Epic Adventure tackled by 31 youth Teams.


The 13th GO-4-12 Youth Adventure Race started at 5:30am Saturday morning in Hawke’s Bay and 31 of the best adventure racing teams in New Zealand lined up to take on the challenge. 

The thirteenth annual Spot NZ GO-4-12 Youth Adventure Race was held in Hawkes Bay on the weekend of the thirteenth of April. Again, the event was also the official New Zealand Secondary Schools Adventure Racing Championships and the best teams of young adventure racers from around New Zealand converged on Hawke’s Bay to give it their all. Starting at the Te Aratika lodge (Formally known as the Camp David Adventure Centre) teams were first challenged with a 5km night Trek where they had to stop midway and light a fire before they could continue. After the Trek teams boarded their Tube rafts for a massive 19km paddle to TA2 before commencing a 8km navigation section, that took them to Gumtree Gate on McKenzie Rd which was the location of Transition Three.  From the third Transition Teams could complete the mountain bike, Rogaine or activity sections before heading home on their mountain bikes.   

Along with the hot shots and the young guns there was a variety of teams that were mainly just out there for the adventure and what an adventure it was, with the first teams predicted to finish the course in just over nine Hours and the last in just over twelve hours.  The challenges during the day included 19 km of paddling on tube Rafts with some impressive times from the top Boys teams.  The next 8km trekking section was a plan B option to avoid some over vigorous river crossings and the increased navigation caught two teams out with them unable to find CP4 and becoming unranked for not clipping a CP. The next task faced by most teams was a 17km mountain Biking section over the 660m Mount Kahuranaki and a few teams chose to collect only some of the CP controls on this section as they were optional. Back at the TA teams were faced with the red box puzzle, throw bagging, the hoops and planks crossing, the pyramid and cross puzzle, the toxic waste challenge, the Lego ® challenge, the Star puzzle, the knot tying challenge and the mine field.  There was also a Rogaine with up to 24km of navigation to challenge the navigators. After completing all that they could at the Gumtree Gate Transition teams rode home with all but two teams getting home just before the 5:30pm cutoff.

The event was open to youth Year 10 and above (or equivalent aged youth) and there were male, female and mixed categories and was also the NZSS Champs competition.  The basic concept behind the event has not changed since the establishment of the event in 2006 by a group of friends who loved adventure Racing.  What has changed over the years is the way the event is tracked and managed as with the technology provide by Spot NZ and Taylor Communication organisors and team support crews could follow where teams were on the course which was very handy when one team abandoned their rafts and walked to TA3, missing TA2. 

For many the GO-4-12 event provides valuable lessons, but the most spectacular lesson was provided by the team who accidently set fire to their race map during the fire lighting challenge. “All the teams that took part should have a massive sence of achievement and I believe that this experience leads to other goals and has good cross overs to everyday life for these youth” Race Director David Tait said.  Every team that started the event finished, though a few had dwindled to 2 or 3 competitors by the Te Aratika lodge (Camp David Adventure Centre) finish line.

In a lot of ways, the race played out as expected with a massive battle between Trident High School and New Plymouth Boys' High School in the boys with it at one stage looking like it could go either way, but team Chicken Soup Brothers from New Plymouth Boys' High School slipped ahead to a win. Some fared that they had possibly misjudged the speed that they would complete the last bike with them finishing with twenty six minutes to spare that they could have collected more points but Trident also raced the last section faster than they expected so any advantage would have been lost to get one up on the Chicken Soup Brothers. In the Girls race it was a battle between two New Plymouth girls' High School teams with Stitch Ups and Gone Girls finishing only 115 points apart. The racing was even closer in the mixed section with Team Waicol from Waimea College edging out team Cumulonimbus from Trident High School by only 65 points.

The next GO-4-12 will held in Hawke’s Bay in April – 15th April 2019

For more information head to go412.co.nz or   

2018 Results       

NZSSARC Mixed - Sponsored by Led Lenser from Tighlines

  • 1st 2905 59 Team Waicol Maggie McLean Waimea College, Nelson Cameron Jones Mac Karalus Luke Born
  • 2nd 2840 58 Cumulonimbus Alex Coventry Trident High School Oliver Dobbin Isobel Wotton Tim Olthuis
  • 3rd 2675 62 HNHS Senior C Thomas Culham Havelock North High School Jenna Tidswell William Tidswell Bruno McDonald

NZSSARC Girls - Sponsored by Lowe Alpine & Rab and Leatherman

  • 1st 2615 45 NPGHS Stitch Ups Caterina Poletti New Plymouth Girls' High School Annabel Jones Jody Rawlinson Georgia Bricknall
  • 2nd 2500 46 Gone Girls Charlie Godwin New Plymouth Girls' High School Ella Wood Melanie Bishop Lilah Gilgenberg
  • 3rd 1885 48 THS Girls Danika Brown Taradale High School Hannah Findlay Lily Valentine Brooke Challis

NZSSARC Boys - Sponsored by Rasdex

  • 1st 3065 30 Chicken Soup Brothers Oak Jones New Plymouth Boys' High School Jason Bond Lachie White Zac Drinkwater
  • 2nd 2950 26 Ban 1080 Kaya Corporaal Trident High School, Whakatane Luke Sevfert Regan Wilson Sam McLeary
  • 3rd 2835 22 WARTS Yellow Lochiel Espiner Whangarei Boys High School Blake Williamson Johnny Wilson John Magrath