A group of Opunake High School students won Saturday's Big Bang Adventure Race, which saw three teams rescued after getting lost in the Maungakotukutuku Valley.
In wet conditions, Opunake completed the bike, trek, navigation and kayaking in six hours and 25 minutes, racing around Whareroa Farm, Queen Elizabeth Park and Maungakotukutuku Valley.
"It went, literally, swimmingly. It was very, very wet," organiser Carrie Yaxley said.
"The weather was a bit of a pain. We had a couple of teams pull out because of it, but otherwise it went really well."
About 200 people competed in the race. The route remained a mystery until Saturday, when competitors set off from Whareroa Farm with a cycle up to the Maungakotukutuku Valley.
From there teams had to complete a navigation course, locating various sites, before biking back down to Whareroa Farm and heading to the beach for a kayak.
Otaki twins Kerry and Ricky Bevan were unable to complete the race due to the cold, but Kerry said the race was great fun.
"It's the second year we've done it. It's great fun getting out and about, but we actually got a bit lost this year.
"We were lost for about half an hour on the navigation section, and I'll put that down to my brother Ricky. We were told to stay on the tracks, and didn't, so next year we'll stay on the tracks."
After finding their way out of the navigation section the brothers pulled out, with the cold weather becoming too much.
While the Bevans were lost for about half an hour, three teams spent up to eight hours on the navigation section, after becoming seriously lost.
Yaxley said search and rescue staff were on hand to find the missing teams, and were dispatched once it was decided they must be lost.
"We know that it can be tough, and have a rough idea of how long it should take. For some people it takes a bit longer than others," she said.
"So there came the point when we decided they'd been out too long. That's what search and rescue are there for."
Once found the missing teams were walked down to the transition area.
Planning has begun for next year's Big Bang.
- Kapiti Observer