• Sat. Oct 22nd, 2022

After a gruelling 666km in six days with minimal sleep, there’s no doubt McCaw and teammates had earned a pie and a beer.

Mar 10, 2021

All Black great Richie McCaw was part of some brutal test matches in his playing days but you could argue he’s never deserved a cold beer and a warm pie more than when he crossed the GODZone finish line on Wednesday.
McCaw and his isport teammates, Dougal Allan, Simone Maier and Theo Wordsworth, crossed the finish line early on Wednesday to complete the gruelling 666km journey that they started on Friday morning in second place.
McCaw’s daughter Charlotte and wife Gemma were at the finish line to greet the former All Black captain.
Nathan Fa’ave, Sophie Hart, Chris Forne, and Stu Lynch of Avaya have taken out their fifth GODZone title.
Team isport crossed the finish line at Wapia Gub in Redwoods Forest, south of Rotorua, at 5pm, more than nine hours behind race winners Avaya.
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Wednesday’s victory for Avaya, consisting of Nathan Fa’ave, Chris Forne, Sophie Hart, and Stu Lynch, was the fifth time the team have won the worlds largest expedition adventure race. Avaya crossed the line just before 8am.
“I have to say it’s nice to get to the finish line I was concerned during that last stage we would make a mistake in the forest on the bikes, so it’s a relief to get it done finally,” McCaw said.
“That last kayak section on Lake Taupo was great to get off the legs after that big trek in the Kaimanawas.
Team isport Dougal Allan, Simone Maier, Theo Wordsworth and Richie McCaw at the finish on Wednesday.
The 666km race through the diverse wilderness is made up of 365km of mountain biking, 140km of paddling, and 190km of trekking with much of the course open during the night meaning competitors have minimal sleep during the race.
Avayas captain, Faave, said the intensity of what they had achieved had not been lost on the team.
“The start of the race was a bit interesting because of Covid level two teams were set off in intervals, and we were in the last wave.
We just did our own thing on that first bike stage and were quite surprised to reach the front of the field pretty quickly.
I guess that was a promising sign early on that we were not even trying to catch up.
Richie McCaw and the isport team finished the GODzone adventure race in second place.
From there on, we were consistently moving pretty quickly through most of the disciplines, which got us into an excellent position to really try and break from the front pack as early as possible.”
Avaya has an impeccable track record at GODZone, winning the event the first four times it was held again, then again on the ninth occasion this time around.
Forne has won another three titles as the captain of other teams.
Race director Adam Fairmaid said Avaya were world class in every sense and the true champions of the adventure racing world.
They don’t give anything away to the other teams and consistently race their own race.
Over the years, they have set a very high standard of racing that no other team has come close to matching.
It’s a privilege to watch this team come back together and win Godzone again, especially at the very first North Island GODZone.