World champion adventure racer Chris Forne led his new team closer to victory today on the 600km GODZone adventure race through Canterbury.
Team Perpetual Guardian made up of Forne, Emily Wilson, Simone Maier and Marcel Hagener made some big navigational moves on an 84km trek overnight which paid off with the team moving into first position.
“Chris chose to take an eastern route over the Palmer Range that paid off giving them an hour jump on Tiki Tour who were first into the trek,” says Race Director Adam Fairmaid.
“Chris was totally surprised because he was really unsure if his chosen line would be the correct one.The team were super motivated and transitioned quickly onto the next pack rafting section – a 53km pack raft on the upper Rakaia River. They knew Tiki Tour would be right on their tail and wasted no time moving through.”
Team Tiki Tour arrived an hour later and were chasing hard with Team Swordfox following in third.
“The big push for these teams has been trying to get as far down the river as they can before the dark zone on the river kicks in at 8pm tonight. The further along they get before pulling off and camping overnight the bigger advantage their start will be in the morning,” says Fairmaid.
The front running teams have completed over 400km of the total 600km course. The final two race stages include an 83k mountain bike around Lake Ellesmere and onto the Akaroa Rail Trail for a 83km ride to Wainui followed by a 17km pack raft across to Akaroa.
“Chris has only one thing on his mind right now and that’s to keep ahead of Team Tiki Tour who has led this race for most of the way. They are chasing very hard right now and it may only take a silly mistake to upset these current positions,” says Fairmaid.
“Swordfox, who are sitting back in third place has never claimed a first place at GODZone and they have held their end up very well on this Canterbury course. This is a team who will be in the running if something goes wrong at the front end.”
The first team across the finish line in Akaroa will take home a cheque for $10 000 and the coveted GODZone Pure Champion Trophy.
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