The picturesque Hokitika region was abuzz with adrenaline and excitement as teams from all over New Zealand gathered for the True West Adventure Race.
All photo's credit to Zak Shaw
True West Adventure Race Lead Advantage in New Adventure Racing Boat
Team Packraft New Zealand, made up of Barny Young (founder of Packraft New Zealand), Keith Riley from Hokitika, Kelly Wood from Napier and Patrick De Jong from Nelson had a stellar start to the 48-hour adventure race. The first stage across Lake Mahinapua saw the team pulling ahead of the competition in Packraft New Zealand's brand new Adventure Racing pack rafts, specifically designed for team adventure racing in New Zealand. This lead provided a crucial advantage for the grueling 50km bike stage to TA2, marking the beginning of the Mohikinui pack raft section.
Pack Rafting The Mikonui River
After some stiff competition from strong biking teams, team Packraft New Zealand started the Mohikinui River stage in fourth place. The river conditions were perfect for pack rafting and Barny couldn't believe he'd never paddled this wilderness gem so close to home. As the team navigated the beautiful class 2-3 rapids, they managed to regain the lead, quickly transitioning to the steep hike up and over Mt Greenland near Ross back to TA 3.
The "Mixed Nuts" team gave a tough fight but couldn't manage to keep up with Team Packraft New Zealand's relentless pace. "Our team pulled away just before TA3 and maintained the lead during the challenging bike stage that included crossing the Hokitika River with two bikes loaded on each pack raft", said Barny.
Navigating Gerhardt Spur & Jumple Tops At Night
The nighttime ascent over Gerhardt Spur and Jumble Tops threw curveballs at our adventurers. Navigating through thick fog and minimal visibility, the team finally broke through the cloud cover, finding their bearings and pushing on to Cedar Flats.
From Cedar Flat Hut down the Toaroha and Kokatahi River
As dawn broke, the team embarked on a stunning morning paddle down the Toaroha/Kokatahi. This scenic break was much needed before the final 50km bike stage into town.
Lake Kaniere Mountain Bike Leg
Despite the challenging sections around Lake Kaniere, the team managed to enjoy the last 20km of this stage on the fast-flowing and scenic Hokitika cycleway and water race sections.
Team Packraft New Zealand crossed the finish line on the Hokitika beachfront amidst cheers and applause, marking the end of an unforgettable adventure. Their performance not only showcased their determination and strength but also the new Kokopelli AR boat which Barny has been developing over the last year.
As we celebrate Team Packraft New Zealand's achievement, we look forward to more opportunities to put our pack rafts to the test in the wild landscapes of New Zealand.