Pies and bubbles at the finish line

Team Yealands Family Wines members Aaron Prince, Dan Busch, Chris Forne, and Emily Forne waved to the impressive crowds greeting them on the shores of Lake Te Anau as they won first place on Tuesday night. PHOTO: Claire Kaplan

Winning GODZone team Yealands Family Wines paddled to the finish line on Lake Te Anau last night (March 6).

Hundreds of people cheered on as team Yealands Family Wines kayaked onto the Lake Te Anau shore beside the Marakura Yacht Club at 9.40pm. 

Team members Chris Forne, Emily Forne, Dan Busch and Aaron Prince arrived to quite a fanfare and were immediately swept up in the moment. They had to carry Mr Busch out of the kayak and across the finish line due to his feet being infected with trench foot. 

Trench foot is a concern all GODZone athletes have to watch out for, with some athletes being reportedly treated for the condition by the time they reach Stage Three on the South Coast. The term was coined in World War I and is caused when feet are exposed to wet conditions for a prolonged period of time, causing painful symptoms.

The winning team was immediately greeted with warm pies and spritz of bubbly wine to celebrate their win. 

Mrs Forne said the crowds were impressive, which they could hear by the time they took off from their last checkpoint. 

Now recuperating, she said there would be "lots of sleep" and compression socks involved post-race. 

They had come in on one hour of sleep the night before, she said; however, the recovery period wouldn't last too long for her. Mrs Forne, a teacher at Shotover Primary School, said she'd be back in the classroom on Monday and was "very excited" to see her students again. 

The team completed the 540km course through Fiordland in five days and 13 hours. Mr Forne said the team had some suffering at certain points of the race but also appreciated the stunning scenery and novel terrain of Fiordland and Southland. He said he was "quite excited" to go back and do some more exploring. 

During the night other top teams made their way across the finish line as well. Team SwordFox placed second in the "Pure" category, and Team Turiwhate was the first Pursuit category team to win. 

Team Tiki Tour arrived yesterday (March 7) paddling across the lake in the early morning light to finish third.

As of press time Team Bend Racing/Fear Society was expected to be the first team with Te Anau locals to cross the finish line. Most teams, however, were still along the South Coast and making their way back up to Te Anau. 

Teams can be tracked online at www.godzoneadventure.com


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