Episode 1: Jan 12-15, 2018. Participants: 25 Fatalities: 0 Injuries: 2 Finishers: 19
Hot and sunny. We paid extra for it. Truly stellar weather and a stellar course. We'd like to take the credit for it but really, it's Fiordland, so the thanks really go to Mother Nature. The course was rugged and iconic with heaps of elevation gain and some wickedly good proper bush-bashing. A couple of teams retired for various reasons but most soldiered through and had a great weekend, along with some mind-blowingly good hash browns. Our 'winners', the Greenhorns, even made history for being the first to packraft in Okaka Tarns--long may the legend live. RESULTS COURSE MAP REPLAY
Episode 2: Jan 19-21, 2019. Participants: 14 Fatalities: 0 Injuries: 0 Finishers: 10
The polar opposite of last year. We paid extra for it. Proper Fiordland rain drenched participants and swelled creeks to immense proportions. It was cold up high. Slopes of all sorts ran with water. The trails that weren't on the maps were awesome. The ones that were there were a wee bit slower than expected. The huts were classic, as were the rivers. And one of them was a little scary in places. Several teams got their first experience wrapping a 2 person packraft on mid-river rocks. Others had swims through tunnels of trees. No one jumped off the cliff in the Eglinton, though I can't say I blame them. All agreed that it was good training for something, though opinions varied widely as to just what that 'something' was. RESULTS COURSE MAP REPLAY
Episode 3: Jan 9-11, 2021. Participants: 37 Fatalities: 0* Injuries: 2 Finishers: 13 Lost Paddles: 2
Reasonably perfect Fiordland and a long dry spell made for good going over a tough course that included over 6500 meters of climbing all up. Also a cave. And some fun GIII/III+ rapids. And a couple of swims. And that necessitated at least one phone call to the course director at 1 am. All the ingredients of a good event I'd say. 10 teams started, but only three managed to nab all of the required checkpoints. And best of all, the finishers all arrived within an hour of each other, and on a lovely afternoon. Which means there was a finish line of sorts, with beer and cookies and applause. Awesome. RESULTS COURSE MAP REPLAY
*A participant fell/slid down a bluff and sustained a concussion. He was ok, but later had the bright idea to do a WTF in Nelson, so was he really?
Episode 4: 2022. Participants: Lots Fatalities: 0* Injuries: 2 Finishers: ?? Helicopter Rescues: 1
The big daddy to date. Remote and gnarly. Fortunes were won and lost in spectacular and heartbreaking ways. Skulls were cracked, ankles shattered, and knees pulverized. People swam in the raging ocean, cartwheeled down precipitous bluffs, and got pinned in the middle of raging rapids as darkness fell. One team, full of naivete, luck, and unhindered by too many collective years on this earth, managed to do one of the hard parts in darkness, eeking out enough of a lead to arrive at the end first. An American, somehow, arrived with his non-American teammates in second. And the paddlers didn't paddle and gave away 3rd in the final moments in spectacular fashion. But really, this one in particular wasn't about the finishing order. It was about surviving to play another day. And everyone did...just.
*A particpant fell/tumbled down a bluff and broke his crown like in the nursery rhyme. His ankle too. Helicopters are awesome and chicks dig scars, so all was well.
Episode 5: 2022. Participants: 40 Fatalities: 0* Injuries: 2 Finishers: 31
A step back from last year in terms of remoteness, but we more than made up for it with difficult nav and forcing some hard yard in the boats on lake manapouri. Some experienced teams and some new teams to expedition racing, with lots of options for all to push themselves. One team came out with half a deer. Another learned about the pleasures of onga-onga (or, as they dubbed it, the murder plant). A rookie adventure racer chose a good horse to RESULTS COURSE MAP REPLAY
*This number would be 1 if we included packrafts.