New multisport race announced

GRANT BRYANT
Last updated 05:00 19/02/2014
Southland Times photo
Red Bull Defiance multisport race co-planner, newly sponsored Red Bull athlete, Coast to Coast double consecutive winner, and Wanaka resident Braden Currie fords a river during the planning phases of the adventure race, which will traverse Lake Wanaka, surroundhding rivers and high country in October

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Three hundred hand-picked extreme international athletes will hit Wanaka's high country in October as part of a "first of its kind" race backed by an international energy drink giant.

Red Bull yesterday announced the two-day Red Bull Defiance multisport race - a run, kayak and mountainbike race traversing six high country stations with target shooting and elements of rope work added to keep things innovative.

The energy drink company, along with the Agema Group - a Wanaka-based sports management company - have brought newly branded Red Bull athlete, world multisport champion, Wanaka resident and double consecutive Coast to Coast race winner Braden Currie on board to shape the race.

"I was invited to foster the creation and concept behind an event that offers a new facet to multisport," Currie said.

"Based on my experience of team stage racing in China, I was inspired to develop a style of race that offers epic challenge across a variety of terrains with the additional fun element of racing in a team."

Each of the two event days will be broken down into three stages. Day one starts with a barge ride to Minaret Station, the start-line and a 56km mountainbike ride.

Stage two is a 19km kayak paddle, followed by an 18km run. The run includes an abseiling component, where teams can enjoy the views of Hospital Flat before the dash to the finish line.

Day two starts on the shores of Lake Wanaka, with a 25km kayak paddle across the lake then down the Clutha River.

Stage two is a 25km mountainbike ride, with an additional component of target based shooting.

The event finishes with a 25km run that reaches a 1630m elevation.

Race director Gavin Mason said the fresh format, spectacular setting and contestants, who amounted to athletes handpicked for their skill and excitement factors, would change the face of adventure racing.

"There are so many unique factors to this race. The format and the elevations of the track raced over the unique properties, combined with a limited number of entries available, will make Red Bull Defiance the adventure stage race event in 2014."

Red Bull maintains strong ties with the Wanaka and Wakatipu regions.

The company owns a house used for housing sponsored and company associated athletes on Queenstown Hill and in the past has sponsored multiple events and filming expeditions.

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- The Southland Times

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