Richie McCaw and iSPORT teammates heli evacuated off the GODZone course in Fiordland
Richie McCaw was competing in the GODZone race again.
Former All Black Richie McCaw and his iSPORT teammates Rob Nichol, Jo Williams and Tim Sikma were heli evacuated off the GODZone course in the Fiordland National Park on Sunday, with Nichol suffering from ill-health.
GODZone operational headquarters confirmed the team had been airlifted from CP4 at the Olivine Hut, which is located high up in the Pyke River area on the Main Divide, and flown out to Glenorchy to meet up with their support crew.
Stuff understands Nichol, the New Zealand Rugby Players Association boss, had a medical issue that prevented him for continuing, while Williams and Sikma are going to team up with another team and continue racing unranked.
In total, there have been four helicopter medical extractions from stage three of the gruelling 710km course, and two teams are walking out to the Hollyford shelter to meet their support crews.
* Richie McCaw and iSPORT teammates heli evacuated off the GODZone course in Fiordland
* All Black great Richie McCaw celebrates second in six-day slog that is GODZone with a pie and a beer
* Matamata-Piako farmers compete in week-long adventure race
There are currently nine unranked teams.
GODZone race director Warren Bates says it indicates how tough and challenging the terrain is that teams are currently travelling over.
“Day two and three have been particularly arduous for some teams, and when you’re load-bearing and carrying a lot of weight with food, pack rafts and other essentials, it can be a shock to the body. We are seeing quite a few ankle, leg and knee injuries in this very steep and gnarly country.
“It will be disappointing for those teams having to withdraw at this early stage of a nine-day race, but some will be able to join up with others who have lost teammates and then carry on unranked.”
At the front of the field, world champion adventure racing team Avaya with Nathan Fa’avae, Sophie Hart, Stu Lynch and Chris Forne, continue to charge ahead.
“Avaya has not put a foot wrong yet, and it has taken them over 48 hours to get through the 155km stage packraft and trek over the Main Divide. They are currently pack rafting on the Dart River and expected to arrive in Glenorchy around 7pm tonight.”