An impressive field of New Zealand and international teams will line up in Queenstown later this month for the sixth chapter of GODZone.
Today, the official team list for the 2017 event was unveiled on the GODZone website.
GODZone Race Director Warren Bates says it’s a showcase of Kiwi flair with a sprinkling of international talent.
“Given this event sold out so quickly with all the racing spots gone within 30 minutes on opening day it not surprising that the New Zealand teams were the quickest off the mark. This field has by far the largest representation of Kiwis racing in the history of the event which means the sport is rapidly growing in this country and in a very healthy state.”
Over 70 teams will compete in Chapter 6, which kicks off in Queenstown on Saturday 25th February through to 4th March. Countries represented by competitors include the UK, Ireland, France, Canada, Australia, USA, South Africa and South America.
Last years winning team Yealands Family Wines from Marlborough led by Dan Moore are the returning GODZone Pure champions and Bates says they will be hard to beat.
“ These guys certainly won’t want to lose to any other New Zealand teams and there are a few that could run them close and look to eclipse them. There is one international team that will take them on this year and that’s the top ranking US team, Adventure Medical Kits, led by Kyle Peters.
“Last year I think AMK turned up a little over-raced and a tad under prepared. It’s always hard coming to an overseas location to race for the first time and they will be better prepared this time around.”
GODZone has two racing categories with teams choosing to participate either in the full length GZ Pure event or the shorter formatted GZ Pursuit race.
“We’ve been open about our desire to see growth in our ‘gateway’ GZ Pursuit event whilst limiting participation in the GZ Pure version. We’ve seen a 50% growth in Pursuit team participation for Chapter 6, which is fantastic, and a great way to promote the sport and GODZone to a wider participation group. More teams, support crews, even more social interaction at the various transition sites out in the field is great and makes racing for the top spot more challenging for the Pursuit competitors,” says Bates.
GODZone is one of the most technically challenging expeditions in the world with teams racing for up to seven days and navigating their way through 400 – 500km of unknown terrain. Each team of four must stay within 100 meters of each other at all times as they kayak, mountain bike, trek, raft and climb across some of New Zealand’s most iconic landscapes.
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