TA4. While the Red Hills swallowed up a pile of teams and turned them inside out it seems once you get out of them the going picks up. Currently maybe 20 teams behind the short course line.

Happy to see GD44 and Sabs with Endurancelife back on track and should make TA5 by the cut off.

As for Team Cameltoes (38).. good lord, CP10 must have a magnetic field around it for them :-(

As Camma said though, TA5 will be a hub of excitement in about 9 hours!!

Can Swordfox catch Yealand? It will be tough, lots of racing left but boy are they chasing hard!
Apr 4, 2016 10:12 AM # 
Both Endurancelife teams (14 and 41) have finished the foot-o and look to now be riding together towards TA4 in somewhere around 37/38th place. Local time is 2200.

The short course cutoff is 7am at TA5, by which time teams have to have LEFT the TA. Stage 5 (paddle and trek) is taking most of the front-runner teams about 13+ hours (apart from Bivouac Inov-8 who killed it in 10hrs!).

I REALLY hope that I'm wrong, but I don't think that they are going to make it - they've got 9 hours to finish the bike, paddle Lake Rotarua and then trek through the hills. I think they need 15 hours from where they are now.

Still, never underestimate the power that Sabs has in motivating people. When she gets the bit between her teeth it's been known to double a team's speed!
Apr 4, 2016 10:19 AM # 
Is the cut off not 7am Wednesday? So that would give 30 odd hours to leave TA5 including another dark zone, or have I got that wrong?
Apr 4, 2016 10:23 AM # 
The short course cut off is Wednesday at 7am. Local time.
Apr 4, 2016 10:35 AM # 
You are of course completely right, the cutoff is 7am on Weds, not 7am on Tues. Ooops. So they've got 30 hours to make it on to the river. Yay, I said that I hoped I was wrong!

Sooooo.... From where they are now, it's maybe another hour to TA4. Half an hour to transition. Lets say 15 hrs to do Stage 5, assuming they're not going to be quite as quick as the top 10. That's 16.5 hours. The time now is 2230 NZT on Monday night. That would put them into TA5 at 1500 on Tuesday. That should be easily enough to get them on the water ahead of the dark zone at 1845, and they'll get a reasonable way down the river before they will have to camp for the night, which will entail an 11.5hr stop for them.

keep going guys!
Apr 4, 2016 1:43 PM # 
Yeah, I think they are actually in a good place. I guess the interesting question for Endurancelife becomes this: if they can only paddle for a couple of hours (if that?) does it make more sense to shack up in the TA for the night and then get on the water Wednesday AM. If they think they will get a much better/comfortable night of sleep and rest in the TA, it might be wise to do that rather than hit the water, get dunked and soaked and then sleep the night on the rocky shores of the river...

Also: looks like Yealands is finally sleeping. Seems they have banked at least two hours and are still resting. And they still seem to have a nice gap on Swordfox. They seem to have stopped short of the hut at the final CP on the trek, which I don't fully get, but assuming they have a nice spot for a sleep. I think this might be the race. Seemed like this was the big question since Swordfox had slept and Yealands hadn't. If they are willing to risk another hour or so, they'll wake up with a good 3-4 hour rest and then be able to knock off the rest of the trek and head into the final two legs ahead of Swordfox and rested. Pressure now shifts to SFas they will still be operating from behind but presumably without recent sleep. Will be tough to run Yealands down, I think.
Apr 4, 2016 2:32 PM # 
Swordfox were in TA6 for nearly 3hrs so assuming they had a nap. They have had a 1hr and a 2.5hr sleeps already on the red hills and before the Rotoroa paddle. Twitter said it saw Yealands pull in to CP23. No doubt they will still have a lead after their rest and a gap off the trek. 140km is a long bike though..

I wonder just how much sleep is going on at TA5, quite the gang forming there!

Team (19) may have the right idea, kipping by the bridge and get a clean start ahead of the mob at dawn
Apr 4, 2016 2:37 PM # 
I think it would be a nice advantage to get ahead on the river to avoid the traffic jam once the dark zone lifts. They may not know at the time that there is quite a pack following them however.
Apr 4, 2016 2:47 PM # 
Just about assure you that most teams now at TA5 will be moving to the river's edge by the time the dark zone ends. It'll not be a Le Mans restart, rather a bumper boats restart. Aside from this, I agree that resting away from the TA should be a better choice. I'm curious to see how the river safety crew handles the crush of boats in those tight rapids...might need to require teams to wait as those ahead get clear especially if there are swimmers.
Apr 4, 2016 4:23 PM # 
Good GOD Team Cameltoes (38) what the hell???!!

Meanwhile, gap closed considerable between top 2.
Apr 4, 2016 4:25 PM # 
Looks like the gap between Yealands and Swordfox is about an hour now. Race on if Swordfox can push through on their current levels of sleep!
Apr 4, 2016 4:32 PM # 
Team Cameltoes have been in the area within 5km of CP10 for over 36 hours now... I think they're sleeping at the Mid Wairoa Hut now and will surely head back to TA2 along that track in the morning!?
Apr 4, 2016 4:40 PM # 
In case anyone missed this on FB 9 hours ago, here are some great observations from Nathan Fa'avae, posting info from his travels around the course. It also includes one of the greatest understatements of all time: "I hope the teams racing could enjoy those moments as much as I could, as a non-racer. (For the record, I have done Godzone myself, as a racer.)"

GODZone : news from the course.
I’ve just spent April 3rd & 4th zooming between TA3 and TA7, a mixture of traffic management, dropping loos and water, media, river safety, and chatting with teams, even managed a 4-hour sleep.
Here’s a few random comments for those eager to glean information.
I spent some time chatting with teams between CP12 at Beeby’s Hut and TA3, I wandered along for a while seeing how they were. As a general statement, the majority of people were rather wrecked, and mildly broken, some physically, some mentally, some both.
I had to say to a few, “Cheer up, you’re nearly at the TA!”
I know that the conditions were tough, the Red Hills is no urban 5km fun run, it’s extremely rugged and the weather made something significantly challenging into a major mission for some.

Common comments along the lines of “very hard, very cold, very windy, very difficult navigation, very etc…”

Yealands Family Wines were certainly chipper and happy when they dropped off the tops, but also many less hours on feet than most.
I spoke to Stu and Swordfox briefly at TA3, they were jaded, as expected, but focused and smiling. I heard they had some minor medical treatment needed?
Seagate were the other team that appeared and reported to being happy, but looking forward to the end of the stage all the same.

I missed Torpedo7, Neurophysics and Bivouac inov-8.
Next Generation looked a bit beaten and tired, except Emily who was bouncing about.

Team Motueka were moving slowly as Brent had knee issues but in good spirits.
AMK not impressed trail from Red Hills to Beeby’s Hut was not marked on the map, they felt it was a big disadvantage not knowing about the trail. I do concur, the trail should have been added to the map. I'm not sure it made a lot of difference though, perhaps the analysis gurus can comment on that.
Old & Slow felt like they were old & slow but I said I thought they were old & going really well.

As general observations, I think a lot of teams, including a few mentioned, pushed to hard from the start and burnt out, made errors and poor decisions as a result. They got to caught up in the ‘race’ and perhaps to locked into the fastest stage time predictions, the fastest stage times are designed with 1 or 2 teams in mind, yet it seems there are 10-teams (or 20) who are expecting to complete stages in those times. Not a good recipe.

Going back to the start, I saw most teams midway through the opening sea kayak stage and was surprised how hard some teams were going, you could have been mistaken that Godzone was a kayak race to Rabbit Island. Classic adventure racing where teams scrap for seconds and minutes on the first day, only to throw away hours on the first night.

Added to that, I was, and still are surprised how aggressive some of the route choice options teams were taking, as a pattern, I’d say the teams who have been opting for the conservative lines are being rewarded. Certainly the high horse-power teams have the strength to take the hard lines, I guess it’s about choosing lines best for the team, and the condition of the team.

I saw Richie Mccaw’s team who’d taken a route choice off the Red Hills to the Wairau Valley that they’ll look back on with regret I suspect, but they were in good spirits and Richie looked strong and alert. The navigation is what is holding them back, or challenging them the most, I’d say with good navigation they’d be at least 12-hours ahead of where they currently are, but I guess you could apply that to many teams.

Given St Arnaud village was en route and around a time most teams could have benefited from quality rest, I was surprised to not see tracking jerseys parked up at lodges and motels. I’ve stayed in motels a few times in races when we’ve passed through a town and it’s golden recovery.
During daytime opening hours, the store pie warmer has been in over drive.
I followed Yealands with a Media crew over the Porika Track to Lake Rotoroa, I have to admit it was awesome fun driving the Hilux through there! and then we paddled on the lake with them for a short distance, it was a magic windless evening and it was sensational out there. I hope the teams racing could enjoy those moments as much as I could, as a non racer (for the record, I have done Godzone myself, as a racer)

Early this morning I did Breakfast TV with George Berry then headed up to Horse Terrace Bridge, which sits above a grade 3 canyon, which contains a series of drops. It’s a pushy rapid and not easy in canoes by any stretch.

The NZ Kayak School and Godzone Water Safety team were there in numbers, a ratio of 2-safety staff per athlete as Yealands approached, the probes.

Dan and Chris nearly made it through but Chris was sucked off into the white room. Dan Moore broke the handle off his paddle and their dry bag was ripped from the boat, strapping torn. Dan Busch and Sia capsized higher up and had a long swim, their bag also ripped from the kayak and stuck in an eddy. It was a yard sale and took the team at least 15, maybe 20-minutes to regroup and get paddling again. They were happy. Bushy though it was great fun, they were cold though.

I paddled with them in the middle gorge getting media shots and they were fine, waves of sleepy-ness. They’d only had 2-hours sleep on the 2nd night which they reported as fairly rubbish as it was so cold. Fun times. Chris also reported that their route to Mole Tops had a lot of wind or avalanche debris, they had to climb over or go around large areas of wind throw and tree fall.

Dan Busch and Sia lost another 15-minutes or so in the Earthquake Rapids when they wrapped their canoe, the river rescue team helping them recover. The team exited the river stage joking about their adventure. Bushy enjoyed that experience too.

I didn’t see Swordfox at Horse Terrace but heard they capsized also, but were all fine and moved through quickly enough, a slight delay apparently when Naomi was caught in a recirculating eddie with a lot of their equipment, but the river rescue guys said she handled it really well, swirling around and gathering belongings.
They’re clearly moving well and keeping in contact with Yealands.

Yealands will likely stop for a 3-4 hour sleep, they’re aiming for Granity Pass Hut. They were keen to get over the summit of Mount Owen before dark. I felt they were at a critical point, if they don’t get some decent rest tonight, they could start to creep and lose efficiency, for now, they are focused, motivated and enjoying the race, they just need to get some recovery to fuel them for the final bike and paddle.
Both teams will likely know they’re the only ones to clear the river dark zone, so provided they stay sensible and look after each other, they’ll get either 1st or 2nd. Not a bad position to be in.

Mount Owen at night in limited visibility is a labyrinth - with orcs in the area - and that’s what both teams will likely have so it’ll be game on for the navigators again.
Apr 4, 2016 4:51 PM # 
Team AMK is the first to make the post-sleep move down to the river put-in from TA5. Hoping to stake out a sweet spot launch ahead of others, I'm sure.
Apr 4, 2016 4:59 PM # 
Go AMK! Btw if you haven't been to their FB page, you've missed some sweet photos by Aaron.
Apr 4, 2016 5:07 PM # 
Fair points on sleep on or off the river. And yep, it will be interesting to see how the restart goes!

Looks like Yealands slept for close to four hours. Mistake letting Swordfox that close? Or a great tease? I'm betting on Yealands to open up a larger gap again over the course of the next day. They steadily did that over the first half of the race, and I think with sleep and Chris Forne on the maps, they'll do so again. Maybe not the five hours they built before sleeping, but that's my guess.

I was thinking about the old team Seagate in this context. Stuart Lynch obviously was a big part of that too, but Chris brings the same experience and philosophy and I wonder how much of their success was also built around him as nav (obviously his nav is incredible, but I'm referring to the overall strategy and timing). People always talked about how they always seemed to time sleep well and TAs and timing with dark zones and the like. Not to say Nathan didn't have a lot to do with that strategy and success, but I feel like the talk often revolved around him and even Stuart, more so than the others. But I'm wondering, watching Yealands, if Chris maybe had more to do with that sort of stuff than public opinion suggested. They're racing this much like Seagate used to. Started smart and "slow" and moved up over the first day. Then steadily built that lead. Hit the dark zone perfectly. Kept building. Then stopped for a sleep, giving up much of the lead. If it plays out along SG lines, they'll now build it again and win without having to sprint for it. Not saying they are the new Seagate, but it feels familiar. And maybe the reality is they and Swordfox both are racing at that level considering how they've gapped the chase pack.
Apr 4, 2016 6:04 PM # 
Or he developed his craft to elite level and learned the other skills without the accountability. Now the Nav is his go to place and he is expressing what he has learned. Sia is probably an apt stand in for Sophie who happens to be doing a pretty good job herself. And the team captain shares or carries the strategy. I'd say just being part of that Seagate team raised your game in every facet of AR.
Apr 4, 2016 6:07 PM # 
Barely a km between Yealand and Swordfox. And as Yealand descend a couple of hundred metres in front of them, alas in sight!!
Apr 4, 2016 6:55 PM # 
At the back, Cameltoes (38) might be in trouble. 46 hours since they left last transition TA2 (at 08.00 NZT on 3 Apr 2016). Only moved 500m in half an hour although in valley on track(?).
Apr 4, 2016 7:25 PM # 
I suspect the Cameltoes are heading back to TA2.
Apr 4, 2016 7:30 PM # 
Imagine how this would have panned out in the days before teams had trackers? You think the RD would have been getting nervous about Team Cameltoes by now? ;) No news for 46h... Applies to a few other teams that are still on their way to TA3 as well.
Apr 4, 2016 8:17 PM # 
At 0800 it looks like teams are on the bridge over the Matakitaki River and the nearby road scouting the big rapid where others have wiped out. Looks like AMK was the first to push on through among those that put-in to start the paddle at the end of the dark zone.
Apr 4, 2016 11:26 PM # 
New update on Godzone website with news about team changes. Also, it gives some info about Cameltoes, who is indeed heading back to TA2, where they will be picked up and brought forward on the course.
Apr 5, 2016 5:26 AM # 
Looks like Yealands have extended their lead to 2h45m, nearing the end of the bike leg. And that's not due to Swordfox taking any sleep as far as I can see.
Apr 5, 2016 7:24 AM # 
Swordfox hasn't moved for 1h30m now, guessing they're getting some sleep before finishing off the last of the course.

Someone must've told them Yealands were getting further away, and they'll know there's a bit of daylight behind them
Apr 5, 2016 9:06 AM # 
Yealands have romped away now, opening a huge gap of about 4 hours.
Swordfox look to have taken longer in TA8, but I think that Yealands are just moving quicker. They're now on the final paddle, and should be finished in about 3 hours from now, i.e. maybe midnight NZT.
Absolute domination.
Apr 5, 2016 9:32 AM # 
Looks like Torpedo7 is having some difficulty finding the route down to TA8. Could give Bivouac Inov-8 and NeuroPhysics a sniff to catch up.
Apr 5, 2016 11:51 AM # 
That's it - Yealands Family Wines have won GODZone! Before Swordfox even started the final paddle... absolute domination indeed.
Apr 5, 2016 12:16 PM # 
Yealands with a clean victory for sure, but possibly not the most exciting story out there.

I'm looking at the battle going on for top 5 or 10 positions. Ridiculous density of teams fighting it out there, how crazy is New Zealand's adventure racing talent pool!? Some good teams in there and then the usual assortment of unheard of Kiwi teams who wouldn't be out of place in the world series.
Apr 5, 2016 2:08 PM # 
So, Yealands finished in 3 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes.

If you go look at the projected fast times by Godzone, they predicted the cumulative fast time would be: 3 days, 13 hours, 15 minutes (didn't check my quick math, but that's what I ended up with)

I don’t know if they consider TA times in those numbers, but still, pretty amazing handle on the course for the RDs!!!

And considering some of 2015's issues across the globe with bad time estimates, this should really be held up as a model for all RDs (not that we don't already know how good GZ is). Really impressive course design!
Apr 5, 2016 3:02 PM # 
Nathan probably gave the predictions based on what he know Chris could do..

Unreal stuff from Yealands. I reckon Swordfox pushed to teh very limit to try and catch them while Yealands had a fun last paddle.

Still, Swordfox are one to watch in Australia
Apr 5, 2016 4:16 PM # 
Actually think with TA times included predicted fast time was 3d 20h 15m so both Yealands and Swordfox will be well ahead of that. Particularly impressive for Yealands as they were consistently ahead of predictions other than Stage 5 where they took a longer sleep.
Apr 5, 2016 5:36 PM # 
AMK is moved up to "5th" in the beginning of "the long bike" aka Stage 9 Bike. With 4th (Next Generation) within striking distance! Bivy Colts is nearby too, in 6th, although their tracker hasn't updated for 30min (so they may be more in the mix than shown). AMK loves their bikes and their broken pedal from earlier in the race was replaced by the retired Bones-Primal Quest team. So hopefully no more mechanicals and they can finish strong.

3rd place Torpedo7 looks pretty much out of reach for these teams but it will be a battle! Dicing to the end!
Apr 5, 2016 5:44 PM # 
I'm not 100% sure that 3rd place is a lock just yet for Torpedo7. My money is on there being quite a bid by AMK for it. I'm guessing AMK is pretty hungry for a podium spot after their frustration on the Red Hills trek. We'll see...
Apr 5, 2016 6:02 PM # 
Yeah at the moment the gap might be only a couple hours. They should be motoring on the first 80km of the ride as lots of pavement and slight downhill.
Apr 5, 2016 6:06 PM # 
Finally caught up on the coverage after being gone all weekend at AR camp with my son and spotty data service on my phone.

Looks like AMK is making a hard run at Next Generation and 4th place, but Torpedo 7 is a good 3-4 hrs ahead in 3rd place and will be tough to catch with a little more than half a day to go, but hopefully they can make it close. May come down to how much rest teams have had and whether they can push through to the end.
Apr 5, 2016 6:20 PM # 
Anyone know how much Torpedo has slept and when? Wonder the same for AMK.

I agree that AMK is hungry and clearly making a big move. I think they have a chance if Torpedo isn't rested and if AMK is. That big climb coming up could potentially allow them to close it if Torpedo struggles with pace. AMK is good on the water, but I don't know that they are Kiwi good assuming Torpedo is the stereotype. Figure AMK needs to cut that lead down to 30 minutes or so before the water to have a chance if they can't close the gap entirely on the bike. Even then, tough to make up that much time on the water.

In the meantime, it should be fun to watch AMK and Next Generation jostle for fourth!
Apr 5, 2016 6:27 PM # 
Yep battle for 4th is interesting.

6th to 10th also a good battle.

Cure Kids still trucking along and a top 20 finish for Ritchie and his gang would be a good result.

Looks like 5 more teams won't make it to the short course cut off at TA5.

Insane that the bulk of teams are half way to 2/3rd done in a 530km race and 2 teams are already showered, fed and feet up.
Apr 5, 2016 7:13 PM # 
AMK is currently (0700 NZT) only 10 min back of Next Gen and at least 15 ahead of Bivy. With these horses all racing each other and clearly knowing it, they could catch up Torpedo by the end of this stage. Will make for a wild paddle to the finish this afternoon!
Apr 5, 2016 7:17 PM # 
Also at 0700, Torpedo only has a 2+ hour lead. They we're only minutes ahead of the current location of Next Gen at 0500.
Apr 5, 2016 7:32 PM # 
looking ahead to the final Stage 10 for the teams battling ofr 3rd

race estimated fast time = 4:45
Yealands = 4:48 in the dark
Swordfox = 5:34 in the dark

"There are four CP’s to collect along the way, placed to allow the teams to experience the stunning sandy beaches, coves and islands that make up this area. At night this will be a tricky affair and teams will have to consider the large tidal range. Teams may be able to paddle right to the CP and take a direct line. At other times the tide will be a long way out and teams will have to tramp over the white sand that characterises the area – just make sure you tie up your boat before hand."
Apr 5, 2016 7:48 PM # 
No doubt about it now. AMK will move into 4th very soon.. and they are just 2hrs behind Torpedo
Apr 5, 2016 7:53 PM # 
I don't know. Fingers crossed, but it seems that Torpedo did well on that climb. I was hoping they might be a bit slower, allowing the chase teams to close it up more before they reached the CP. If I remember correctly from watching Yealands up there, it seemed that they moved well once up near the CP. I think AMK really has to hammer to knock off at least an hour to give themselves a chance on the water.....

And as I write this, the dots update, and AMK is closer to NG. But still 2+ hours behind Torpedo.
Apr 5, 2016 8:03 PM # 
Bivouac not far behind AMK either..
Apr 5, 2016 8:21 PM # 
Ooh that was an interesting update
AMK now in 4th but Bivouac are moving! Seagate in 10th but will they hold on to that over the long bike?
Apr 5, 2016 8:42 PM # 
Seagate seems to hold their own most of the time on the biking and trekking sections. That said, they had the 21st and 31st splits on Leg 1 and Leg 6, the two full/mostly full paddle legs. I think they'll do alright on the bike, but I wonder how the final paddle will go. I don't think they'll be able to make up any further ground on the paddle if those splits are indication of their overall paddle speed, but they might give some up there. So, they need to bank as much time as possible and make up as much time to hold tenth or move up!

Seems like Torpedo keeps holding that lead on the three chase teams:(
But yeah, Bivouac is not going quietly!
Apr 5, 2016 9:06 PM # 
Apr 5, 2016 9:22 PM # 
Torpedo now about 500m in front of AMK at the 0915 update, local time. Bivy only about 2-3k back from AMK.

dot watching at its finest.

they're maybe about 2/3 of the way through this big bike leg??
Apr 5, 2016 9:35 PM # 
silky - I think you meant Next Gen not Torpedo. eh?
Apr 5, 2016 9:37 PM # 
Together at 9:30! Maybe working together to move ahead and keep Bivouac behind.
Apr 5, 2016 10:25 PM # 
Poor time for the trackers to stop updating.
Apr 5, 2016 10:55 PM # 
Trackers love to mess with us.
Apr 5, 2016 11:08 PM # 
Looks like AMK has broken through and now Bivy and NextGen are riding shoulder to shoulder. They'll all be at the transition to kayaks together barring any issues with bikes or bodies. Full-on city street-racing coming up down in Takaka. Hope there's someone down there to shoot some video of that.
Apr 5, 2016 11:20 PM # 
Torpedo7 is arriving at TA9. I wonder if they will have any idea what's happening behind them.
Apr 5, 2016 11:26 PM # 
AMK is currently about 1 hr 40 min behind Torpedo7.
Apr 5, 2016 11:38 PM # 
They will certainly hear updates from the TA staff or spectators, even if they don't seek out updates. Fun stuff! Even better for the sport that it's happening in daylight!!
Apr 5, 2016 11:59 PM # 
They barely stopped at the TA before leaping into their kayaks. I think they know!
Apr 6, 2016 1:38 AM # 
The chase pack is on the water! Adventure Medical Kits is now 1 hr 25 mins behind Torpedo7. Barring a disaster for Torpedo7, there's not enough race course left for AMK to get on the podium but they sure have fought for it! They're about 1 km ahead of Bivouac and it's another 2 km back to Next Gen so the battle for 4th remains interesting.
Apr 6, 2016 1:47 AM # 
It's a nail-biter!
Apr 6, 2016 1:51 AM # 
Meanwhile, GD44 and Endurancelife remain on the full course in 35th place on the Stage 7 bike.

Yogaslackers are the 2nd Murkin team, currently in 18th place near the end of the Stage 8 trek.

Seagate is in 14th on the Stage 9 bike.
Apr 6, 2016 1:51 AM # 
Cure Kids are in 20th on the Stage 8 trek.
Apr 6, 2016 2:03 AM # 
Make that 10th for Seagate. I was just looking at the leaderboard but counting the dots, they have moved up in this stage!
Apr 6, 2016 2:19 AM # 
Torpedo7 is about 1.5 hrs from the finish. AMK is a little less than 1.5 hrs behind them in 4th. What an impressive charge!
Apr 6, 2016 2:42 AM # 
Nice photo of Endurancelife. Facebook says some of them are coping with flu and one has no voice.
Apr 6, 2016 2:44 AM # 
A great photo of AMK and cheering schoolchildren during the bike race!
Apr 6, 2016 8:13 AM # 
7 in so far
1 Yealands
2 Swordfox
3 Torpedo
5 Bivouac (just 3 minutes behind AMK!)
6 Next Gen
7 Neurophysics
8 Looks like it will be Motueka
9 Old and slow should hang on
10 Nail biter between Seagate and Sneaky Weasal Gang (neck & neck at CP28)
Apr 6, 2016 9:27 AM # 
I'm sure its closer between Sneaky Weasal Gang and Seagate but the tracker is 30 mins out of sync. A chance they may reel in Old n Slow also and both grab top 10s
Apr 6, 2016 9:57 AM # 
And it is synced up. Old n Slow in 9th with maybe 5km to paddle, maybe 12 minutes back to Sneaky Weasal Gang and 5 minutes back to Seagate

Meanwhile Cure Kids in 21st are chewing up the road on the bike and could pick up a few more places before the paddle
Apr 6, 2016 1:44 PM # 
Yup, Seagate finished in 11th. Sophie said she had so much fun, she'll find it hard to race with guys again!

Great job, Adventure Medical Kits! Epic battle on the final day. You made North American AR fans proud.
Apr 6, 2016 5:30 PM # 
Yay Seagate! And AMK of course.
Apr 6, 2016 7:09 PM # 
What's going on with Knapps Lawyers? Straight out into the open ocean is either a tracker glitch or a sign of massive sleep-monsters.
Apr 6, 2016 9:29 PM # 
They decided to come back, fortunately.

It looks like the Stromlonauts attempted a shortcut through the mountain range from CP25 to TA9. Five hours after leaving CP25, they appear to be heading back to it.
Apr 6, 2016 9:32 PM # 
Cure Kids have completed about one third of the final paddle. They're expected to arrive around midday, which couldn't be more perfect for spectators and media.
Apr 7, 2016 5:11 PM # 
The final paddle section was dark zoned due to high winds. GD44 and Endurancelife are waiting at TA9 with other teams, hoping to start at 6:15.
Apr 7, 2016 8:15 PM # 
Meanwhile, back on the bike stage, team Cameltoes appears to wandering a tad off course and Morrison Cars has decided to follow.
Apr 7, 2016 9:02 PM # 
Glad to see Cameltoes and Morrison Cars making their way back to the correct track.
Apr 8, 2016 3:15 AM # 
Endurancelife finished the full course in 33rd place!

Btw Yogaslackers were 18th. Jason fell asleep while trekking because his hip was too sore when he tried to sleep lying down. Yikes.

Cure Kids finished 20th, which is good for the charity and good for the sport!
Apr 8, 2016 9:50 AM # 
I spoke to GD44 this morning after he finished. Top quote of the conversation: "We just f--ked up Stage 3 completely!"

Sounds like they had fun though, and the other Endurancelife team (14) finished shortly after them.
Apr 8, 2016 2:22 PM # 
Great! Hope he posts their report here.
Apr 9, 2016 2:35 AM # 
Hi GD44! Great work out there and thanks for sharing the first part of your race experience. Looking forward to more! But first, eat another 5,000 calories. :)
Apr 9, 2016 2:14 PM # 
Everyone is finished. The winners, Yealands Family Wines, took 3 days, 12 hrs 44 mins. The final full course team, the Muppets, took 6 days 11 hrs 42 mins.

I'm impressed that 42 teams finished the full Pure course. Only 16 teams were Short Coursed, Unranked or Retired, which is great for a race of that distance and difficulty. It's a toss-up whether the GEEKS or Cameltoes had more "adventure" but they both did some exploring and took almost 7 days to cross the finish line unranked.

From a distance, the event looks to have been extremely well organized. They appear to have tried hard to give teams the opportunity to experience the full course. I can't remember seeing better coverage of any exped race although I didn't really watch GODZone last year! I'm sure it didn't hurt having one of New Zealand's most famous athletes in the event.
Apr 9, 2016 7:31 PM # 
I will vote for Cameltoe having more adventure. They flipped twice on the last paddle. James and Lea spent an hour in the water crashing against the rocks. Team captain Steve Lock and Polly had to paddle around the point scramble back and rope them in to get out of the water. They spent the night on the beach around a fire.
Apr 10, 2016 1:02 PM # 
Hey GD44 thanks for the report of that stage. Sounds horrendous from a nav, effort and team work POV. Kudos for getting through it and finishing the full course together! I was very glad to see your dot back on track and we were willing you guys to make the cut off. Your tracker was not syncing as often as others though so it was nervy at times waiting to see where ye were!

We had a similar situation last year in a fog, demagnetised compass, up high, team tension and getting cold. Priority #1 was teamwork and leadership. We had similar takeaways as your lessons 1 2 and 3. To add to 1, night nav may be half the speed and halve it again in mist or fog! Bearings are everything.

On 3 If the team Nav is wrecked and not just from nav'ing out of hell but shouldering the team expectations, the backup nav steps in. If backup nav is also wrecked, the team sleep! Did ye have roles and responsibilities defined in the plan? Was Sabs eager to nav previously? I totally agree it's not a place to "have a go" at nav when Nav is so crucial. Perhaps it was less about the personalities in a crisis and more about the plan? If ye had bunkered down for a sleep earlier when it started to go pear shaped do you think there would have been that dissent? Was it agreed that Sabs would act as decision maker on key stages?

Also interesting that it was generally kiwi teams that took Chris Fornes gravel motorway route and as Nathan reported it should have been marked on the map. Swordfox took the direct vs Yealands route and they were similar leg durations. How much of an advantaged was there thought to be from teams there?
Apr 11, 2016 4:29 AM # 
Lambo Shih Tzu:
We will be back in 2017! Currently searching for Kiwi wife.
Apr 11, 2016 8:49 AM # 
Thanks again for the reports GD44

"They cheated as not all off their team went to the CP. They left their 2 weaker members approx 1 km away whilst the stronger 2 did the out and back. We were not happy!"

I caught that it was a passport punch rather than a dibber for each team member. While I totally get your annoyance and I'd have let rip at them, what can you do if the CPs are not manned? Teams who take short cuts should be penalised, end of.

Last year at the Euro Champs Nick Gracie asked about an offset crossroad on one of the bike legs. The RD said it was off limits. We rocked up to that very crossroad behind 2 other international temas and watched them skip 100m down the road and disappear across it. We took the 4km detour to avoid the penalty. Happy to see those teams docked in the results despite their protests.

Is the passport the standard for ARWS? What was used in ITERA Wales?
Apr 11, 2016 9:49 AM # 
It's a bit of a mixture, with some ARWS events using SportIdent electronic punching, and some using punch cards still. Itera Wales used the SI system (James owns a full set of SI kit and uses it for all Open Adventure events) so I'm sure that Itera Ireland will do the same. Think Raid in France also uses SI. ARWC Costa Rica used punch passports, think Brazil did too. Not sure about the rest.
Apr 12, 2016 1:20 AM # 
Mr Wonderful:
While teams continue to park members hundreds of meters from cps with shocking regularity, be sure not to wear a gps watch in logging mode with time displayed because you might cheat.
Apr 13, 2016 2:00 PM # 
Mr Wonderful - ???

shotgunmcos - it was acknowledged that local knowledge did provide an advantage in this race. For example, locals would have known that there was a good track between Red Hills Hut and Beebys Hut even though none was shown on the map. Adventure Medical Kits weren't too happy about this either.

Local knowledge also helps with knowing what kinds of vegetation are likely to be encountered on different areas e.g. beech plantations are easier to get through than others.
Apr 13, 2016 2:47 PM # 
if you're not going to put the trail on the map to equal the playing field then you need to add a control in a location which takes the road out of play. Seems out of character for an organization with such a good reputation.
Apr 13, 2016 4:09 PM # 
I saw somewhere else that an organizer (maybe Nathan?) acknowledged it as an error.
Apr 13, 2016 4:11 PM # 
GD44, Mr. W is being sarcastic about a controversial rule in some ARs.
Apr 13, 2016 5:39 PM # 
FYI Not all the local teams new about the new track, and some that did still used other routes. I the grand scheme of things its a non issue.
Apr 14, 2016 12:11 AM # 
Lambo Shih Tzu:
The unmapped track from Red Hills Hut to Beeby's Ridge was a major issue for some (maybe 16 teams). I have been meaning to dig into the tracking data to see what the scoop is so thanks to Randy for getting me going.

This leg was set up to be the crux route choice decision of the race w/i the crux stage of the race. The unmapped trail in my opinion was very poor and hopefully something we won't see again from GODZone. When confronted with the issue, the RD Warren said that if he mapped that trail he would have to map all the trails. But that simply isn't the case as jumbled up logging roads and animal tracks are not the same as a major DOC trail. The fact is the route choice game would have been lost if the trail was on the map. 90% or more would have gone with the SE route and utilized the trail.

Looks like Yealands and Swordfox travelled between CP 11 and 12 each in 7 hours,and both took the 2 major routes. Yealands going SE route and utalizing the trail. Swordfox took the NW route.

After looking at split times for the rest of the top 10 teams, it appears the 2 routes are about equal in time IF the teams taking the NW route had a clean bush bash up to Beeby's.

We didn't and had some nasty cliffs to traverse along. We were with Bivouac just before starting the off trail travel to the top of the ridge and lost 1.5 hours to them.

So the nonmapped trail affected these 3 groups of sorry teams:
1) AMK (us) or anyone else that took the NW route and didn't have a clean off trail trek up to the ridge.
2) the 9 teams that passed the unmapped trail, dropped 1771 feet that they had to re-climb and added an extra 7 KM. (Going to TA 3 before CP 12)
3) the teams that paralleled the unmapped trail as they bush bashed along side of it.

Order at 11 CP 11 order at 12 CP12 time
Yealands 1 0500 1 1200 Trail 7:00
Swordfox 2 0630 2 1330 no trail 7:00
T7 8 1045 5 1745 Trail 7:00
Old Slow 8 1045 7 1830 Trail 7:45
Next Gen 5 0915 5 1745 Trail 8:30
NeuroPhysics 3 0845 3 1719 no trail 8:35
Bivi 3 0845 4 1731 no trail 8:45
Motu 5 0915 7 1830 Trail 9:15
Seagate 11 1045 10 2000 Trail 9:15
Cloud Base Nine 11 1045 10 2000 Trail 9:15
Gary Anderson 13 1130 12 2045 Trail 9:15
AMK 5 0915 9 1900 no trail 9:45
Sneaky Weasel 10 1215 13 2331 SAD 11:15

15 teams took trail
7 teams took TA route
6 took SE route but not trail
11 teams took NW route

PS Nathan was not an organizer or course designer but rather a consultant on the course design to Warren.

All this being said, if this was the worst thing we have seen from race organizers in the past couple years we would be doing A OK. Looking forward to another crack at GODZone in 2017.

On another note... I think I might have a record for the most hours spent in a dark zone in the past 5 years. ARWC2011 (3?-6:30 +7:30PM-6:30AM 14.5hours), ARWC2012 (2000-0645 10 3/4 hours), ARWC2013 (Near max (more than any other team on night 1 of DZ)), ARWC 2014 (Max hours plus discharge sleep. According to Rob Howard the longest darkzone period ever), ARWC2015 (not really a DZ, but we waited around for an airplane for 24 hours), GZ2016 (1800-6:15 12 1/4 hours).
Apr 14, 2016 2:22 AM # 
At least you are well rested.
Apr 14, 2016 4:08 AM # 
Nathan was not an organizer or course designer but rather a consultant on the course design to Warren.

Thanks for clarifying, Kyle. I couldn't remember what his role was. Looking back, he was the one who made the comment I read.

"AMK not impressed trail from Red Hills to Beeby’s Hut was not marked on the map, they felt it was a big disadvantage not knowing about the trail. I do concur, the trail should have been added to the map. I'm not sure it made a lot of difference though, perhaps the analysis gurus can comment on that."
Apr 26, 2016 10:15 AM # 
Team Endurancelife had two teams in the GODZone race. Here are their videos:

#41 (Gary, Ben, Sabs, Kev): (12 mins)
#14 (Phil, Ian, Kris, Jackie): (26 mins)


Any videos from other teams out there?
Apr 26, 2016 9:30 PM # 
Thanks GD44 nice work really enjoyed those. Looks epic and kudos for completing the whole course to both teams
Got me through this first half of my turbo :-) less than half to go now...
Apr 27, 2016 12:55 PM # 
Fantastic summary of your race!
Apr 27, 2016 7:48 PM # 
Thanks guys.
Apr 28, 2016 5:09 PM # 
Lambo Shih Tzu:
Mari wrote Team Adventure Medical Kits RR...
Apr 28, 2016 7:11 PM # 
Kyle - great write up by Mari

Pedal - bad luck! Happened to me once but only in a 2 day race.

The last 3 stages must have been an adrenalin rush due to the close racing!
May 6, 2016 11:51 AM # 
Good report from Sophie Hart and the girlie Seagate team. Really good read actually and love how straight it is.
May 6, 2016 1:08 PM # 
Great report by Sophie Hart which brought back a lot of memories. My opinion of the stages are very much like hers.

This quote made me chuckle as we did the same: "Stage 6+ -Murchison tea rooms.
2 pies, 4 coffees, 1 sausage roll, 1 carrot cake, 1 quiche, 1 bag of chips. Oh Ye-ah."
May 10, 2016 4:18 AM # 
Great report from Mari AMK and Sophie. Thanks for allowing us to dream vicariously through your story telling!

Pedals- I ride crank bros pedals, and have for many years; love their good qualities (mud shedding, ease of IN OUT), however in the past l.5 yrs I've had two (three total)identical to mari's failures, one which crank bros replaced the pedal. I'm on my last straw and if it happens again, I'll be switching to shimanos, which I may do anyhow because my confidence has eroded in CB pedals and I don't want it to happen at the worst possible moment. I've been lucky so far.

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