Team work pays off for Waimea

JONATHAN MCKEOWN
Last updated 13:03 19/12/2012

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While some teams were bickering to the point of implosion, Waimea College's eight-student team held together to place third at the national Get2Go Challenge final on Great Barrier Island last week.

The team's ability to keep on task and encourage each other saw them record the podium finish, and claim the fastest time in a half marathon up to the 627-metre peak of Mt Hobson.

Team mentor, Waimea College teacher Jane Orbell, quipped that it "must be all that running up to the Richmond lookout" that earned them the impressive feat. However, it was the months of training that saw Waimea College finish third in the country.

Almost 100 year 9 and 10 students from around the country took part in the Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoor Pursuits Centre of New Zealand (OPC) Get2Go Challenge. Over five days the competitors, who had competed in regional qualifiers to get there, undertook a range of outdoor activities including high ropes, raft building, sailing, trail running, orienteering, kayaking and delivering water through an obstacle course.

After two days of group-based problem-solving and skill-based activities the Waimea team was placed fourth. This allowed the team to begin the final days of adventure racing within reach of the top teams.

The adventure race involved an eight-hour rogaine (Rugged Outdoor Group Activity Involving Navigation and Endurance) using navigation skills to collect points in a raft they constructed from kayaks, bamboo and tyre tubes.

The team paddled past many other eights and continued that momentum into the last day.

Eventual winners Cashmere, from Christchurch, found a hidden treasure to get a 30-minute head start in the run up Mt Hobson.

After orienteering through a bird sanctuary, the challenge finished with teams jumping off a jetty and swimming back to shore with back packs.

Orbell said there was one clear area where Waimea excelled.

"Our team work got us through, many other teams had injuries, fights and imploded, said Orbell. "We were always positive, even after over an hour of looking for a checkpoint and being unable to find it.

"In adventure racing you are wasting your time if you dwell on mistakes, and not once during the week were the kids negative towards each other or dwelled on mistakes. They always moved forward, mentally and physically.

"This racing teaches the kids to be selfless, always help out team mates otherwise the team will not go to their potential."

Waimea College has a strong presence in adventure racing with their top team winning the South Island qualifier in October, qualifying for the 2013 Genesis Energy Hillary Challenge at Tongariro OPC next May.

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The 2012 Waimea College Get2Go team: Cambria Doyle, Libby Malthus, Elsie Brownlie, Anna Batty, Remus Courtney, Hayden Squance, Elliott Kennedy, Ben Karalus.

- The Nelson Mail

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