Record entries for Spring Challenge

A field of more than 900 women battled it out in the Spring Challenge adventure race near Queenstown at the weekend.

Three options were available to entrants, a 3-hour, a 6-hour and a 10-hour rafting, biking and hiking slog from Chard Farm winery to Mt Rosa winery.

The adventure race is in its seventh year and this was the first time it was staged in the Wakatipu.

Event co-organiser Jodie Fa'avae said the race attracted a record 930 women compared to last year's field of 690 in Methven.

"It was fantastic. We've had our largest number of participants. We were a little bit worried about the weather, the forecast was not looking great but we had a great day.

"Ninety-nine per cent of the women are happy."

The event pitted three-women teams in three-hour, six-hour and 10-hour courses around Gibbston.

Competitors started at Chard Farm with a short run to the Kawarau river then jumped into rafts for a challenging paddle to Rafters Rd via the grade-three "dog leg" rapids.

After the first leg, entrants ran back to the AJ Hackett bungy bridge for a bike ride to Gibbston and the Rabbit Ridge cycling resort.

Six-hour teams biked the Waitiri loop and hiked Mt Mason before finishing at Mt Rosa winery while the 10-hour teams biked to Coal Pit Saddle and then down to Doolans Cr before a navigational challenge and back on to the six-hour course.

Winning teams 10-hour open:

1. Thermatech Thighs of Steel: Ingrid Richter, Lynley Coventry, Naomi Whitehead 8h 42m 27s

2. Team R&R Sport: Sophie Hart, Fleur Pawsey, Suzie Wood 08:59.20

3. Team Thule Gu Energy: Jess Simson, Jo Williams, Sia Svendsen 10:15.42

The Southland Times