The TrustPower Adventure Quest in Queenstown attracted 56 teams prepared to brave very wet and windy conditions on Saturday (October 4) with most competitors persevering on the innovative course taking in hills around the Central Wakatipu Basin and the Shotover River flats.
The annual event reflected the traditionally strong field with a mix of serious racers, orienteering experts and social competitors.
Race Director Geoff Hunt says although the weather was particularly bad in the morning, by early afternoon it had cleared and the teams encountered sunny conditions, for the latter part of the course.
"The Quest is really a mini sporting adventure requiring teamwork, clue solving and orienteering and this year it began at the Old Shotover Bridge, following a course which involved trekking around the local countryside and cycling along the Shotover River. The feedback we got was very positive and competitors went to places they didn't know existed in the area."
The race was divided into adventure (serious) and social divisions and New Zealand orienteering representative Bruce McLeod and his race partner Phil Wood of Queenstown, racing under the banner of Aurum Survey, displayed their navigational skills and were clear winners in the Open Adventure section.
"It was great to explore such new country," says Phil. "Certainly there were areas I didn't know about and will be heading back to again."
Well known Queenstown athletes Judy Knight and Paula Key won the Women's Adventure race while the Adventure Mixed went to The Funksters, the Queenstown team of Sarah Cole and Richard Lambert.
Veteran multisport athletes Bill and Irene Godsall from Cromwell, arrived three minutes late at the finish, which dropped them out of contention for first place in the Adventure Mixed.
"For each minute a team is late getting home they lose a minute which is worth one point," says Hunt. "So it was important for teams to complete the race within the allotted time."
The Social Open category was won by one of the two Placemakers teams who sponsored the event. The honours went to Lucas Fornes and Mark Littleton.
Long time TrustPower Adventure Quest supporter Robyn Metcalfe of Queenstown who has entered the event every year and is a previous winner of the Social Mixed section, won it again this year with partner Sue Tait of Queenstown, racing as The Blondines.
"We loved it although the torrential rain was a bit of a challenge," says Robyn. "However the sun came out and we had a great time particularly going along the back of Queenstown Hill. It's a great race to enter because there's not too much pressure, it' a bit more strategic."
The Breezies , represented by Emma Lange and Phil Crosbie, a More FM sponsor's team won the Mixed Social section.
Frontrunner which sponsored the event also entered a team and the award for the youngest competitor of the day went to 10-year-old Malcolm Sillars of Invercargill who competed in a family team with his father and sister.
The TrustPower Adventure Quest is supported by TrustPower, More FM, Hamills, Onsen Hot Pools, The Studio, Placemarkers, The Frontrunner and Fat Tyre Mountain Bike Adventures