"Good outdoor skills and a comprehensive understanding of how to look after yourself in the backcountry are a pre-requisite of entry to GODZONE. The event has been running a long time with lots of information about what goes on and what is expected of competitors. This is the toughest and most technical adventure race in the world. Be prepared."
Teams are not required to provide certificates of competence. However, it is a pre-requisite of entry that all competitors take personal responsibility for ensuring they have the skills, fitness and have prepared thoroughly for taking part in GODZONE. Team captains, in particular, should ensure that their team mates have the requisite ability to undertake an event of this nature. Any team or individual that the organisers deem to be insufficiently competent, or fit, to undertake any particular aspect of the event will be immediately asked to leave the course. GODZONE has been running for over 10 years with extensive media coverage and information available about what is involved. Everyone should enter the event with their ‘eyes wide open’ and know what will be ahead of them in the wilderness.
It is the competitors responsibility to ensure that they have all the skills to take on either the GZ Pure and GZ Pursuit events. If you are in any doubt about whether you have what it takes to compete at GODZONE contact the organisation via Keren, the competitor liaison, to discuss your options. Competitor safety is the most important thing at GODZONE but the organisers can only do so much. All teams and individuals enter on the basis that everyone takes responsibility for themselves during the event and pre-race preparation.
All participants are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the requirements of wilderness travel and navigation, rope work and related equipment (specific skills will be outlined in Newsletters) and water safety (see below for more information). We strongly recommend that teams take their skill training extremely seriously. Teams and competitors should also ensure that they have first aid competency and know how to deal with situations in a calm and effective manner. Team should read and understand what is required in the conditions set out in the Acknowledgement, Waiver and Release form. All competitors will have to sign this form at registration.
Given the nature of GODZONE and the unpredictability of the weather, all participants are asked to ensure that they they carry all Mandatory Gear as stipulated by the Race Rules, as a very minimum. Individuals must take personal responsibility for themselves and their team mates.
The need for good water skills and spending a lot of time out on the water is paramount to safety and your enjoyment. There is no substitute for experience and good quality training. However, we will once again reiterate below that you need to take things seriously.
It is not good enough to spend a couple of days in an inflatable boat or kayak beforehand and expect that this will ensure your safety and enjoyment. At the very least you should have a Grade II Certificate (or International equivalent) and plenty of ‘water time’ so that you can put your skills to the test in a variety of conditions. If you have watched GODZONE before you know that we like to take teams on to more challenging water – sometimes up to Grade III+ – and the more water skills you have, the better.
Australian rivers are generally slower flowing than many overseas countries. Though lower water levels can make obstacles such as fallen trees (strainers) and rocks more difficult to avoid and, therefore, dangerous. Competitors should arrive at the event comfortable with the skills of canoeing/kayaking and how to use a throw line and rescue team mates.
The list below is a non-exhaustive outline of the skills that you should prepare for (using both inflatable canoe and kayak, Canadian/single blade and double bladed kayak paddle):
- General knowledge: In discussion with a recognised kayak instructor the competitor should show good knowledge of the following: Personal kayaking and safety equipment, river dynamics at Grade II and III level, hazards associated with kayaking including broaching, strainers and foot entrapment and the actions taken to avoid or minimise these hazards.
- Moving water skills: Competitors must ensure competence in the following skills in Grade II water: Capsize in a grade II rapid and self rescue by actively swimming with all equipment to an eddy, forward paddling, forward and reverse sweep strokes, low brace, break in / break out of eddies, ferry glide, identifying a safe line and manoeuvring down Grade II and III rapids.
- Participate in Rescue Skills: The competitor must be able to competently participate in the following rescues: Receive and throw a throw bag, be carried on the stern of a boat and deep water rescue.
Waiver & Release
All competitors must agree to the conditions, declarations and indemnifications outlined in the Acknowledgement Waiver and Release form and be willing to sign this at race registration. It is a prerequisite of entry that teams have read the release form. Click here to view the Acknowledgement Waiver and Release form.
It is recommended that all competitors have appropriate insurance to cover any equipment loss or damage as the organisers will not be responsible for any claims during the event, regardless of fault.
The event organisers a public liability insurance policy- this does not cover participants for the medical costs incurred from any injury sustained during the event.
Australian citizens have free cover to be treated in a hospital due to accident or illness. As an overseas visitor you may be required to pay for this treatment. Most visitors will not be covered. This means that if you need medical attention, you could find yourself substantially out of pocket. Even in a public hospital you could be charged more than $1,000 a day in hospital fees alone.
Some countries have reciprocal agreements in Australia which means your treatment is covered for free. For more details check the website link here.
This is not a replacement for travel insurance and does not cover illness, disrupted travel plans or emergency travel to get you back home. It is a prerequisite of entry that all overseas competitors have suitable personal insurance cover which, amongst other things, mitigates repatriation costs.