22 Nov 2015

NZ team wins international adventure race

8:07 pm on 22 November 2015

New Zealand team Seagate has won the Adventure Race World Championship in south-western Brazil.

The seven-day endurance event covered a gruelling 686 kilometres, including a trek climb of more than 2000 metres.

The race also involved kayaking, mountain biking, rafting and rope courses, and ended with a short paddle to the finish line on the Paraguay River, in traditional wooden canoes made by locals.

Seagate team member Nathan Fa'avae, 43, who wound up with an inflamed eye, said they probably went to places no one has been to before.

"We really felt like we had to look after ourselves and each other, it was so isolated.

"The main emotion right now is relief, to get the job done as so much can always go wrong, even down to the final stages."

Sophie Hart said it was like their own private tour of the Pantanal floodplain.

"We didn't see anyone for days and have no idea what is going on in the rest of the race. It wasn't until we started riding that we saw any other teams at all."

Chris Forne said he was stung by a stingray.

"It was just on the arch of my foot, and I whimpered quietly to myself for a few hours, then it swelled up a lot and then it was gone all of a sudden."

Stuart Lynch said they had to tow their rafts through weeds they couldn't paddle through.

"Then we got stuck, it was like you imagine adventure racing to be before you take part."

The event was Mr Fa'avae's last Adventure Race World Championship race.

When the victorious team paddled across the finish line at Corumba, they jumped into the river, hugged and enjoyed the moment.

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