Strong legs and consistent navigation over twenty four hours took Jamie Stewart and Greig Hamilton to their first ever New Zealand Rogaining win today, ahead of previous winners Nathan Fa'ave and Phil Wood.
After a sketchy start, losing time navigating along a ridgeline before catching up to some of the womens teams, the pair put their heads down and began to tick off the checkpoints with regularity.
"That was the key factor for us" said Stewart. " We stayed in touch with the map and avoided doing any long runs between contriols. We had a good night time strategy as well. "
Stewart and Hamilton covered about 70km over the 24 hours, and were pleased with the course.
"It was the best rogaine that I've ever done" commented Stewart. "And certainly the most navigationally challenging."
Also enjoying the challenge were the top female and top mixed teams, returning to reclaim previous titles.
Julie Gordon and Debbie Mansfield were the highest scoring female team as well as the top female veteran team, while top mixed team Rachel Ockelford and Liam Drew only just managed to edge out the top mixed veteran team of Al Cross and Jill Westenra.
"We had a real good time" said Westenra, who is training for the XPD race in Australia as well as the World Rogaining Championships in Cheviot Hills later this year.
"Although we had our strategy back to front and ended up doing the hardest controls at night, zig zagging along the Whakatiki River gorge" she added.
Over 230 competitors took on the 24 hour, 12, 6 or 3 hour rogaining challenges over the weekend, with freezing temperatures as well as plentiful encounters with eels in the Whakatiki River.
Overall: Jamie Stewart and Greig Hamilton 3680 points, 23 hrs 48 mins 03 secs.
Open Men category:
1 Jamie Stewart and Greig Hamilton 3680 points, 23:48:03; 2 Phil Wood and Nathan Fa'ave 3450, 23:53:09; 3 Grant Burke and Aidan Boswell 3210 11:43:47.
1 Debbie Mansfield and Julie Gordon 2540 23:43:23; 2 Debbie Chambers and Anne Lowerson 2420 23:55:21; 3 Penny Kane and Eloise Watson 2360 23:34:58.
1 Rachel Ockelford and Liam Drew 2600 points; 2 Al Cross and Jill Westenra 2480; 3 Phil Bones and Emma de Lacey 2150.
1 Douglas Woods and Colin Dixon 2550; 2 Mark Hearfield and Andy Foster 2440; Jerome Sheppard and Dave Rudge 2330.
1 Debbie Mansfield and Julie Gordon 2540; Debbie Chambers and Anne Lowerson 2420; Chris Dixon an Caroline Elliott 1560.
1 Al Cross and Jill Westenra 2480; 2 Phil Bones and Emma de Lacey 2150; 3 Jane and Pete Montgomery 1820.
1 Billy Rodenburg and Edward Lawley 2170; 2 Elisha Nuttal and Joel Smith 2000; 3 Rowan Nugteran and Carl Janssen 840.
Super Veteran Men (55+):
1 Henry Beex and Dennis Little 2120.
Super Veteran Women:
1 Kathrin Mueller and Jane Forsyth 1380.
Super Veteran Mixed:
1 Bill and Anne Kennedy 1580.