Leading New Zealand and Australian adventure racing teams will be battling it out for line honours in the highly anticipated 3rd Chapter of New Zealand's premier adventure race, GODZone, set to take place from the 7th to 15th March, 2014. GODZone Race Director Warren Bates says there are no surprises that the record breaking field of forty teams predominantly hail from either side of the Tasman with a smattering of other international teams and racers making up the final competitor mix.
“ The 2012 world champions, Team Seagate led by Nathan Fa'avae, are returning to defend their unbeaten GODZone record this year and there are certainly some very competitive New Zealand and Aussie teams stepping up to take them on. We always knew that Chapter 3 of GODZone would attract high calibre adventure racers with great experience and knowledge so now it will be down to who can cope the best with the vigour's of New Zealand’s wilderness.”
Team Rubicon out of Australia led by David Barlow is considered one of the strongest Aussie contenders while New Zealand Team Kathmandu XT led by Duncan Hamilton are ones to watch according to Mr Bates.
“ Duncan Hamilton has got together with some other very experienced adventurers like Neil Jones, George Christianson and Kate Callaghan so they will race competitively. As will Team Chimpanzee Bar led by Jim Cotter and Team Orion Health led by Wayne Oxenham. American team Checkpoint Zero led by Paul Humphrey have a good track record with 24 hour races and competed at the World Champs last year in Costa Rica so they look promising as does Irish Team Moxi AR led by Chris Caulfield. Christchurch based racer Sia Svendson is also back with a team this year and after placing second in the first chapter she will be eyeing up a top three position for sure.”
Initially the GODZone team list was capped at 35 but unprecedented demand saw another five team spots open up for those lucky to have secured a place on the waiting list.
“ The interest in racing in New Zealand has always been high but the success of the first two Chapters has really put GODZone on the map. Adventure racers know that when they come over here it will be a true adventure like no other race of its kind in the world,” says Mr Bates.
GODZone is this year being hosted by Kaikoura and the spectacular geography and coastal area has offered new ground for the race to venture through. Mr Bates says there are some iconic points of interest that were given due consideration when setting the course but teams will know nothing about their destination until maps are handed out on the first race day. “ Its going to be a true journey of epic proportions and many, many different elements. Navigation, as always is going to be key for the 2014 GODZone and we expect many teams finishing times may be longer than in previous years.”