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The two man team, Currie Brothers, proved that fresh legs have an advantage when they led the trekking stage in the Mt Garfield area through the night and arrived on target, neck and neck with Powered by Velvet on the kayaking leg.
The 24 hour section of the Fairydown Southern Traverse started at midnight last night and all teams are expected home in Hanmer by midnight tonight.
Glenn and Braden Currie joined the field last night for the 24 hour stage and had a slight edge on the four man lead teams, Powered by Velvet and Icebreaker R & R Sport, emerging from the trek at the transition area at 5.25am. Powered by Velvet clocked in at 5.33am while Team Geraldine and Icebreaker R &R Sport came in together at 5.54am and 5.55am respectively.
Currie Brothers and Powered by Velvet paddled together for much of the 34km paddle on the Boyle, Hope and Waiau Rivers arriving in tandem at the checkpoint.
“There were some tricky little bits on the paddle, it was really boney in parts,” says Braden whose skills as a paddler were recognised in this year’s Coast to Coast.
The field is now well spread out and the Mt Garfield trek has proved challenging for some of the teams. Milan Brodina of Team Geraldine says there was “a lot of bush bashing, very hard work.”
A 30km mountain bike section , which follows the paddle, is on a gruelling course via Amuri Hills , Leslie Pass and The Hossack and Race Director Geoff Hunt estimates it will take between four and five hours.
The front teams are running fairly much to Hunt’s schedule which will see the leaders in Hanmer around 7.00pm tonight.
Hunt is pleased with the response from competitors to the course and although there was light rain early this morning the day has cleared to provide ideal race conditions.