PowerGal...you know you have it in you..
All Womenís 6 hour Adventure Challenge for 3.
Sorry we are too busy racing to get another one off the ground in 2011 perhaps the Power Gal will be back in 2014 ??
POWER GAL 2008 RACE REPORT
Letís face it race day of the inaugural Power Gal all womenís 6 hour adventure race dawned a shocker but that did not dampen the enthusiasm of the 60 women who had signed up to take on the challenge. The night before at the race briefing officials had talked of canning the first tubing leg and ferrying teams across the estuary to Pauanui if the weather was inclement. Obviously, inclement means different things to different people as from where most competitors and spectators were sitting, the combination of gale force winds and a screaming 3 knot tidal current looked inclement enough. However, the race was still on with the only condition being that teams needed to tie their tubes together to prevent teammates becoming separated from each other.
At 8.00am teams were off flinging themselves into the tide with varying levels of bravery. Within seconds they were swept downstream by the currents and wind. The wind drowned out the shrieks of fear and delight and a short 10 minutes later teams began to emerge from the water on the Pauanui side of the harbour. Luckily all the teams made it across the harbour safely, with the only rescue being performed on a floating flipper. The second leg was a 6km urban rogaine around the Pauanui streets combined with a couple of mystery activities located along Pauanui beach. Team Allez Allez stormed through this first stage even beating the local Team Pauanui into transition one by 9 minutes in a time of 1:02:32. Team Pauanui was second in a time of 1:11:04 followed closely by the Ladies Country Womenís Institute in 1:12:04 and Turtle Racing.co.nz in 1:15:42.
Stage 2 saw teams dump their tubes and swim gear and head around the coastal track which was being pounded by heavy seas to attack the grueling climb up to the Pauanui trig. Team Allez Allez were once again on fire on this leg and pushed hard to complete it in 53:42 with Turtle Racing.co.nz putting in a burner to complete the climb in 57.03 and The Ladies Country Womenís Institute third fastest in 58.55.
Transition 2 was a remote transition and teams were forced to feed themselves, change clothes and prepare for the next stage with no shelter. This played havoc with some teamís maps as they struggled to keep them dry and from falling apart in the heavy rain. Stage 3 was a 32 km mountain bike ride with some technical navigation thrown in to test the teams. There was also a surprise jelly bean stop to boost morale. On this leg teams were required to take pictures of the checkpoint letter with two teammates in the shot. This caused some confusion at the first checkpoint and resulted in some teams being penalized even though they had been in the right area. However, rules are rules and race officials demanded a photo of every letter. Stage 3 was tough for all teams but once again Team Allez Allez pulled out the fastest time in 2:48:13 with Dirt Divas second fastest in a time of 2.56.14 and De Perfect Trio close behind in 2:56.48. This leg turned into a nightmare for Team Pauanui as they suffered two broken chains and a broken seat. They limped in to transition 3 in a time of 3:59:08.
Transition 3 was a welcome chance for teams to meet their support crew and fuel up for the final 2 legs. The first was a tube down Tairua River, where teams had to dive for clues in deep pools, followed by a 2 km section of track, then a rock hopping down river run back to transition to drop lifejackets, tubes and helmets. Once again Team Allez Allez showed their strength by completing this leg in the fastest time of 51:52 followed by Turtle Racing .co.nz in 54:36 and The Ladies Country Womenís Institute in 57:25.
The final leg saw teams trek up to Collins Drive in the Broken Hills area. Here the girls were faced with a 500 metre mine shaft and the challenge of carrying a balloon through the bush down steep slippery terrain without popping it. Team Allez Allez lost concentration here and had to retrace their steps handing the fastest time on this leg to The Ladies Country Womenís Institute in 1:14:21 the second fastest time went to the Clowns 1:18:15 and the third to Turtle Racing.co.nz 1:18:17.
Overall results saw the Vets team Allez Allez take out the overall win with full points in a time of 7:38:17. Second place and first in the Open category went to Turtle Racing.co.nz with full points in a total time of 8:22:49 they were followed by The Ladies Country Womenís Institute with 31 points in 8:14:13. Third in the Open category was De Perfect Trio with 31 points in a time of 8:49:15. Second in the Vets category was Dirt Divas with 31 points in 9:05:38. Third in the Vets were the Chocolate Martinis with 31 points in 10:24:40.
Here is a bit of a spiel that we have written about the Power Gal Adventure Race. Hope you enjoy it and much as we enjoyed the event. (Raewyn, Tresta @ Wendy)
Friday we started off from Whakatane for a trip to the Coromandell ( Cooks Beach) two cars loaded with bikes and gear.
Friday night briefing, we were handed 3 of the secret maps for Saturday's adventure.
At the briefing we were told the harbour master will tell us if the crossing from Tairua to Pauanui was still on! Friday evening the heavens had opened and the wind was very strong.
Saturday morning we arrived at the Fishing club in Tairua for another briefing and howling winds and rain to be told that at 7.30am the Harbour Master will say yes/no. The event was on, starting with tubing across from Tairua to Pauanui. 102 consecutive days of sunshine (so they told us) and today is the day for it to be nasty.
So off we went all dressed up with our running gear on then on top of that our wet suits, life jackets,Power Gal bibs, a inner tube each( which were joined together as the current, 3 knots and waves were so big they thought it was better for safety) and our running shoes on. Tresta our rudder so to speak had flippers and Wendy the middle girl had a dry bag tied to her waist in it was gloves,blanket,hat,long johns,polar top, 1st aid kit and cell phone,all compulsory g ear, Tresta had her running shoe tied to her life jacket.
Down to the jetty that runs a fair way out into the estuary we went, and it was ready jetty GO! Raewynne jumped on top of her tube as she was the helm, Wendy jumped MISSED the tube, ended up in the water Warren pulling Wendy's arm up so Wendy could have another go, on Wendy went and then Tresta slid on behind, off we went across the estuary, Tresta guiding us in the right direction as she had the best view. Here we must tell you Raewynne was lying out face down Wendy was behind her with my head on her bottom and Tresta with her head on Wendy's. Raewynne and Wendy paddled madly with their arms while Tresta was paddling as well as kicking it would take us at least 6 minutes to get across the worst piece of water. All taking in quite a bit of sea water and Raewynne chaffing her chin badly from the sand from the wash sitting on the tube where her head was. We were last to leave the wharf because of Wendy's drama but made up heaps of ground and were about 10th across, we heard comments after that our technique was superb.
Once we arrived at Pauanui we were into the Rogaine and mystery activities finding about 4 or 5 points carrying three tubes,life jackets wet suits etc etc what a mission! There were two mystery activities.Find them first and then one was to build a sand castle to the top of an electric fence peg and the other about 2kms down was 3/4 fill a 3 litre plastic bottle with sea water by filling a1/2 bike inner tube with two open ends and three holes punched in it a real team effort got this done in no time. Off to find the 1st transition where our support crew of June (Raewynne and Tresta's mother and Warren our sponsor and support crew member) were awaiting us in the pouring rain, glad to be rid of three heavy wetsuits,three inner tubes and three lifejackets plus the flippers which we had dragged around with us for more than 2hrs.
We quickly grabbed our compulsory gear which we all had to carry on this leg, it was a run around the cliffs/coast line of Pauanui then into native bush, to the trig station above Pauanui and more Rogaine work. They hid the letters in very different places under seats on trees at the bottom of trees etc etc. When we got to the top of the mountain, Skippers Is looked like a peanut in the distance. Then we made our way towards the forest and down the end of the straight through the rain and mist Tresta spotted our Mountain Bikes standing up against a hill with a big black bag which was there to keep our bike shoes, helmets,gloves and camera dry. How could we miss our Mt bikes what with the famous basket and colourful spokes which we acquired while doing "The Gentle Annie" some weeks earlier. Raewynne and Tresta sorted out our wet map which some parts by now were barely readable, we must add from not the lack of cover as they were in supreme dry covers. But we had to turn them around and change maps and NO tarps to hide under.
The mountain bike leg was 35 km. The riding was not too bad at all, some good hills. ( we had mud flying off our wheels in all directions) We strategically decided to miss two points. Each point we found had to be photographed with our heads or left hands in view. First point we found had the control indicator down the bottom of a pole in cutty grass, so after a couple of cuts we decided just to take the photo but this was disallowed as the control point was not visible. A lesson learnt for the future. Wendy was a good eagle eye spotty many points quickly. Other teams tried to throw us off the scent while others were very nice. One STOP was not on the map but we followed instructions to find a little bag of jelly beans from the organisers for each team. These little diversions were very nice and uplifting in the pouring rain. Our last control point before leaving the forest went horribly wrong when wet maps and competitor notes were not that readable and we ended up pushing our bikes up two big hills only to finally listen to Tresta's feeling we were going wrong. Back down again to find a team at the bottom reading some competitor notes out loud saying where we should be turning. Off we went for the last 6 km on road to the transition point.
From here we were back into life jackets and bike helmets to tube on the river. We had clues to control points again and this time had to look under water too, but one had drifted down river and we were lucky Tresta had the eagle eye this time. Out of the river and through a big drain with running water through it to find a control point above our heads!, Then through bush, guess and combination lock to get a Easter egg, yum, then Wendy thought she would slide down a clay bank on her backside down to the river and tubing down some small rapids. Wendy liked the rapids so much she decided to stay there and have a little rest, Raewynne couldn't handle that so came and pulled her off her throne, only to have her slip over a few steps further and wave goodbye to her tube as it floated down river. Wendy chased it along the river bank and another team retrieved it for her. A few bumps and bruises from the rocks in the river but we made it out will all points from this section and back to transition again.
Last leg was a trek so back on with all the compulsory gear, wring out the polyprop and off at a jog. Once again we headed up up up to another trig/look out. There were lots of tunnels in the area and we had to go through one that was 500metres long! Very spooky but we had our head lights. Had to find a clue on the wooded beams and then a detour off a side tunnel to find a balloon we had to try and get to the finish line in tact. Raewynne managed to do this only to find we had to pop it in a group hug. In our haste to finish we missed the last control point but hey we were over it by then. Ten hours twenty mins and what a great feeling of achievement at the end. The organisers and Marshalls etc greeted us like champions.
The second tubing section was enjoyed by many, including De Perfect Trio....
An insight into adventure racing from Karyn Burns of The Ladies from the Country Women's Institute
The Power Gal for me started with a New Years resolution (the only one I have managed to stick to I might add!). To take a more active role in the team while adventure racing.I started this crazy sport just over year ago by being suckered into supporting for the 1020. Basically the team I was supporting for looked like they were having such an awesome time; I felt I was missing out on a whole heap of fun. Hence I decided to give it a go myself.I went into the Power Gal with 3 main goals 1) to improve my navigation skills, 2) support the Girls on Topís effort at getting more females into the sport and 3) race with girls for a change. These goals I feel I have achieved.
For those thinking about giving this sport a go I say get on and do it!!! It is a great way to see parts of New Zealand that you otherwise wouldnít (and that the general public often donít have access to), hang out with an awesome group of people, to challenge yourself physically and mentally (maybe while ticking off a few New Years resolutions along the way) and to achieve a great sense of accomplishment (sure at the time it may not feel easy but you do feel great afterwards).
My path into adventure racing started slowly by doing shorter events with short legs, without paddling and lots of mystery activities Ė Like the Power Gal and P6. From there I progressed to adding kayaking to some 12 hour events as offered by the likes of ARC, before finally making the jump to 24hours. Along the way I was well supported by a good bunch of friends, and chose teams that had some experience in adventure racing but didnít want to go at a particularly fast pace. Alternatively picking team mates of a similar skill levels and targeting events that were appropriate for those skills works just as well. As your skills improve, choose slightly harder events.
For those wanting to get into Adventure Racing there are many ways to improve your skills and fitness. One of the best ways to improve skills is by supporting for an experienced team, watching them and picking their brains before or after the event (please not during the race for your own well being!!) is a great way to pick up ideas and tips. Keep an eye out for events that do not require kayaking or support crew as these are often a lot easier to logistically manage (and cheaper than hiring boats or bribing support crew).
If it is navigation and map work you need try the local orienteering club for local events (esp over the summer). These guys are wonderful at teaching newbies and are very approachable (if you can get past their strange clothes). Rogaines are often available in the city (urban rogaines) or outside the city in farmland or forestry.
For fitness look out for mountain bike events such as the enduro series or take some friends to Woodhill or Rotorua and buy a map. Try your navigation skills there. Trekking is usually available around most cities and the DOC or information centre can help you out with maps.
The Ladies From the Country Womens Institute about to take tea!! yeah right
The start wasn't what most expected... but no one worried about being wet for the rest of the day...
Team Extreme Take to the bikes as always smiling the whole time !
Click on this to read Dirt Divas Race Report
February 23rd 2008, TAIRUA AREA COROMANDEL
DOWNOLAD AND PRINT ENTRY FORM
Latest news 20/02/08
Only three more sleeps !! Here is the final up-date. Lucky for you we have nothing new to tell you. Registration is at the Tairua Fishing Club from 6pm. Here we will check your complusory gear and give you your race notes, bibs, number and a few goodies. If you feel a little unsure about your navigation please do not be scared to ask for some tips.The briefing will also be at the Tairua fishing club and will start at 8pm sharp. Here we will run through key points of the course, talk a bit about safety and give you your maps. Then there will be time for questions and answers.
On Saturday morning you will need to be at the start line (we will tell you where that is on Friday) at 7.40am as we will be giving you a map which you will need a little time to study before you start at 8pm.
We hope you are all fighting fit and ready to take on the Power Gal challenge.
Debbie, Anne and Ally.
The final countdown is on:
1. We have decided to make the use of flippers optional for the first tubing section (be aware you will have to carry them if you choose to use them)
2. You will need one pair of swimming googles or a mask per team for one of the water sections.
3. There will be Indian food available for purchase at the finish line. Lamb breyani $7.50 Vegetable breyani $5.00 and juice $1 per cup.
4. Drinking water will only be available at the first transition
5. Support crews will spend quite a bit of time in one location so it would be a good idea to pack a tarp or a tent for them to get shelter from the rain or sun.
See you at the registration at the Tairua Fishing Club in Tui Terrace (near the Tairua wharf).. Registration is from 6pm and briefing is at 8pm.
We have been sending out information over the past week to make it easier for you once you get to the event. Please check that you have received the following attachments. Power Gal 2008 info night, Power gal booklet Map Definitions, Rules and Regulations. Please disregard the document Navigation night tips as it was mistakenly sent to some of you. If you have not received all three documents please let me know on firstname.lastname@example.org.
We know girls aren't competitive but we thought we'd put up a list of the teams you will be sharing the Power Gal experience with just incase you are interested !!!:
VRooM : Rebekah Gunns,Vicki Quinn, Maree Street
The Ladies from the Country Women's Institute: Erin Roberts, Karyn Burns, Rosy Taylor
Kiwi Velo Chicks: Vanessa Guyton, Elizabeth Campbell, Janna Hamilton
Masakar: Sally Doherty, Mary Parete, Karen Sutton
Pine Tree Maids: Karen Baverstock, Kylie Broxton, Kylie Eltham
Clowns: Natalie Lyons, Catherine Waetford, Spare Wheel Sonia
The Sirens: Susan Fryer, Gill Campbell, Kim Ward-Brown
"Wingn it": Caren Kowalski, Shelly Smith, Laura Simpson
Team Pauanui: Paula Leen, Mandy Alexander, Kirsten Edlington
Which way home? Erin Flavall, Tracey Hay, Steff Klingspor.
Team Big Day Out: Elke Haag, Shelly Gosse, Melanie Day
De Perfect Trio: Debbie Bevins, Pam Hewlett, Tracey McMillan
Team Buff: Zoe Albon, Annie Windross, Kim
Business One: Brenda Schmidt, Kristin Hewitt, Sharon Stevenson
Team Extreme: Tracey Thomas, Hayley Morton, Tracey Fitton
Allez Allez: Leigh Cockerill, Linda Craig, Kim Shaw
Hinemoa House Health Hustlers: Raelene Phipps, Karen Trevithick, Judi Donnell
Eastern Bay of Plenty Go Getters: Wendy Goes, Tresta Russell, Raewynne Blommerde
Party Mix: Elaine Barrington, Linda Porter, Justine Cramptom
Dirt Divas: Di Michels, Surita, Raeanne
Chocloate Martinis: Shanda Wallis, Fujine Wolken, Fiona Mackenzie
Only 12 sleeps till the race !! Here is some more information that may or may not make you sleep easier. The race will consist of 5 stages. The total distance of the entire course is 50 kms. Approx 32 kms of that will be covered on the bikes and the remaining 18kms will be on foot or tubing.
We will email you with any up-dates and new information but if you have any questions feel free to contact us. We would also like to welcome Buff on board as a spot prize sponsor. Buff is a multi-functional headwear that offers technical performance and protection from the elements. Buff headwear keeps you cool in the heat and warm in the cold. Check them out on www.buffnz.co.nz
Cheers Anne, Debbie, Ally
Important race information 3
Thanks for entering the Power Gal. We hope you are looking forward to it as much as we are. Following is more information for you regarding the weekend of the race.
1. We will be putting three meal tickets in your race packs for a cooked breakfast at the prize giving on the Sunday morning. Friends and family are welcome to come along for breakfast but they will need to purchase extra tickets. Let us know by email before February 15th if you wish to purchase any more tickets and you can pay on the day. The cost is $12.50 per person, and $7.00 for under 10year olds.
2. We will also be holding an information night in Auckland at 31 Princes St, City Central (in Albert Park opposite the University of Auckland clocktower) on February 12th at 6.30pm for all competitors who are interested. We will cover topics such as basic navigation, basic nutrition and tips for first time adventure racers. We will put the information covered on the Girls on Top website after the 12th Feb for those who can not attend. Please send us an email to let us know if you are coming.
3. If you are looking for accommodation in Tairua area have a look on the Tairua Information centre website http://www.tairua.info/accommodation.htm or www.bookabach.co.nz. The briefing and prize giving will be held at the Tairua fishing club which is on Tui Terrace (near the Tairua wharf).
4. NOTES FOR THE EVENT:You will need one camera per team for the mountain bike leg of the race.You may want to think about bringing a track pump for deflating and inflating your tubes during the event.
All the best with your training. If you have any further questions feel free to contact us.
Debbie, Anne and Ally
Important race information 2
The course is all set and we are really excited about the event.The scenery is awesome and we can guarantee you guys are going to have a ball out there. We would like to welcome on board some new sponsors of the event. Horleys - intelligent sports nutrition -www.horleys.co.nz have come on board with some spot prizes and goodies for race packs. Also for you Auckland based ladies Bruno from cyclexpress is offering 10% discount on bike services if you mention the Power Gal. We strongly recommend you all get your bikes checked before race day. Cyclexpress is located in Panmure see www.cyclexpress.co.nz for more details. We have a number of events coming up to help you prepare for the Power Gal . The first is a training run at Okura Bush, North Shore, Auckland on Wednesday 30th January at 6.30pm. Meet at the end of Haighs Access Rd. Email or phone Debbie to let us know you are coming email@example.com or 0274846748. The plan is to walk or run at your own pace for 1 hour then turn around and all finish back at the carpark together, making it a 2 hour session in total. Please bring water, food, a head torch, a whistle, and some minimal gear just to be safe. Anyone is welcome so bring along your friends, partners, family etc. We are also planning an information night covering basic navigation, nutrition, and transitions. We will also answer any questions you may have about the event. We will up-dte this site with more details later but it is likely to be early February.
Important race information 1
What does it involve?
This event has been designed by women for women. It involves teams of three navigating their way to various checkpoints with the help of a map and compass. The race will include trekking, mountain biking, tubing and mystery activities. As with all adventure races, the course will be kept secret until the event briefing. All three team members must remain together and complete the course together at all times.
Who is it aimed at?
This is an entry level event designed for those wanting to give adventure racing a go. The winning team is expected to finish in 6 hours, the slowest team will take no longer than eleven hours.
What equipment do you need?
The only special equipment competitors will need for this event is a mountain bike, pair of walking/running shoes, and a car inner tube. You will also need a support crew of one or two people to transport your bikes and gear from one transition to another.
Get some friends or colleagues together and start training. Entry forms can be printed from here from December 12th.
PowerGal will be based on the Coromandel Peninsula, the exact location revealed via the website during the 1st week of January 2008.
The course involves trekking, mountain biking (including 4wd tracks), tubing, and mystery activities. Navigation will be entry level, all maps will be supplied at race briefing and you will not need any extra maps. The course will be kept secret until the Friday briefing at which time the course itself becomes out of bounds until Sat 8am start time.
Completion of the course in its entirety is the aim of Power Gal, it is expected that the fastest team will complete the course in approximately 6 hours and the course will remain open for until 8pm. If you can walk 10km's, swim/float 100m on a tyre tube whilst talking constantly, cycle 20km's, laugh whilst eating, then you can complete the challenge.
Registration & Briefing:
Registration will be open from 6pm Friday 22nd Feburary.
Race briefing is COMPULSORY attendance by ALL team members and will begin at 8pm sharp. (You will be give the registration location when the course location is released 1st week of January).
Compulsory gear to be carried by each team member at ALL TIMES; yes this means you HAVE TO CARRY THE COMPULSORY GEAR with you for safety reasons.
Thermal long pants
Thermal long sleeve top
Thermal Hat & Gloves
Long sleeve 100 weight fleece top
Headlamp or torch
TEAM COMPULSORY GEAR (must be carried within the team at all times)
Mobile Phone with full battery in a dry bag (or sealed waterproof bag)
First Aid kit consisting of strapping tape (min 2 meters), pain killers, band aids x5, pocket knife, 5cm crepe bandage, sunscreen, 3 min 4x4 cm gauze dressings, antiseptic cream.
Helmet (certified international safety standard)
Red Rear flashing light
Spare inner tube
Regular size car inner tube (inflated would be useful)
Footwear (mion sandals or some old running shoes, aqua socks or similar)
Wetsuits are optional but NOT compulsory
You will need to be able to swim 100meters without assistance.
Water poof bag (ie dry bag), your pack may get wet throughout the race.
Trek / Walk Section
Pack to carry your gear
Footwear - like Golite off road shoes, some grippy shoes are an advantage or running shoes (footy boots are not needed!)
Water bottle / drinking system
Click here to download a free specific training programme to get you through the event... no excuses now.
A minimum of only 1 support person per team will be needed (more are welcome of course). All support crews must be registered with the race officials. Support crews are required to support bikes, clothing, food, water and other equipment to transition points and provide moral support for competitors.
You must remain together and complete the course as a team, no further than 100 meters apart at any one time.
Outside assistance is only allowed in designated transition areas.
You must be prepared to smile, laugh and have fun.
Chocolates are not accepted as bribes by officals, but are welcomed.
Further rules will be given at race briefing.
Placings and Awards
Placings and awards will be Sunday 10am at the event briefing location. You are encouraged to bring your support crew, families and friends along to celebrate your success.
A portion of the entries recieved will be donated to the Breast Cancer Society.