Floortje ready for wild west ad­ven­ture

Central Otago Mirror - - CLASSIFIEDS - MAR­JORIE COOK

Top Wanaka ad­ven­ture rac­ers Floortje Grim­mett, Joanna Wil­liams and Bob McLach­lan have been fine tun­ing their turn of speed ahead of an 800km race through Wy­oming’s wild west this month.

A can of bear spray is on the ath­letes’ list of com­pul­sory gear for the Cow­boy Tough Wy­oming World Ad­ven­ture Race Cham­pi­onships from Au­gust 10-15 but Wil­liams and McLach­lan have also got new shoes.

‘‘The bear spray only sprays for 10m but a bear can move 15 me­tres in one sec­ond so I will have to be fast,’’ Grim­mett said.

She has another ruse planned if a bear con­tin­ues to ad­vance.

‘‘I might put [ team mate] Ge­orge [Lu­cas] at the front and tell the bear: ‘‘Here’s the food. He’s the big­gest, 90 plus ki­los,’’ Grim­mett said.

She will be fly­ing the Sil­ver Fern with Tiki Tour team mates and broth­ers Tom and Ge­orge Lu­cas and Mike Kelly, all of Queen­stown.

They con­vinc­ingly won the 2017 GODZone Ad­ven­ture Race at Queen­stown in Fe­bru­ary.

Wil­liams and McLach­lan are rac­ing for New Zealand’s most suc­cess­ful ad­ven­ture rac­ing team, Sea­gate, with Chris Forne, of Queen­stown, and Auck­land’s Stu Lynch.

McLach­lan was more ner­vous about rat­tlesnakes at night than bears.

‘‘The worst rat­tlesnakes are the young ones. When they shed their skin it goes over their tails so they don’t rat­tle,’’ he said.

Wil­liams was not sure how she would han­dle rat­tlesnakes or bears and, like Grim­mett, thought shel­ter­ing be­hind team­mates or run­ning away might work - ‘‘though that would be tricky with a bear’’.

‘‘We will just have to make as much noise as pos­si­ble,’’ she said.

The race dis­ci­plines in­clude moun­tain bik­ing, trail run­ning, pack raft­ing, ab­seil­ing, nav­i­ga­tion and other chal­lenges in a non-stop race through the Grand Te­ton Na­tional Park from Jack­son Hole Re­sort to Casper.

The only other Kiwi team to qual­ify is the Christchurch-based Sneaky Weasel Gang, com­pris­ing Straun Webb, Isla Smith, Tane Cam­bridge and Wanaka’s Mitchel Munro.

Wanaka’s Sarah Fair­maid is rac­ing for GODZone Ad­ven­ture Team, which has en­tered un­der the Bri­tish flag and in­cludes Kevin Stephens, Nick Gra­cie and Tom Gibbs.


Floortje Grim­mett runs along Wanaka’s lake­front.

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