Stage 1 – mountain bike Minaret Station
Distance: 43 km
Altitude Gain: 1200 m
Terrain: Well formed 4WD/rough farm tracks/potentially muddy/river crossings
Expected Fastest time: 2hr 20 min
Departing at 7am from Wanaka lakefront (Event HQ/finish line), teams will travel by bus towards the West Coast to the barge departure point at Camp Creek. A spectacular 30-minute barge ride across the lake will see the nerves start to build. The start gun will go off only minutes after arrival at Minaret Station (estimated start time 08.30), so teams will need to be prepared as soon as they disengage the barge. Race start will be in mass format and teams will ride in bunches until the some break-aways occur. The course is along a mixture of well-formed farm tracks and rough 4wd tracks! With a large number of side valleys that feed creeks into Lake Wanaka, the ride will involve a number of steep pinches and fast flowing descents. Arriving at West Wanaka Bridge, the teams will enter a transition area and prepare for the second stage (run/abseil).
STAGE 2 – RUN ROCKY MOUNTAIN – ABSEIL
Distance: 11 km
Altitude Gain: 490m
Terrain: Steep technical climb/fully formed trail/abseil
Expected Fastest time: 1hr 15min
Teams will run over the West Wanaka Bridge and alongside the river on the Matukituki walking track before ascending the lower face of Rocky Mountain. The course will then combine with the lower Rocky Mountain DOC track before traversing the lower mountain and arriving at the abseil location.
The abseil is a spectacular descent from the rocky outcrops into the native bush of Diamond Lake. The abseil stage will be operated by a commercial operator Adventure Southland. All abseil equipment is provided for this stage. Athletes can expect instruction from professionals to aid the completion of this stage. On arrival at the abseil athletes will pass a ‘dead timing mat’ (I.e. timing will stop). All athletes will have no more than 5 minutes to prepare for the abseil with the equipment provided. Once ready teams will cross the ‘time on’ mat and commence the abseil. Athletes will then continue to circumnavigate around the base of the mountain back to the West Wanaka Bridge to prepare for Stage 3 Kayak.
STAGE 3 – KAYAK MATUKITUKI RIVER to WANAKA WATERFRONT
Distance: 20 km
Expected Fastest time: 1 hr 45min
The 2 km paddle out of the Mouth of the mighty Matukituki river will lead competitors past the Island, onto lake Wanaka. From here teams will pass on the inside of Moa Tapu island and then navigate their way towards the finish line on the shores of lake Wanaka. Teams are required on the inside/waterfall creek side of Ruby Island.
Important: In the event that Lake Wanaka is too dangerous to kayak an alternative route will be used. Athletes will run to Paddock Bay, transition into Kayaks to paddle to the Glendhu Bay/Mt Aspiring lookout then run the Millennium Track into Wanaka and the finish of day one.
FINISH - LAKE WANAKA
The first teams will cross the finish line at approximately 1.30pm. The race will close at 6.30pm.