Former local in winning team

By laurel.stowell@wanganuichronicle.co.nz

AT SEA: Fellow Yealands team member Dan Busch dives in after team member Sia Svendsen.PHOTO/SUPPLIED
AT SEA: Fellow Yealands team member Dan Busch dives in after team member Sia Svendsen.PHOTO/SUPPLIED

A man who got his taste for the outdoors in the Whanganui backblocks has captained the winning team in the GODZone Adventure Race in the South Island.

He's Dan Moore, who left Whanganui about 15 years ago to spend seven years working as an Outward Bound instructor in the Marlborough Sounds. He's now an environmental consultant in the area but still returns to his former home often, to see family and be outdoors.

"I enjoy getting round the hills of the Whanganui River backcountry, running, hunting, kayaking on the river and things like that," he said.

Yesterday he was resting after his Yealands Family Wines team came first in the 530km race, with a time of three days, 12 hours and 44 minutes. Mr Moore and another in the team had come third two years ago.

He was thrilled to win this year, especially since the Seagate team has won every other race.

Now his team - all multisport athletes and most in their 30s, will compete against international winners in the world championships in Australia later this year.

They will also win product and money - Mr Moore wasn't sure how much.

The race is pure adventure. No one knows the course until the morning it begins. The four team members have to include at least one woman and they have to finish together and navigate without using GPS.

It's a nonstop affair, day and night, with the right gear provided at the start of each new stage.

This year's course was a big loop through the top of the south.

It started at Kaiteriteri, and went inland through the Richmond Ranges to the Nelson Lakes National Park, Murchison, the Matakitaki River and Mount Owen.

It ended with a 35km sea kayak paddle along Abel Tasman National Park.

"It was a great course, a beautiful course, a real diverse range of mountains and rivers," Mr Moore said.

Team members enjoyed racing together, but the race had its moments.

The first two days were wet and cold and they raced all of the first night, using head torches for light.

Sometimes they had only 5-10 metres of visibility in the mist of mountain ridges.

Mr Moore and fellow navigator Chris Forne navigated using compass, maps and altimeter.

They carried a tent and only put it up once, for two hours' sleep.

They had a total of five and a half hours' sleep during the whole race.

They ate cold freeze dried meals, gels and muesli bars.

Yesterday there were some teams that still hadn't finished. Mr Moore was at home, resting.

He said he was "quite weary" by the end of the race, and it would take him a month to get back to normal.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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