Posted on 2015-11-22
Sarah Fairmaid, Warren Bates, Nick Gracie, Gul Pahl kayaking-15-1858 copy[2]


After seven days of non stop racing, the GODZone Adventure Team completed the 2015 Adventure Racing World Championship in Brazil earlier today as the second team to cross the finish line.

British adventure racers Nick Gracie and Warren Bates, Sarah Fairmaid from New Zealand and Brazil’s Gul Pahl paddled traditional wooden sculptured canoes into the finish at Corumba. They were elated to have come to the end of their journey across the Pantanal region of Brazil.

“ I have never raced in heat like this before, it was insanely hot from the start and that impacted on how fast we could move at times during the different stages of the race. The whole team pulled together brilliantly at crucial decision making moments, in particular Gul’s local knowledge and navigation was exceptional,” says GODZone Adventure Team Captain Nick Gracie.

The GODZone Adventure Team are awaiting the final rankings from the ARWC organisation after sections of the 700km course were closed due to safety and the team was directed onto a shorter course.

“The closure came at the massive second pack-raft stage that we had begun during the night but retreated back to wait out until daybreak. During that time it became apparent that teams were going to take up to 30 hours to complete it and the organisation closed that and subsequent sections and flew teams forward on the course.

From that point we continued to keep our heads down and race to the finish and it was exciting to come in just after the winners, Seagate, from New Zealand.”

The Adventure Racing World Championship course was set in the wild and isolated Pantanal region of Brazil with teams pack rafting, trekking, kayaking, mountain biking and abseiling through different race stages.

Nick says it was eye opening to be so close to a wide range of wild life throughout the event.

“ Stingrays and alligators were predominant and they were really close to us particular when pack rafting and kayaking and even trekking through the waterways. Some of teams spotted Jaguar and it was like racing inside a zoo.”

For New Zealand’s Sarah Fairmaid, the experience has been one to relish.

“ There was some strong competition from other teams that made for good racing and some interesting technical stages,” says Sarah. “ It was pretty heavy going in places and my new mountain bike broke an axel on the last bike stage that Gul managed to improvise with a tree twig so we could keep going.”

Warren Bates, who has raced with the team for the past ten years and now resides in New Zealand, says seeing Seagate come through at the end was inspiring.

“It was amazing to see Seagate in action, how they all worked and communicated together – they just all put forward information to help solve the problem in a positive way and off we went. Their performance was exceptional right throughout the race.”

The GODZone Adventure Team will now focus on upcoming events on the world adventure-racing calendar including the Patagonian Expedition Race in February 2016.

Gul Pahl, Sarah Fairmaid, Warren Bates, Nick Gracie Pack Rafting[2]

Gul Pahl, Warren Bates, Nick Gracie, Sarah Fairmaid mountain biking[2]