Team Yealands vic­to­ri­ous at GODZone

Marlborough Express - The Saturday Express, Marlborough - - CLASSIFIED INDEX - EMILY HEYWARD

‘‘We def­i­nitely had some great racing es­pe­cially with Sword­fox all the way through.’’

Cross­ing the fin­ish line in first place af­ter five gru­elling days com­pet­ing in GODZone’s chap­ter seven was a ‘‘sur­real’’ mo­ment for Team Yealands Fam­ily Wines.

Yealands team Chris Forne, Emily Forne, Dan Busch and Aaron Prince crossed the line in front of a cheer­ing crowd of more than 500 peo­ple at Te Anau on Tuesday night.

An ex­hausted Busch had to be car­ried across the fin­ish line by his team­mates af­ter suf­fer­ing trench foot.

And the win was hard to com­pre­hend for the team.

‘‘This is re­ally quite sur­real,’’ Chris Forne said af­ter the race.

‘‘We def­i­nitely had some great racing es­pe­cially with Sword­fox all the way through. Dur­ing the first half of the race they kept pass­ing us and we kept bat­tling away but by the end of the bike we felt we had an edge.’’

Forne said he thought he had blown it for them af­ter he started pad­dling off in the wrong di­rec­tion down Lake Manapouri.

‘‘We thought that’s bad, bad news but we kept racing hard and hoped we could out speed Sword­fox on the last stage so there was def­i­nitely plenty of ex­cite­ment there.’’ Forne said de­spite strug­gling

cer­tain points, the team at man­aged to ap­pre­ci­ate the stun­ning scenery and novel ter­rain of Fiord­land and South­land.

This was the first time this crew had raced to­gether in the GODZone chal­lenge, Forne said.

World cham­pion ad­ven­ture racer Forne said it was ‘‘cool’’ to be racing along­side his wife Emily Forne, as well as Dan Busch and Aaron Prince.

‘‘Aaron Prince is the one that got me into ad­ven­ture racing and while he may re­gret it some­times it’s been great to have him step in at the last minute to re­place Nick Hann who twisted his an­kle a week ago,’’ Forne said.

‘‘And Dan is our un­of­fi­cial cap­tain and did all the or­gan­is­ing, made us de­li­cious food out there and has been fan­tas­tic - so it’s been a re­ally en­joy­able ex­pe­ri­ence racing with this team,’’ he said.

The team com­pleted the 540-kilo­me­tre course through Fiord­land in five days and 13 hours.

GODZone course di­rec­tor Adam Fair­maid said he was pleased the team made it roughly in the es­ti­mated times.

‘‘They were just about spot on, a frac­tion be­hind what we thought the first team could do it in.

‘‘It is re­ally im­pres­sive, par­tic­u­larly be­cause they have raced so hard with Sword­fox and had a ding-dong bat­tle along the way,’’ Fair­maid said.

Forne has been on the win­ning team of GODZone five times and placed sec­ond last year.

GODZone win­ners Yealands Fam­ily Wines. from left, Aaron Prince, Dan Busch, Chris Forne and Emily Forne. Chris Forne

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