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Discussion: 2018 GODZone Fiordland

in: Adventure Racing; General

May 30, 2017 1:30 AM # 
Seagate will be competing. So far only two team members have been announced: Nathan and his wife Jodie Fa'avae. Although it will be Jodie's first GODZone, she is an accomplished endurance athlete. Apparently, she had to talk Nathan into it!
Jun 1, 2017 5:50 AM # 
8 hours after entries opened today:

"GODZone is officially Sold Out and in record time. 90 (yes, ninety) teams are set for the Adventure Like No Other. That's the largest field ever in over 25 years of expedition racing here in New Zealand."
Jan 31, 2018 3:09 PM # 
Team list has been announced. They’ll be racing March 1-10.
Jan 31, 2018 5:45 PM # 
I found the team list to be a bit surprising. The kiwi field is LOADED. So many great racers scattered across many, many teams. Noted that Jim Cotter (Kiwi legend) is racing, not sure about his teammates, but that could be interesting. A couple of strong Aussie teams, and essentially two strong Yogaslacker teams. Not sure how strong Nathan's wife is, but they have some good teammates too, so they could be very competitive while I'm sure they aren't talking about looking to compete.

That said, I am surprised (and a bit bummed) that there isn't a stronger and deeper international field. There are some good, experienced racers, but I expected a few more of the elite teams to show up from say Europe. I know that some have argued that top teams stay away because they are up against the depth of the locals, but I thought more top teams would have made it down simply for how epic this event is going to be...
Jan 31, 2018 6:26 PM # 
If I had to guess, the time of year is the main reason more teams from the northern climates don't show up for this one.
Jan 31, 2018 6:28 PM # 
Still, not a single top team from Europe being interested in an epic experience like this is hard to comprehend. I wonder if being outside ARWS keeps top teams away, while middle-of-the-pack teams may have thought the time, difficulty and expense were too much.

The race sold out in 8 hours so registrations were only open from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. in Europe. Maybe some people didn't expect that and didn't click quickly enough?
Feb 1, 2018 1:54 AM # 
It's back to roots; Southern Traverse started this way in 89!

Undeniably an off-the-charts AR experience for anyone who can make it down.
Feb 1, 2018 11:47 PM # 
Its surprising that the $10000 for the fastest international team didn't tempt any of the major teams to come. The prospect of at least being able to pay for the entry and some transport should have been appealing + prize could be increased if they had placed overall too.

Edit - just realized the prize is actually only $6k for the first international team so that throws that idea. Not surprising this didn't tempt anyone then as it doesn't even cover entry!
Feb 20, 2018 6:17 AM # 
From today's press release:

New Zealand’s iconic GODZone adventure race will get underway in Te Anau next week on Thursday, 1st March 2018.

The organisers have confirmed today that the ten-day expedition race will start right in the heart of Te Anau’s central downtown area creating an exciting spectacle for locals and supporters to come and watch.

"All the action will take place in Te Anau’s town centre from 8 am with 400 competitors lining up under the GODZone archway in anticipation of their ten-day adventurous journey," says Event Director Warren Bates.

"The actual start line will be on the corner of Milford Crescent and the Town Centre main street and once the start gun goes off competitors will run right down the street to the Te Anau lakeside. It will be a hive of activity from 6 am as the teams arrive and get themselves sorted and say farewells to family and supporters."
Feb 22, 2018 3:51 AM # 

The race schematic is out on facebook at least.

2 monster packraft/trek legs, both well over 100km. RDs are saying they expect some teams to be out on the latter of the two for THREE days.

Something tells me this is going to be a very, very entertaining race to follow. Not to mention, I think it might wreak havoc on a fair number of teams and racers.

I'll let someone more tech savvy than me post the schematic here:)
Feb 23, 2018 12:02 AM # 
Don't forget the 24km trek that could take 24 hours. Dot watchers could take a nap during that leg.
Feb 23, 2018 1:01 AM # 
Hmmm. The schematic seems to have disappeared from FB
Feb 23, 2018 3:06 AM # 
Is this it? I couldn't see it on FB either but it was still on Twitter.

Feb 23, 2018 8:28 AM # 
Oh man! I can't wait to follow this one :) I had the privilege of spending 4 weeks in Fiordland last December, so got to adventure in some of the areas this race is bound to go through... It's going to be a proper expedition race (survival for some) and I for one am very very jealous of the experience these teams are about to have!
Feb 23, 2018 3:22 PM # 
1 km/hr trekking pace, sounds like Patagonia-type trekking to me.
Feb 23, 2018 7:46 PM # 
Can someone explain the short course to me? I'm not seeing how it works.
Feb 23, 2018 9:51 PM # 
For the short course, I suspect if you are too slow at the end of leg 3 (second packraft) you'll be short coursed with a shorter MTB stage to TA7 followed by a shorter trek and kayak.

Just a guess but that would save at least a day of racing for the slower teams.
Feb 24, 2018 12:55 AM # 
Hmmm. I don't know. Logically, Greig, something like that makes sense.

That said...the labeling is odd.

At first, I assumed that the section below "Short course" was specific to the short course...but now I'm not so sure. The section below clearly says Stage "8", and the short course notation breaks up the pattern established prior, breaking up the Stage 7 description from the notes about the TA at the END of the stage. It's confusing (and I feel like this is rare of Godzone). Maybe it will make perfect sense with the course book.

For now, I'm wondering if it might be an error in formatting. Perhaps this explains why they took it off facebook after posting it. There were actually two more images attached to the original image (though I don't think they were relevant; one was the pursuit schematic, I THINK).

I'm thinking that maybe at TA7 if you miss a cutoff, you bike to the finish and skip the paddle and trek altogether. I'm assuming the finish is at the end of Stage 8, which does not indicate you'd use bikes. So, yeah, thinking a bike around to the finish.

THIS SAID...I added up the full course time estimates as listed (the "slow" times). Including their TA times, this adds up to 187+hours of racing. My understanding is the course is open for 10 full days. Leaves 48+hours of sleep. That's 5-6 hours a night at least...

So...all this leaves me feeling like something doesn't fully add up and that we don't have some piece of information.

And logically, I'd expect a re-route earlier in the race, associated with one of the more grueling sections. Stage 6 would make more sense: that's a ton of time for a short distance. Would make more sense to move back of the pack teams ahead there perhaps. Much more time to save...BUT, I'm also assuming there's a fair chance that only physical way to move ahead at that point is to crawl through the bush for 24 hours.

Not sure I have ever been as excited to start up the dots!
Feb 24, 2018 5:17 AM # 
broots: There is a little bit more info in the notes for the planner but it doesn't explain where/when the short course cutoffs are.

Some extra notes for you to ponder.

The above times, distances and elevations are estimates. The actual time taken and distance travelled (up, down and along) will depend, inter alia, on many factors – some of which are inside of your control (such as speed and navigational decisions) and some of which are not (such as weather, Dark Zones and river flows). The numbers are provided as a guide only. You should use the maps, weather forecast and review of your team’s ability to hone your own timings.

Of all Chapters of GODZone to date, Chapter 7 Fiordland, has the most scope to throw a spanner in the timing works.
The terrain, the weather, the length, the difficulty of the navigation on some stages, river flows, the weight of your pack, extra sleep requirements, etc, make it very difficult to be too accurate about overall timings. However, it is worth considering some of the bullet points laid out below:
• The “Fast Time” is not the expected time of the winning team in the race. It is the time we think a Fast Team could complete the stage if they do it well (all outside influences such as bad weather, darkness, fierce tail/headwind, low river flows, etc, excluded)
• The “Full Course Time” is roughly what you need to achieve to complete the Full Course with a small cushion. Teams should not hang their hats on these numbers. It is entirely likely that a team will lose time on one stage and gain on another
• The times are just ‘moving’ times. They do not include sleep, navigational howlers or lengthy transition breaks or Dark Zones
• Short course Cut Offs (outlined in the Team Handbook received at Race Registration) have been calcuated to include some time for transitions and sleep...but not a lot
• The transition times ARE something you should focus on. The fastest teams will pobably be quicker than these times but all teams should aim to be in and out of a TA as efficiently as possible. Many a team gets sucked into the relative comfort of a TA, mucking around whilst they have their toes pampered, kissing any chance of a Full Course finish goodbye in the process
• We’ve added some decent padding to our personal times for the mid to later stages as we know, even though we were ‘taking it relatively steadily’, you will be slower than we were. Oh and it might be raining....we are fair weather reccie people and only go out when the sun has got it’s hat on.
Feb 24, 2018 12:57 PM # 
Yes, I'm well aware of all these factors. I've never done Godzone, so I'm not sure how they usually present this bit of course info. From the expeditions I've done, I'd say that slow estimates usually come in pretty close to the full allotted time.

Additionally, I know from following GZ that they usually are pretty close to being dead on with fast estimates at least. Not sure how they have projected slow times in the past. If their approach is to project times with a big buffer on the back end, then that makes sense.

I completely would understand if the slow estimates for this particular event purposely come up short of ten days for the climate potential. Would make sense to me. It's just striking as it doesn't line up with how RDs usually project those times (I haven't looked for other examples, FYI, just what I remember offhand from experience). Often when bad weather or such ruins estimates it means the course gets adjusted or teams don't finish who are up against those time projections.

Anyway, all of it combined just affirms this will be an interesting race to follow!
Feb 26, 2018 1:59 PM # 
Could be extra interesting, given the weather they’ve been having in Fiordland lately.
Feb 27, 2018 4:16 AM # 
Article about Nathan Fa'avae, his wife Jodie and their new team Avaya.
Feb 27, 2018 11:26 PM # 
Teams were officially welcomed this morning by RD Warren Bates, the Mayor of Te Anau and others. The race starts tomorrow (for them), Thursday, March 1 at 8 a.m. That will be Wednesday 2 p.m. in the EST time zone, i.e. they're 18 hours ahead of us. There will be some double dot watching for those of us watching Maya Mountain!
Feb 28, 2018 12:28 AM # 
From Merrell re the race briefing:
Briefing and Registration, free Sandfly Coffee and a compulsory fall out of a boat for practise.

These events always like to strike fear in the competitors with exaggerated tales of the looming dangers and potential pitfalls, and much has already been made of the weather (236mm rain fell in 6 hours last week) and impenetrable terrain in Fiordland. Race Director Warren Bates had a captive audience at the Briefing this morning as he emphasized, with a twinkle in his eyes, the fact that most teams will not finish Godzone Chapter 7. Although, he admitted, “If you get through Stage 3, (the 60hr packraft and trek combo) you’re in with a chance.”

The Safety Officer put it succinctly - “Just want to give you a heads up that we’re playing in big country here” - before launching into the specifics. The lakes are prone to become stormy oceans – “Not only do you hang on to your paddle if you capsize, but make sure your packraft is tied to you otherwise it will literally fly away.” Little creeks grow up instantly to be impassable big rivers, mossy floors cover hidden pits and vegetation covers team members 10m away.

It’s big country for sure but it’s the little things that perturb Team Merrell. A bemused Nathan Faavae answered their questions yesterday: “You guys come from Africa with lions and buffalo hunting you down and you’re worried about SANDFLIES!? Worst is you’re just going to itch for a few minutes!”

Adventure Racers are generally a dirty bunch, not much focused on clean, if any, underwear or a change of clothes. Horrifying news then that precious time will have to spent disinfecting their gear after exiting the water. Due to the persistent spread of Didymo, a slime like invader of the waterways, which is invisible unless in bloom, packrafts, shoes and socks all have to be washed every time teams exit the lakes and rivers and they were all issued special cleaning kits – yet more bulk and weight to be added to the bulging packs. In some places they will have to stand themselves for a full minute on a disinfectant pad.

Lightening the mood for the increasingly nervous crowd, the race photographer gave a few instructions. “Forget everything those guys said, and just make sure you look good!”

With a warning that half of the Transitions are inaccessible by road, it is obvious that footage and media will be limited but we will do our best to get you the inside scoop.
Feb 28, 2018 5:11 AM # 
Course has been revealed.
Feb 28, 2018 5:13 AM # 
Just so it's easy to refer back to the course description later:

The gruelling ten-day event gets underway at 8 am tomorrow in Te Anau with teams heading into the stage one packraft across Lake Te Anau and down the Waiau River to Lake Manapouri. From there they will trek around the north west of Mt Titiroa overnight to arrive at a 140m fixed rope abseil point high above the Borland Lodge and Lake Monowai. The 110km first stage finishes with a packraft down the Waiau River to Wairaki.

A special underground caving section at the Clifden Caves will be the highlight of the next 55km stage two mountain biking leg through Motu Bush and Dean Forest to Thicket Burn Campsite near Lake Hauroko.

“ We expect the leading teams will arrive at Lake Hauroko by Friday afternoon with the rest of the field up to 36 hours behind them,” says Bates. “Stage three is in spectacular Southern Fiordland with teams packrafting across Lake Hauroko and down the stunning Wairaurahiri River and out to the rugged southern coastline.”

“The Pure teams will then carry their packrafts and trek up through sub alpine terrain and native bush areas of Poiteriteri, Slaughterburn, Wee Lake Innes, Hakapoua and Westies Hut then back through to Rarakau to complete this stage. The Pursuit teams head directly to Rarakau along the wild Southern coastline from the bottom of the Wairarahiri River. Most teams will complete this section by Sunday with a short course cut off kicking in on Monday night.”

The front of the GODZone field is expected to head into stage four – a 160km mountain bike – through Southlands Rowallen Forest out to West Arm Lake Manapouri on Sunday afternoon.

” By now race fatigue and sleep deprivation will be a factor on this long ride out to West Arm through beautiful backcountry,” says Bates. “The Pursuit teams have a shorter mountain bike from Rarakau back to Supply Bay at Lake Manapouri and onto Rainbow Reach the start of the Kepler Track where they will trek and kayak towards home.”

Stage five of the race starts at West Arm where Pure teams will experience the first kayaking leg paddling 14km across Lake Manapouri across to the Freeman Burn. Deep in classic Fiordland territory, the teams will then trek 24km over the Kepler Mountains to the final transition area at Dinghy Cove on Lake Te Anau.

” From Dinghy Cove they paddle across Lake Te Anau to the finish line set up at the Marakura Yacht Club which will be a spectacular way to complete an arduous and hopefully rewarding journey for most of them,” says Bates.
Feb 28, 2018 7:32 AM # 
Feb 28, 2018 11:57 AM # 
Pre-race commentary, interesting that they're handing out ARWS paddle bags!
Feb 28, 2018 2:31 PM # 
Rob Howard’s take on the top contenders. TLDR: Lots of them, mostly linked to Seagate.
Feb 28, 2018 6:43 PM # 
The race starts in 15 minutes. Leg 1 is a 110 km pack raft/ trek/ abseil. AR Live Coverage is being sponsored to cover the race on Facebook.
Feb 28, 2018 8:17 PM # 
This will be the Live Tracking site but it seems to be overloaded. Maybe dot watching *won't* keep us up late at night after all. ;)
Feb 28, 2018 9:50 PM # 
Tracking site is working (at least for me). Usual suspects up front on the starting paddle.
Feb 28, 2018 9:57 PM # 
Working for me now, too. There were some major issues at first.
Feb 28, 2018 11:17 PM # 
been looking forward to this one....
Feb 28, 2018 11:45 PM # 
We might have our first route choice departure: Bivy8 appears to be heading south around the lake from CP5...looks like through a marsh. Maybe they know something others don't?
Mar 1, 2018 3:06 PM # 
Curious about some of the sleep decisions happening right now. The lead pack is at the dark zone. Not allowed to go further. Sleeping in various spots there.

I'm particularly interested in Nathan's decision (#1) to stop where they did to sleep there. At least a couple of other teams have elected to do the same. Others have continued on, heading for the actual dark zone.

I know Nathan is playing it conservative (though I suspect this is more competitive strategy than he is letting on), and I certainly don't question him AT ALL. Just curious about that logic. I'm assuming they will rise a couple of hours before dark to cover the remaining distance before the next river. Perhaps a tired teammate, and not worth continuing if they are willing to get up before dawn. Or maybe they really are happy to give up an hour or so.

Looks like it took the leaders about 1.25-1.5 hours to cover the distance.
Mar 1, 2018 4:45 PM # 
Anybody know why there were two CP#2 on the first leg and only some went for the northern option?
Mar 1, 2018 4:46 PM # 
Lots of route choice between CP6 & 7!
Mar 1, 2018 4:57 PM # 
I think the northern CP2 was for the Pursuit teams, who were paddling kayaks rather than packrafts on that leg.
Mar 1, 2018 5:08 PM # 
Is it just me or have many of the trackers frozen at 3am (even those who aren't at obvious Dark Zone sleeping points)?
Mar 1, 2018 5:31 PM # 
GD44 - the map has CP flags for both the Pursuit race and Pure race. If you turn one or the other off, there will be only one CP flag.
Mar 1, 2018 5:45 PM # 
Darkzone about to lift...should get crazy on the Waiau river for a while
Mar 1, 2018 8:04 PM # 
I once attended a presentation by Ian Adamson where he said that his team avoids sleeping where there is lots of activity, e.g. they would bivy on the course rather than trying to sleep in a TA. Also, this keeps their competitors guessing. Maybe Nathan figures his team will get better sleep where they are.
Mar 1, 2018 8:25 PM # 
So, I'm actually thinking that they might not have slept there. Seems like all trackers were knocking off last night as Stijn said. And some were dying in places where people most likely weren't even thinking about sleep. Considering that Avaya is up front and that I didn't see them tracking along the first river (i.e. their tracker just jumped), I'm thinking they didn't stop where I thought they did...

We increasingly try to avoid sleeping in TAs too...
Mar 1, 2018 8:40 PM # 
"SHORT COURSE INFO Posted on 2018-03-02
As race directors and course planners we like to set an interesting course that not only challenges the teams but gives them a fair chance of getting across the finish line. Even with the best intentions and preparations, some teams will not make it around the full course due to illness, mechanical issues, navigational misdirection, intra-team personality differences…. To give all teams the best possibility of experiencing celebrating under the finish banner we move teams over to a ‘short course’ at certain times and places.

Short Course for Pursuit teams
Teams must have departed CP15 (Teal Bay, near the star of stage 3 trek) by Monday 1:00pm otherwise they must trek direct to Rarakau/TA3 via ‘The Hump’ and track.

Short Course for Pure teams
Teams must have departed CP15 (Teal Bay) by Sunday 5:00pm.
Teams Short Coursed at Teal Bay and teams who depart TA3 (Rarakau) after 1:00am Wednesday will be Short Coursed to TA7/CPi, missing stages 5, 6 and 7.
Teams must depart TA4 (West Arm) by 3:00am Thursday or they will be Short Coursed to TA7/CPi missing stages 5, 6 and 7. A boat will transport any short coursed teams back to Manapouri. Teams will have to wait for an available boat which could take some time."
Mar 1, 2018 8:42 PM # 
This is what it said on FB about Avaya (Nathan's team):
There was no mucking around for Team Avaya at the bag collect at Kollats crib. Instead of inflating their packrafts there, they opted to find a quiet place near the drop in to the Monowai River for a few hours of peaceful sleep. They’ll be getting up earlier in the morning, but will have joined the crowd at the Waiau River put in just as the dark zone ends.
Mar 1, 2018 9:32 PM # 
Bash, to continue this.

James Thurlow at Open Adventure in the UK has, in my opinion, perhaps the best hybrid compromise on this question.

First of all, he tries to design a short course that is still worthy of the event and rewarding for the racers. As we all know, too often the short course is a death march down a rather boring road. Sometimes it is impossible to avoid this. James tries at least to start by working on an enjoyable short course that all should be able to accomplish, and then he adds that extra mountain top. He also does a great job of trying to make sure that those highlight sections are on the short course and not just enjoyed by the elite.

As for the actual design:
All points are mandatory for the full course obviously.
Every CP has a time value, a penalty that is, theoretically, more than the time it would take for teams to get that point. Not sure what level of team he bases penalties off of, but it works well. Once you drop a CP, you are ranked as short course. At that point you race your race, doing what you can, what you think is best. You then add the time penalties for all the CPs you skipped to the total race time. It ends up working really well, but as we discussed in the other thread, it requires the RD to really think it all through to make sure the numbers make sense.

Really a great and unique approach. It's funny at first, but it ends up being really sensible, and while it might seem like one could game the system, it ends up working out well in the end. The reality is, he knows his audience. The elite and strong second tier of teams will clear it or have a chance to. And then the midpack and backpack teams have loads of flexibility to be strategic and run their race without creating headaches for the rankings. And all levels can reach the finish line as long as they have a sense of what they are taking on.
Mar 1, 2018 10:05 PM # 
Really good point about short courses being worthy and rewarding. As you say, James knows his audience - and further, he knows his race course, the local area, his options in an emergency and any landowner issues (fewer in the U.K., I'd guess). As long as the rules of the event are known in advance, everyone can choose whether to participate.
Mar 2, 2018 1:23 AM # 
Currently looking at the four lead teams tied together at CP13.

Thinking about how three teams have racers who have won with Seagate.

The other team is the defending champ of Godzone, Tiki Tour. Even though we know what is coming in this race, it's always impressive to see them do this.

And the next team in line? Avaya with Nathan.
Mar 2, 2018 4:28 AM # 
Team "More Pros than Cons" models what the best-dressed Kiwi adventure racers are wearing this year.
Mar 2, 2018 4:46 AM # 
The Wairaurahiri River restrictions are about to make things tricky for the lead teams. Front teams have about 12km left to paddle on Lake Hauroko before they reach the start of the river, which can only be paddled on for the first time at 6:45am Saturday morning (in 13 hours time).

They can deflate their packrafts and trek down-river before then, but are only allowed to cross the river via bridges. There is a track for the first 6km but then it looks like some rough off-trail forest terrain.

So, do top teams spend most of the night making slow progress down the river (maybe 20-30km possible in that terrain overnight), which will likely only be a 2-3 hour headstart on those who choose to wait and paddle the river? I think it's a fairly fast river, with mention of grade 3 rapids in places. Lots of effort, but they should be pretty well-rested after last night's dark zone...
Mar 2, 2018 5:06 AM # 
Organizers just posted something about this too:
LOOMING DARK ZONES Posted on 2018-03-02
As daylight starts to fade on Day Two of racing two separate groups of teams are frantically attempting to paddle their way to certain points before dark zones kick in. For leading teams Tiki Tour, Swordfox and Yealands Family Wines, who are currently on Lake Hauroko, its going to be a question of whether they can get any distance down the river before they have to get off for the 8pm dark zone.
” If they get down the river a few kms prior to the dark zone some teams may elect to sleep, some may walk through the bush to CP 16 but its very slow going. There is no clear track so decisions need to be made as to whether it’s better to preserve your energy and sleep and rest or keep going and bash your way through in the dark,” says Event Director Warren Bates.
“Conversely, at the other end of the field, teams are still in the Borland yet to abseil plus all those teams on Monowai River will probably miss the dark zone cut off on the Waiau at 9pm and will be forced to camp on the riverside. Decisions, decisions”, says Bates.
Mar 2, 2018 5:52 AM # 
The leaders will paddle up to CP15 on Lake Hauroko within the next 15 minutes - around 19:00 on Thursday. This will be the location of the first short course cut-off on Sunday at 17:00 - almost 3 days from now! Teams missing that deadline will be transported forward to TA7, skipping the next few stages.
Mar 2, 2018 6:21 AM # 
Useful links:

Home Page (News, Video, Audio, etc.)

Anything else?
Mar 2, 2018 6:33 AM # 
Interview with Race Directors Warren Bates and Adam Fairmaid about team strategy, short courses and cut-offs. Race is already in progress as they talk.
Mar 2, 2018 8:54 AM # 
Thanks for all the responses guys and gals!

Broots - you planning on coming to James' event in Scotland 2019 then?
Mar 2, 2018 9:57 PM # 
Into the bush they go on the race-deciding leg...and the trackers are just about useless. Hmmm.
Mar 3, 2018 8:51 AM # 
Bendracing/Yogaslackers have taken a very different route to the other top teams from CP18-19. Less ascent but longer.
Mar 3, 2018 12:32 PM # 
Looking at number CP 21. Description is Westies hut but on the map that is 1km east on a different headland. Map wrong? control marked wrong? Description wrong? Or are there 2 huts? Maybe we will find out in a few hours.
Mar 3, 2018 12:55 PM # 
Power back on after an unexpected bomb cyclone...still don't understand what that even means, but it was an adventure of an afternoon and evening.

GD44: Really hoping life aligns for a return to Scotland. Kind of feel like ITERA has become our "home race" after three in a row. A bit too far out to know for sure with some moving parts regarding a family trip or two. Still, it's basically at the top of my list at least, though I'm also curious about the random post from Sleepmonsters a month or so ago regarding Worlds in China...figure that might be in the summer, and as a teacher summer is usually the only time I can race XPDs.
Mar 3, 2018 12:55 PM # 
Oh, and is that race in NZ still going on?
Mar 3, 2018 1:45 PM # 
Ifor - good spot. Yes possibly a mistake by the people who created the online mapping?

Broots - great to hear!
Mar 3, 2018 1:56 PM # 
Great race coverage by the organizers and AR Live Coverage on FB! Trackers not all updating at the front of the race but Yealands and Swordfox are probably still close together in the lead.
Mar 3, 2018 3:38 PM # 
Excited to see Team Magness (easier to write) essentially in third. The only team that I figure might be alongside of them or ahead based on tracking update times is Avaya.
Mar 3, 2018 4:00 PM # 
Ifor - there was a post on FB asking the same question and the RD's commented that the NZ topo maps are wrong about the location of the hut.
Mar 3, 2018 6:13 PM # 
Amazing breakaway by Swordfox and Yealands. Magness hasn't tracked in a bit, but it looks like the leaders have broken away by multiple hours.

And I wonder if something has gone wrong for Tiki or if the leaders' pace just blew them out.
Mar 3, 2018 11:40 PM # 
Conman - I made that post on FB following Ifor's comment on here.
Mar 4, 2018 7:05 AM # 
From AR LIve:
"I just recieved this message from a good source.
Swordfox currently having a snooze in port Craig schoolhouse hut - we’re there too but in the lodge tonight. Gotta say they looked pretty wrecked and said that leg was the toughest ever! Swordfox said they thought the would have 2-3 hours / think they said they hadn’t slept since Friday ?!!"

Yealands will likely end up ahead of them going into the night. Both will have banked 2-3 hours of sleep in the last 12 hours, though Yealands' came this AM. Perhaps thankfully for both teams, they TA soon, so will mix it up and hopefully wake up a bit on the bike. But if Stuart is "pretty wrecked", I suspect both teams are hurting quite a bit and it will be a long night on the bike.

And if teams like this are seemingly wrecked, imagine those that are still just embarking on the trekking portion of this stage. Brutal...but so fun...
Mar 4, 2018 7:09 AM # 
Also, an interesting team to watch:
Tavendale+Partners (12). Jim Cotter is a multisport legend in NZ (I believe...I can't recall details, but I think he might be on the same level as Steve Gurney; if I'm wrong, I might know his name from an old pirate movie or something...). They have quietly moved up and now are closing in on mixing it up for top ten.
Mar 4, 2018 8:04 PM # 
CP22-23a (MTB). Far more tracks on the ground than on the map which is baffling Swordfox (Stu Lynch) it seems. Wonder if Yealands (Chris Thorne) will make similar errors?
Mar 4, 2018 8:54 PM # 
Swordfox have decided to take long way round to #23a instead of bushwhacking. However they’ve missed the turn and gone too far. Yealands could catch them at this rate.
Mar 4, 2018 9:51 PM # 
Bend Racing/ Fear Society looking strong! Curious where Yogaslackers are as their tracker hasn't updated in 14-15 hours now?
Mar 4, 2018 10:06 PM # 
Are 23a and 23b optional?
Mar 4, 2018 10:59 PM # 
23a and 23b are in the Pursuit course only.
Mar 5, 2018 1:21 AM # 
Did Yogaslackers just pop up in fourth place after a 15-hour tracking hiatus? That would be pretty remarkable after they took the long way to CP 19.
Mar 5, 2018 3:08 AM # 
It's all pretty confusing, but I saw a post about Tiki Tour getting a new tracker at TA3 and a separate post saying Tiki had departed TA3 around the same time as BendRacing. So, I think those positions that we briefly saw for team 60 were really supposed to be Tiki's track. I also just now see a post from GZ that PWC came in to TA# in 6th...after, in presumed order: Yealands, Swordfox, Tiki, BendRacing/FEAR, and Torpedo7. Add to this that I see no pictures of team 60 from TA3 by anyone and BendRacing has supporters at the TA who have posted quotes from team 38, but nothing about team 60. So, I think, if all this virtual "dot" connecting is true, that our Yogaslackers are still on the mega-trek somewhere...probably not too far from TA3. Before their tracker stopped they were in 11th position...I bet they aren't too far from that same ranking now.
Mar 5, 2018 6:19 AM # 
At ~7pm NZT, the two leaders (Swordfox & Yealands) are right on top of each other as they approach the bikewhack up over Percy Saddle. Super exciting to see them so tight after almost 110 hours of racing. I guess about 24 hours left until they finish and the trek is probably the only major spot where feet/fatigue/darkness could conspire to give the win to one team or the other. Or maybe they'll just agree to finish together in first place?
Mar 5, 2018 10:09 AM # 
Looks like Yealands have missed the entrance to the North Arm of Lake Manapouri and have been paddling the wrong way for the last 30 minutes. Swordfox have now gone past them. Wonder how long it will take them to work it out
Mar 5, 2018 10:36 AM # 
So its taken Yealands around 45 minutes to work out they were paddling the wrong way. By the time they get back to where they should be they will have lost around an hour and a half. Meanwhile Swordfox have reached TA5. Could this be the difference by the end of the race?
Mar 5, 2018 11:48 AM # 
Yealands have made it to TA5 before Swordfox have left. Could be some interesting conversations happening there!

In other news, both teams are in danger of hitting the dark zone on the final stage. Estimated times for the trek are 15 to 24 hours (for 24km!!), and the final paddle is 5 to 8 hours. Given that it is 0030 there now, I can't see either of them making it to the finish before the 9pm darkzone hits. Could be a sprint paddle to the finish on Weds morning?
Mar 5, 2018 12:42 PM # 
What has happened to Bend/Fear:(? Bummed for them. They were running so well. Still in a great position overall, but dreams of top three likely are dashed. Hoping that maybe their tracker is wonky. It does look like it was jumping all over.
Mar 5, 2018 2:34 PM # 
I got the impression the final dark zone was only for latter in the week and the early teams would be OK. I may be wrong on this.

Which ever team comes second will be kicking themselves as they have both been making mistakes over these last 2 legs.
Mar 5, 2018 2:35 PM # 
BEND topped for a sleep by the looks of it. They were travelling close to team 7 (PWC) when they stopped at 2320. If you zoom in on the tracker it looks like they've found a barn to sleep in. Latest track is at 0215 (about 20 min ago), so it is up to date I'm afraid!
Mar 5, 2018 3:32 PM # 
I think the dark zone is in effect every night. The rankings page clearly says they aren't allowed on the lake at night. I think the reference to the nights is perhaps when they expect teams on the lake.

I'm wondering if Swordfox's tracker is out or if they are resting. Some images in which Stuart looked wasted. And considering the time Yealands made up, I'm thinking Yealands might have been in better shape at the TA. Yealands tracker doesn't seem to be struggling, so I think they maybe have pushed ahead again.

Also, noting that Avaya has tracked in several hours. They were running even with PWC until they stopped tracking. Their tracker has consistently fallen behind, so I'm betting they are up there around PWC, battling now for fifth.
Mar 5, 2018 4:10 PM # 
There is a wool shed where the rack meets the pavement with a sign saying Godzone racers are welcome for toilets, shelter, & fresh water. Must be pretty hard to ignore it in the middle of the night. See for yourself if this link works...
Mar 5, 2018 4:18 PM # 
thinking the tracker for Avaya is maybe (hopefully) not tracking correctly; otherwise, they've been in TA for quite a while. YS Bend racing- bummer, seemed to me they were running thin on sleep, and maybe it's starting to catch up to them and with a good rest they'll opportunity to make some time.
Mar 5, 2018 4:34 PM # 
....Avaya on the move...
Mar 5, 2018 6:42 PM # 
Bugeater, Avaya hasn't updated in 8+ hours, so I think it's likely they are a fair bit further along. I expect that they will pop up somewhere between Torpedo 7 and PWC/Bend-Fear.

And when will Swordfox's tracker start pinging again?!
Mar 5, 2018 7:12 PM # 
!!!!! Indeed. I'm surprised there's nothing about this on the GODZone News page or their Facebook page. If Swordfox is still at the TA, that is news - and if their tracker isn't working or they've left it behind, organizers could tell us when the two teams headed out.
Mar 5, 2018 8:17 PM # 
Agreed, though I think they are all still waking up. I imagine we will see an update soon. I think they have been pretty quiet in general until our afternoon as they come out of their nights.

Looking at Yealands: dark zone falls at 9. That's 12 hours from the current position. Course estimate states 5 hours for the fast teams to paddle to the finish from the TA. 35 km. Yealands might be able to knock a bit of time off that, but not that much. So, let say best case for them: 5 hours to jump in boats and paddle. Means they have 7 hours to finish this trek.

Not sure when exactly they started, but it looks to have been roughly seven hours ago. Quick eye estimate suggests they aren't even halfway through, not to mention they haven't dealt with what I expect is the tougher nav that Warren has alluded to and the terrain (though who knows, maybe the river bed is boggy and slower than the hillsides they need to traverse.

So, it's not looking good for them to sneak in tonight. I imagine Swordfox is within an hour of them one way or another at most right now.

It will be interesting to see how far they can make it on the paddle (assuming they have SOME time to paddle).

Reminds me of ARWC in Ecuador when Movistar was darkzoned a km or 2 from the second to last TA. Maybe less. Somehow they slept the night and overtook at least one team that made the dark zone and continued on as I recall, maybe two to end up in third...if my memory is true.

I don't expect that to happen again to that degree, but it could be an amazing finish for these two. They could potentially get within metaphorical eyesight of the finish line and be forced to camp. And if they DON'Tt get on the water at all, could Tiki sneak back into the mix?
Mar 5, 2018 10:02 PM # 
What's going on with the Lake Herries crossing where the expected track goes directly across the lake? Tracker has Yealands right in the center of the lake right now. Is the lake dried up? Is there a shuttle across the lake by boat? Are teams expected to swim or wade across it?
Mar 5, 2018 10:25 PM # 
Ah, found it: "At the lake they grab a wee boat and paddle themselves across to the other side."
Mar 5, 2018 10:28 PM # 
I am so curious about the wee boats...I imagine the RDs brought some boats up there somehow? But how many? Are there volunteers shuttling them back across for teams?
Mar 5, 2018 10:38 PM # 
we need wee photos of the wee boats.
Mar 5, 2018 10:39 PM # 
I've literally been trying to post mine, but I am no good at it...
Mar 5, 2018 10:41 PM # 
That's precious.
Mar 5, 2018 11:00 PM # 
FB: "A lot of eyeballs are on the front end of the course today with an anticipated finish maybe early evening. The trackers are not pinging quite when we want them too due to heavy canopy cover. At this stage we expect Swordfox will be in front given they went into Stage 6 with a handy 1.5 - 2 hours lead. Updates will come as soon as they arrive at TA6 Dingy Cove."
Mar 5, 2018 11:12 PM # 
12pm there now. Dark zone hits at 9pm. Latest tracker dots have Yealands just across the little lake, and we have to assume that Swordfox are 90 min in front of them, which puts them maybe 2/3 of the way through the trek, and downhill all the way to the TA. They then have a 5hr paddle (minimum) to get to the finish, so it'll be close. I could see Swordfox ending up getting dark zoned within sight of the finish here!
Mar 6, 2018 12:38 AM # 
Better pace for Yealands than I was expecting based on past legs. Looking like they have a chance. 2.5 hours left until that 5 hour mark for the paddle.

If SF has held their hourish lead, they have a great chance assuming that the rest of the trek goes as well as the last portion has for Yealands.

And Avaya finally popped up. 4th on the map, but I expect Torpedo 7 is a fair bit ahead based on their tracker also not updating for a while.
Mar 6, 2018 12:56 AM # 
This from AR Live's FB:

"Who's winning Godzone.
After Yealands made a Nav mistake last night Swordfox got into TA with a one hour lead. However Swordfox decided to sleep 1.45 so that should give Yealands about a 40 minute lead up the valley. Their Nav has been solid so I don't see Swordfox Passing them yet. So Yealands are "probably" leading."

Not sure where all his beta is coming from, but useful info on SF's potential timing if true.
Mar 6, 2018 2:59 AM # 
From GZ FB:
Friends, family and followers of Team 38 Bend Racing / Fear Society; they have arrived at TA4 at 14.15. Here is their official quote: "Can we have it in Fiordland again next year, it's not hard enough - just kidding!"
Mar 6, 2018 4:05 AM # 
Race HQ has just had a comms report from TA6 Dinghy Cove at 4.31pm.
"We confirm no teams have arrived at the TA and there are no teams as yet on the last water leg across Lake Te Anau."
Mar 6, 2018 4:07 AM # 
Looks like Yealands just arrived at 17:00.
Mar 6, 2018 4:15 AM # 
And... their website just crashed!
Mar 6, 2018 4:29 AM # 
12min TA and they are on the lake!
Mar 6, 2018 4:31 AM # 
amazing TA! Yealands started paddling at 1709.

broots, can they make it before dark zone ?
Mar 6, 2018 4:35 AM # 
“Course estimate states 5 hours for the fast teams to paddle to the finish from the TA. 35 km”

dark zone at 2100...4 hours to paddle 35k..need about 9km/hr to make it...that’s over 5.5mph...yikes.
Mar 6, 2018 4:52 AM # 
Leaderboard says the dark zone starts on Wednesday night - and this is Tuesday night in NZ. I think they can paddle to the finish.
Mar 6, 2018 7:58 AM # 
~30 minutes to first full-course finisher across the line. Looks like it'll be Yealands in the Pure classification. The Pursuit classification could cross in the next 2 hours as well and may be a paddle sprint to the line. If you aren't watching, you're missing the drama.
Mar 6, 2018 7:58 AM # 
Website is down! Aaaarrghhh!
Mar 6, 2018 8:04 AM # 
Post on GZ FB page says that Yealands will arrive in 45 mins in first place.
Mar 6, 2018 8:23 AM # 
They're visible from the finish line now apparently. Such a shame that the trackers and website have failed now. I bet Warren is not a happy bunny - I'm sure there will be some discussions with his web host about service level agreements!
Mar 6, 2018 1:06 PM # 
So, what do we know...
Yealands took the win. Did they make it in by 9? The way I figured it last night, if they were halfway across the lake they had no choice but to continue. Maybe they finished just after 9?

I know Swordfox made it to the the TA, but still no tracker. Are they finishing, or are they dark-zoned? Still not convinced they are allowed to paddle at night, even if it wasn't Wednesday. Seems odd they would be allowed to be paddle on some nights but not others.

Tiki is tracking in third. But Torpedo 7 is somewhere around them, I think? They haven't tracked in a week....

Bend/Fear also haven't tracked, but I believe are in the top 5?

Then there is Avaya and PWC, basically at or just past CP27.

I believe this means Yoga USA has moved into 8th place, based on where they are tracking.

Leaderboard is not updating accurately either.

Yeah, djtom, not as smooth as normal for Warren and his tracking.
Mar 6, 2018 1:23 PM # 
Also, Tiki has been in TA for 1.5 hours. Certainly could be sleeping. But could be evidence that they are indeed dark-zoned. And their tracker looks updated.

Which might confirm that Swordfox is parked on shore, perhaps close to CP31?
Mar 6, 2018 1:25 PM # 
Ah, ignore that but about SF. I see that Swordfox finished under "News"!
Mar 6, 2018 1:29 PM # 
And to correct myself further, from the GZ website:

"The second placed team, Swordfox is expected to paddle into the Te Anau foreshore around 1 am Wednesday 7th March, 2018."

Can't say I understand the darkzone rules then. Interesting to have one night of paddling approved but not the rest?

Anyhow, Torpedo 7 and Tiki might have a good battle for third depending on where Torpedo 7 is. And who knows about the Magnesses...
Mar 6, 2018 1:38 PM # 
My guess is that they didn’t want the finish of the top teams affected by a dark zone, and they have more faith in the leaders to stay safe paddling in the dark. It’s a big lake - not whitewater - and they may have safety boats. They wouldn’t have expected many teams on the water Tuesday night so maybe they figured they could handle it and it would be better for spectators. GODZone is very keen on making the sport easy to follow for the general public.
Mar 6, 2018 1:55 PM # 
Fun report about Merrell at a TA.
Mar 6, 2018 1:56 PM # 
Looks like 60-Bend/Yoga is making it straight N to CP27. More elevation gain but could be easier traveling...
Mar 6, 2018 6:25 PM # 
I noticed that about Bend as well, though it's not looking good right now.

It also occurred to me that Warren noted some teams might not nail the nav in that they might not find the right valley/reentrant to head up (esp at night). I assume the Yogis are trying to cross the mountains as surmised....and hopefully they aren't being sucked into a wrong turn. I wouldn't think so based on the terrain and maps, but who knows. And it looks like they are heading back down at the moment.

Either way, Slow Twitchers are moving past them.
Mar 6, 2018 7:12 PM # 
Defending champions Tiki Tour have just arrived in 3rd. It looks like Avaya in 4th and PWC in 5th unless there is a stalled tracker somewhere. It took Yealands 7 hrs to the finish from Avaya's current position and it is only 8 a.m. so they won't be dark-zoned. It looks like PWC should be fine too but after that, the Slow Twitchers and Bend Racing may be racing the dark zone.
Mar 6, 2018 7:24 PM # 
Bend/Fear (Team Magness) should be somewhere between Tiki and maybe Avaya.

Also, Torpedo 7 have been dead for THIRTY TWO hours...Team 21. Still tracking as heading into the pass on bikes. At that time they were several km AHEAD of Tiki.

So...I expect they are perhaps in 4th now if Tiki is 3rd. Maybe 5th depending on Bend/Fear. This would likely mean Avaya is in 6th, PWC in 7th, etc.

But who knows. Maybe Torpedo is lost, withdrawn, looking for wee boats in the wrong lakes...
Mar 6, 2018 7:41 PM # 
Bend/Fear has a current track where they are - in 7th place just ahead of Bivouac.

Good point re Torpedo.

And Swordfox's tracker just appeared with a recent track at TA6 so maybe this GPS stuff doesn't really work! ;)
Mar 6, 2018 7:55 PM # 
Since the leaderboard is broken and Torpedo was slightly ahead of Tiki Tour when Torpedo stopped tracking, Tiki Tour might not be 3rd. There's nothing about their arrival on Facebook yet.

It's unusual that a top team like Torpedo could get through TAs 4-6 without the race organization doing something about their tracker. We've had to replace and reassign trackers mid-race. Many, many times, we've asked volunteers to confirm the tracker is properly positioned when a team hasn't been tracking.
Mar 6, 2018 8:23 PM # 
Bash, that isn't Bend Fear ahead of Bivouac. It's Bend/Yoga (non-Magness team). The Magnesses are 38 and haven't tracked in over a day or so. Last tracked near the pass on bikes...20 hours ago. At the time they were basically right with PWC.

No access to FB, BUT, I think I recall seeing a FB post this AM that verbally confirmed Torpedo was...somewhere. Either start of the paddle or end of it. Can't recall. I might be wrong, but pretty sure.
Mar 6, 2018 8:40 PM # 
Last night at roughly 9pm NZT GZ posted this update from the course about Torpedo7: "Friends,family & followers of 21 Torpedo 7 - the team checked through CP 27 Lake Herries at 20:36" This put them clearly behind Tiki and in front of everyone else.

Regarding Bend Racing teams, their local media team posted this last evening as well: Bend Racing FEAR Society rolled into TA4 at West Arm Dam at 2:16 this afternoon in 7th place. The team showed up to the TA about 15 minutes after Team PWC (7) left the beach and just under an hour and a half after Team Avaya (1). Bend Racing/Yogaslackers surprised us by showing up at TA4 at 3:20PM in 8th place, missing Bend Racing FEAR Society by mere minutes.

Hope that helps folks with guessing where the two teams with stalled trackers are now.
Mar 6, 2018 8:43 PM # 
Whoops, sorry - thanks for all that! Although in the end, it sounds like Bend/Fear is 7th anyway - just luck. :) I have a hard time accepting that the Magnesses are not Yogaslackers anymore.
Mar 6, 2018 8:52 PM # 
Confirmed that Tiki Tour was 3rd.
Mar 6, 2018 9:04 PM # 
And just for curiosity sake...

Team 66 (currently the last team of those still going for the glory on Leg 3) have been on the stage for 93 hours or so...and they have a long way to go...
Mar 6, 2018 9:13 PM # 
Argh for Yoga. All that effort. looks like they have made it back down to the valley floor and are moving. But Slow Twitchers went from behind them to a few KM ahead. and Bivouac caught up as well.

Meanwhile, Greenhorns is trying to do what Yoga could not. Will be interesting to see how they get on. They are tracking significantly higher than Yoga made it before turning back...
Mar 6, 2018 9:24 PM # 
Avaya may be paddling by now, probably in 5th place behind Torpedo in their Invisibility Cloak. Avaya hasn't tracked for an hour either.
Mar 6, 2018 9:36 PM # 
Avaya just pinged 0.5k from the TA, so not quite on the water yet.
Mar 6, 2018 9:42 PM # 
Yogis on a mission to make up lost time. Have picked off Bivouac again. BUT, Greenhorns seem to have found a way up to the saddle. They're up on the ridge. Will be interesting to see how they move...and then how they move getting down to the CP.
Mar 6, 2018 10:03 PM # 
Bivouac seems to have shifted NE toward the reentrant... Greenhorns looks like they are commited to this now... will be interesting to watch
Mar 6, 2018 10:04 PM # 
Just posted GZ position (& penalty) update: Team Torpedo7 has arrived at TA6 and are being made to sit out a one hour time adjustment after the team used their packraft to sail along the Southern Coastal track to TA3 two days ago. The big question now is will this allow Team Avaya to sneak past them and onto the final paddling leg first.
Mar 6, 2018 10:17 PM # 
Bivouac's route seems like a mistake - I can't see that being an intentional decision. Will be interesting to see how they recover.

Greenhorns line is an interesting one (and seems intentional). If they can make the sidle to saddle point 1098 then they should be good to go.

If there's anyone able to pull off some creative lines, young kiwi teams would be a good bet.
Mar 6, 2018 10:32 PM # 
For anyone following MRC / Mainnerve racer Peter Jolles, his team Checkpoint Zero completed the short course overnight in a really fast time. They almost beat the fastest Pursuit Team. I'm not sure how different their route on short course was from the Pursuit course...too many days of racing since they joined the short course for me to remember what happened.
Mar 6, 2018 10:37 PM # 
Whoa! the Greenhorns direct line to CP27 over the top has been MUCH faster than any other route so far. Someone do the math, but I bet they cut an hour or two and leap frogged probably 3 teams ahead of them before they left TA5.
Mar 6, 2018 10:50 PM # 
Mighta' spoke too soon about the Greenhorns: their tracker is going crazy over the last two updates and seems like it's being carried around by a Kea.
Mar 6, 2018 11:00 PM # 
Looks like the leaderboard has had a few manual updates - yay!

If I'm reading it correctly, it appears that Avaya arrived at TA6 19 minutes after Torpedo. Avaya started paddling shortly after 11 am. It looks like they spent at least an hour in the TA. I assume Torpedo would need to complete their TA tasks, then sit for an hour after that but I don't know GODZone rules.
Mar 6, 2018 11:09 PM # 
Two updates for the Greenhorns now in the same general area at the base of Stevens Falls. I'm beginning to believe that they bailed out on the ridge line after they reached the central peak...back down to the Freeman Burn and are now neck and neck with Bend Racing 60.
Mar 7, 2018 2:07 AM # 
It's 3 PM in Te Anau.

Avaya, Torpedo and PWC all on the water, so they should all make it in before the dark zone falls (PWC is just starting, but should be OK). Still no word on FB on Bend/Fear making it to TA, but they weren't far behind PWC, according to FB...that said, sounds like Bend/Yoga was close to Team Magness, and they obviously are way behind PWC now.

I'm hoping the Magni are having a good trek and are either at TA or very close, which would allow them to sneak in this evening for 7th place. Looking at the trackers, Slow Twitchers are the only team clear of the wee boats, but they still look to be several hours out of TA, best case. So I think they will be the first dark zone team depending on Bend/Fear.
Mar 7, 2018 2:12 AM # 
It took Tiki 7+ hours to finish the paddle. Not sure how PWC stacks up. They have about 6 hours, though they are a short ways into the, they will need to move a bit to make sure they get around.
Mar 7, 2018 2:36 AM # 
Looks like Avaya has just arrived at the finish around 15:30. Torpedo started paddling 41 minutes behind them so I assume Avaya is 4th.
Mar 7, 2018 2:40 AM # 
Avaya only took 4.5 hrs to do the paddle so PWC should be able to make it in before the dark zone.
Mar 7, 2018 2:49 AM # 
Bend/Yoga is arriving at the wee boats, presumably accompanied by the Greenhorns, who were with B/Y when they stopped tracking 3 hours ago. If Bend/Fear and Slow Twitchers are the only teams between the wee boats and TA6, that puts these teams in 9th and 10th. (Unless the Invisibility Cloak is hiding someone else.)
Mar 7, 2018 3:12 AM # 
Legendary Randy, where are you when we NEED pics of the wee boats.
Mar 7, 2018 3:54 AM # 
Too much lounging around the beaches of Belize after the race! ;)

The leaderboard shows Torpedo 7 finished 34 minutes behind Avaya in 5th place.
Mar 7, 2018 4:02 AM # 
Bend/Yoga (and likely Greenhorns) have left the wee boats in the rear view mirror.

Next up: The Sneaky Weasel Gang and the Wee Boats (sounds like a children's book).
Mar 7, 2018 4:05 AM # 
Greig on Torpedo 7 is wearing a patch over an infected eye. That would slow most people down.
Mar 7, 2018 5:31 AM # 
On FB: "TA6 crew have confirmed Team 38 Bend Racing/Fear Society have checked into the TA ready for the final paddle home."
Mar 7, 2018 5:33 AM # 
The Magnesses are tracking! They won't beat the dark zone cut-off but they seem secure in 7th place behind PWC, who just have one CP left before the finish.
Mar 7, 2018 5:45 AM # 
Slow Twitchers will arrive at TA6 in time to start their paddle in 8th place. After the 9 pm dark zone starts, teams will gather at the TA. Assuming no time credits/penalties based on arrival time, several teams may be involved in a 35 km paddle sprint to earn places in the top 10 tomorrow morning!

Bend/Yoga, Sneaky Weasels and (probably) Greenhorns will likely arrive close together. Bivouac Inov-8 is about to hop into a wee boat (or maybe several) and there are at least 3 teams behind them who could reach the TA overnight.
Mar 7, 2018 5:46 AM # 
There is a time credit that will be applied at the finish:
Mar 7, 2018 5:57 AM # 
That's great!
Mar 7, 2018 6:00 AM # 
Finally a pic of the "wee boats":

There are even better shots of them in the Socci flicker photo album:
Mar 7, 2018 6:11 AM # 
They're perfect. And what a spectacular lake!
Mar 7, 2018 6:15 AM # 
USA Team 40/50 Adventure #53 are very close to making the finish before the dark zone if they can get through their short course trek in the next 60-75 minutes. Then they'll have a quick sprint paddle across the lake to awaiting pies. If they struggle with CP V, they may get a nice sleep on the beach without the pies and beer. Knowing JD, the pies and beer option is going to be a higher priority.
Mar 7, 2018 11:46 AM # 
ah thanks Conman!!
Mar 7, 2018 3:45 PM # 
At 4:15 am, Bend/Fear/MagnessX3 are snoozing on the shore of Lake Te Anau, waiting for 6:30 am when they can start paddling again. They have about 2 km to go to CP30. They'll finish in 7th behind PWC, who arrived before last night's dark zone, about 3 hrs behind Torpedo.

Also napping on the shoreline are the Slow Twitchers in 8th place. Although they only made it about 5 km from TA6 before the dark zone fell, they got far enough to be out of sight of any chase teams when they start paddling in the morning.

The Sneaky Weasel Gang arrived at TA6 around 1:30 am, probably in 9th. They were with Bend/Yoga when they hopped out of the wee boats but pulled away on the last part of the trek. Bend/Yoga has about 5 km to go to the TA and have been caught by Tavendale. The Greenhorns still aren't tracking but they were in the vicinity of these teams when they disappeared yesterday, hence the uncertainty in the rankings.
Mar 7, 2018 6:13 PM # 
Wow, those Sneaky Weasels shot out of the gate at 6:30 am and are only 2 km behind the Slow Twitchers at 7 am!
Mar 7, 2018 6:17 PM # 
Bend/Fear/Magni have traveled about 3 km from their campsite, whereas the Slow Twitchers have only gone about 1.5 km this morning. The Weasels have almost made it to the Slow Twitchers' campsite already so they've gone about 4.5 km - and they tracked at the TA at 6:30 a.m. so it's totally legit. They want that 8th place! [Edit: But they can't have it because the Slow Twitchers will get a time credit for their stopped time.]
Mar 7, 2018 6:27 PM # 
Meanwhile back in the mangroves, Tavendale passed Bend/Yoga, who have been stopped since 2 a.m. and most recently tracked at 6:45, which means they weren't just waiting out the dark zone. Sunrise is 7:35. Tavendale should be at TA6 momentarily.

No word on the Greenhorns, who were near Bend/Yoga before the Weasels snuck by. They could be in the mix with the Weasels and the Slow Twitchers but are probably somewhere behind that battle.
Mar 7, 2018 6:44 PM # 
Refer to my posted link from GZ earlier about time credits for the Te Anau darkzone. I don't think the Weasels can make up the ~5 hours of time difference in their dark zone stoppage during this paddle in order to overtake the Twitchers. But maybe the Weasels don't realize that.
Mar 7, 2018 7:04 PM # 
Right, arggh - Slow Twitchers can twitch as slowly as they want!
Mar 7, 2018 7:18 PM # 
Even if the Weasels realize, there's also another possibility - They could be having a race with imaginary friends. Namely Greenhorns.
Mar 7, 2018 7:19 PM # 
AH! Very astute observation about the Greenies
Mar 7, 2018 7:21 PM # 
Yes, I'd wondered about that. Darned Invisibility Cloak! The Weasels moved so well overnight that I suspect the Greenhorns are somewhere behind them and would have a smaller time credit if they made it to the TA. Too bad there is so little news from the TA.
Mar 7, 2018 7:24 PM # 
Bend/Fear has just checked off the final CP and can see the finish line a few kms away!
Mar 7, 2018 7:32 PM # 
Not very often I can say this but I've been at that final checkpoint, CP31. (I'm sure any Kiwi could say that!)
Mar 7, 2018 7:37 PM # 
Bend/Yoga started moving again around sunrise after 5+ hours of rest.
Tavendale is at TA6.
Greenhorns are somewhere.

Who will round out the top 10?
Mar 7, 2018 8:11 PM # 
My money is on the Greenhorns.
Mar 7, 2018 8:14 PM # 
I just checked their Facebook page and was blown away at the experience of the wee, imaginary Greenhorns. The oldest is just 23 years old!

Here's their page. Two of them were 4th in GODZone Pursuit 2016. Another one has raced GODZone Pure before.
Mar 7, 2018 8:19 PM # 
Congrats, Bend/Fear! They just finished in 7th place.
Mar 7, 2018 8:24 PM # 
Which team is that? I thought the Magni just finished.
Mar 7, 2018 8:45 PM # 
Mar 7, 2018 8:51 PM # 
Congrats Bend/Fear!

I can't wait to hear Dan (Bend/Yoga) about the last trek, they have been in there for almost 40h now since TA5. The slow expected time was 24h for 24k... they will probably end at 0.5k/h... ouch!
Mar 7, 2018 9:04 PM # 
They took such a long break last night that it looks like at least one teammate needed some recovery time, either from illness or sore feet or something.
Mar 7, 2018 9:05 PM # 
If the prediction was that much faster, they're probably hungry too - yikes!
Mar 7, 2018 9:48 PM # 
It would appear to be sore feet as one of the Magni was carried to the finish on piggyback.
Mar 7, 2018 10:19 PM # 
That's the other Bend Racing - but ouch! They really should be more considerate and name their teams differently for tired spectators like us. (JayXC has just finished an exped race himself so he really *is* tired.) Here is Bend/Fear paddling in to the finish.
Mar 7, 2018 10:21 PM # 
Sneaky Weasels took 9th, according to the GZ FB page. No word on the Invisible Greenhorns.
Mar 7, 2018 10:25 PM # 
Bend/Yoga should be getting to TA6 in a few minutes - around 11:30 a.m. They hopped in the wee boats before the Sneaky Weasels around 17:00 yesterday so they have had a very tough leg.
Mar 7, 2018 11:44 PM # 
AH, so THAT'S where the Greenhorns are...

From FB:
"One of the youngest teams on course 55 -Greenhorns raced home in an impressive tenth position. Rachel Baker said their team dynamics were excellent, they shared the load and kept each other in check. ‘One of the best moments was finally discovering Lake Herries yesterday.’"
Mar 8, 2018 12:31 AM # 
...because of the wee boats. Obviously.

Wow, awesome job! Could you have finished GODZone when you were 21? I'm a definite "no".
Mar 8, 2018 12:45 AM # 
Tavendale is almost at the finish in 11th. Bend/Yoga is about 5 km into the paddle in 12th. Bivouac Inov-8 and Team Victory Boxing are at the TA.
Mar 8, 2018 1:55 AM # 
"Update from TA6 - Team 35 Loose Moose AR tracker is not currently pinging - they are through the transition."

They were well behind Team Victory Boxing 12 hours ago but there could be a battle between these two.

In the "that's kinda cool" department: Team Victory Boxing includes Simon Bloomberg Sr. (age 60) and Simon Bloomberg Jr. (age 30).
Mar 8, 2018 3:53 AM # 
I also noticed there are three teenagers racing. One of them is on the Packrafting NZ team, and they are on their way to a full course finish, knock on wood. Can't recall how the other two did/are doing, but still!
Mar 8, 2018 3:55 AM # 
And it sure looks like Bivouac is on their way to overcoming Yoga. Maybe Victory Boxing as well...
Mar 8, 2018 3:58 AM # 
Now only 1 km behind Bend/Yoga/Mari (my new team name to make it easier to tell them apart from Bend/Fear/Magni).
Mar 8, 2018 4:00 AM # 
Ah, Nakibits. Another of the teams with a teen. She broke her elbow on the big trek...and she paddled with them to the finish, sitting in the stern and paddling with a blade from a paddle with one arm in a sling.

Don't get me started on the difference between young people in the US vs. NZ...impressive.
Mar 8, 2018 4:02 AM # 
FB and his son Willderness raced Expedition Africa when Will was a teenager. Will's Mom used to bring him to TAs when he was a toddler so it was a natural progression to race together, starting when Will was young. Will is in engineering school now and they just raced the Florida Sea to Sea on the weekend!
Mar 8, 2018 4:08 AM # 
"Update from TA6; these teams have moved through the transition and are now paddling on Lake Te Anau:
team 47 in 1256 out 1350 (Bivouac)
team 36 in 1410 out 1428 (Victory Boxing)"
Mar 8, 2018 4:11 AM # 
It looks like Bend/Yoga/Mari arrived at TA6 about 1.25 hrs ahead of Bivouac.

The leaderboard shows Bend/Yoga/Mari with a time of 41 hrs 8 mins for the Stage 6 trek. Bivouac wasn't far behind with 40:22. Tiki Tour had the fastest time of 15:42. And these are all top teams.
Mar 8, 2018 4:14 AM # 
From FB: "Team 21 Torpedo7 paddled to Te Anau, New Zealand yesterday and gave some thoughts on their race... they served a fair play time penalty earlier in the race for time they gained by paddling across a bay they were meant to walk around but said they would've got in the water sooner if they could have... must've been an unpleasant walk!"
Mar 8, 2018 6:58 AM # 
Frickin' awesome photo finish for BR/Yoga! Check out the finish line pics here:

You'll have to hunt a bit for the ones of teams 60 and 47, but there's about 30-40 pics that you can view to piece together the last few moments of the race for both teams.
Mar 8, 2018 6:13 PM # 
Awesome finishes to watch this morning, so inspiring.

Anyone else noticing an alarming number of bacterial infections going on in this race? Is this typical for a race like this or is something weird going on?
Mar 8, 2018 6:21 PM # 
Yeah, I mentioned this to abiperk yesterday. I feel like this is going to be one of those races where we hear stories of infection and lingering maladies for longer than usual. Hopefully nothing dangerous, but yeah.

I'm not surprised. They spent massive time on their feet with heavy packs and mostly wet. That will do it...
Mar 8, 2018 7:28 PM # 
Wet feet, heavy packs... the course was also longer than usual and there was a LOT of dense bush. All the wee cuts and scrapes add up I guess.
Mar 8, 2018 8:02 PM # 
Yeah, and beyond the infections, I have never seen as many racers literally carried to the finish line as I have with this one!
Mar 9, 2018 1:50 AM # 
Here's hoping wayward Godzoners didn't unleash a superbug for which there is no defense...

I was listening to a podcast today and a scientist was saying one night of no sleep reduces the average human's immune system's capacity by 25 percent. That probably doesn't help with fighting off trench foot.
Mar 9, 2018 10:02 AM # 
A requirement for the race was that racers would disinfect themselves during the race. There were at least 10 places where we had to step into a box with soapy water in it and soak all water gear. This happened at almost every ta and at several other locations. This ensures that everyone constantly had wet feet. It's also possible that infections were spread by this although it could just be coincidence.

In previous races I never heard of anyone having an issue but this year it seems to have been very common.
Mar 9, 2018 3:46 PM # 
Well done to you and the whole Torpedo team, Greig! Impressive effort for sure. Good point on the disinfection. We saw that from afar, but hadn't thought of the potential connections there.

Toughest race you've done? Sure looked like a beast!
Mar 9, 2018 9:10 PM # 
The toughest godzone I've done. It was similar to the Patagonian expedition race I did in distance and duration both had long rugged legs. I got an eye infection this year and couldn't see out of one eye for the last two stages so that made us a bit slower and made the leg feel harder. Patagonia was colder though.

This year's godzone was a good race. I highly recommend the Patagonia race in Nov if someone wants a similar type of race.
Mar 10, 2018 1:36 AM # 
ahhh the juicy details emerging.... booo for trench foot.
Reasoning for compromised immune system ability during any non sleep event sleep (rest) is when the body does a majority of its disease fighting and body repairs. Eliminate the sleep and voila; bacteria have a much easier time invading....US! Add in the environmental factors, energy consumption, ect...and the deck starts to stack
Maybe AR is bad for our health! haha
Mar 10, 2018 3:35 AM # 
Congratulations, Greig! Fantastic job.
Mar 10, 2018 3:38 AM # 
Last team off the course and final full course team: Merrell!
Mar 10, 2018 2:18 PM # 
Nicely done and congratulations, all!
Mar 11, 2018 10:40 PM # 
We had a theory that the detergent baths were stripping our skin of natural oils etc and maybe leaving them a bit open to other infections? Not sure if they contributed though. Stage 3 really was a monster and our feet were wet the entire time. It was also reasonably warm so perfect conditions for nasty things.
Mar 18, 2018 2:38 PM # 
Thoughts from former professional rugby player Stefan Terblanche, who finished the full course with Merrell in his first AR:
Mar 20, 2018 3:17 AM # 
Nathan Fa'avae's race report - a terrific read.
Mar 20, 2018 4:05 AM # 
Graham (Tweet) Bird's race report - Merrell.
Mar 20, 2018 12:49 PM # 
Carbon's Offset:
Thanks for the links Bash. I look forward to reading those reports.
Mar 31, 2018 4:48 AM # 
A very different type of race report from Chelsey Magness.
Apr 3, 2018 2:11 AM # 
Mari Chandler's report including Bend Racing's sprint to take 11th place ahead of Bivouac.
Apr 3, 2018 3:15 AM # 
Forgot the link!

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