Teams from Cromwell College won the girls' and mixed section, while Dunstan High School teams won the boys' and three-person girls' team categories. The Dunstan High School boys' team posted the fastest time of the championships; finishing the course in 7hr 41min 40sec.
The challenging event, based at Dolamore Park, near Gore, saw more than 60 competitors kayak, trek, mountainbike and abseil across a course that was almost 60km, using their navigation skills to mark off checkpoints along the way.
Southland Triathlon and MultiSport Club president Ginge Burnett said mild conditions and the challenge of fog added to the event and he had received plenty of positive feedback on the nature of the course.
"Dolamore Park was a great base for the event and offered us plenty of options," he said.
"It was great being able to use the Mataura River for the paddle, a nice safe river, and then be able to use the man-made lake as well. They went up into the hills and up to East Peak for the first trek, then dropped into Dolamore Park where they transitioned to the mountainbike section. That traversed part of the MLT Moonshine Trail course, which was a bit of a bonus - we're very lucky to have the support of the landowners to enable us to use such good terrain."
The course finished with a final trek, which saw long course competitors head up towards the Hedgehope repeater, then come back to complete an abseil before finishing, all coming in well under the 12 hour time limit.
The championships, hosted by the Southland Triathlon and MultiSport Club and Sport Southland, were an ideal buildup for the national championships, being held in Central Otago in April and Burnett is expecting the winning South Island teams to carry their form through to the national event.
"In the past couple of years the South Island championships have been held in Cromwell and those Central Otago teams get a lot more experience than perhaps some of our Southland school teams would," he said.
"The weekend has been a great chance to get the kids out and involved in adventure racing, though. They're out there on the hills with their mates and while they go through stages where they might hate each other, by the end of the race they are so proud of each other. Adventure racing is a great team thing, it's all about getting everyone to the finish line."
- © Fairfax NZ News