While they may not have achieved their fifth goal, Queenstown’s ‘Team Red’ have every reason to be proud.
Regan Pearce, 45, (Ngāti Tuwharetoa) and Regan Pomare, 31, (Ngāpuhi), came tantalisingly close to taking out the $100,000 winners’ prize for Three’s reality TV show Tracked, but were ultimately caught in the penultimate episode.
While Pearce — who left his job, wife, Mel, and four daughters, Trixie, 12, Kuini, 10, Goldie, 8 and Winnie, 4, for the opportunity — describes the feeling of finally being caught after a couple of extremely-close calls as ‘‘raw’’, he has no regrets.
‘‘We had an incredible experience, and I would absolutely do it again with this man beside me,’’ he says of Pomare.
‘‘He taught me so much, not only about myself, but about the missions.
‘‘It’s about patience, and doing things properly.’’
Pomare, who has an extensive army background, says he bred his ‘‘army mentality’’ into his mate.
‘‘The enemy is always going to be there, so get used to it.
‘‘Whether we were going to go on the run or not, we talked over our procedures … it was about remaining clandestine.’’
Pearce: ‘‘It wasn’t just about going out and being the fastest team.
‘‘It was about the bro challenging me and working outside of my comfort zone — it was about being tactical and stealthy.’’
One of their more infamous moments was during a mission in Hanmer Springs, when Team Red, and ultimate winners Team Brown, East Otago’s Riley Meason and Lake Hāwea’s Gabe Ross, were handed down a hefty punishment for not collecting enough trimarks during a previous challenge.
Having already raced through the night, it appeared as though they were sent back out into the bush for another couple of hours.
In reality, they spent another 24 hours avoiding capture — a punishment that didn’t fit the crime, Pearce says.
Pomare: ‘‘I’m kind of glad they didn’t show my reaction, because it was probably worse than [Pearce’s].’’
As for the moment they were finally caught, Pearce remembers it vividly.
‘‘We came around that wee rockface bluff, and the bro just put the brakes on and said, ‘get back, trackers are there’.
‘‘I just had this sick feeling — the end was coming.’’
Disappointment aside, Pomare and Pearce are pumped Team Brown — with whom they formed an alliance at the very beginning — were crowned champions.
‘‘We’re just absolutely stoked for them both,’’ Pearce says.
‘‘Throughout the whole production, the whole mission, those guys worked bloody hard, and they are deserved victors.’’
Pearce says while it’s unfortunate they didn’t manage to get the win, ‘‘I know I’ve made my girls proud and I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity we both had’’.
‘‘We had an incredible experience, and I would absolutely do it again with this man beside me.’’
Pomare, too, would have another crack at it.
‘‘It’s portrayed us pretty honestly, for the most, so I’m not embarrassed or ashamed of how we did anything on the show.
‘‘We didn’t come out with the treats, but we came back with better experiences and we’re still very close mates and call each other out on anything we do wrong.’’
He notes their nickname during filming was ‘Charisma and the Compass’.
‘‘It’s quite funny cos all my friends watching it say, ‘holy shit, you don’t really talk at all’.
‘‘I’m like, ‘I don’t need to, mate, Reg does all the chatting and I just do all the planning and everything else’ … but I [was] the compass and the charisma in the last ep, I think,’’ he says, chuckling.