New Zealand and Australian teams competing in the 2014 series of The Amazing Race Australia.
New Zealand and Australian teams competing in the 2014 series of The Amazing Race Australia. Channel 7

Rivals ready to run in new trans-Tasman Amazing Race series

TRANS-Tasman rivalry will fuel the new season of The Amazing Race Australia.

The round-the-world race sees five teams from Australia and five teams from New Zealand rushing to be the first team across one of 10 finish lines spread across 90,000km of travel.

Host Grant Bowler grew up with the friendly rivalry between his own family members. Born in Auckland, Bowler grew up in Sydney, Perth and Brisbane.

"For me it's the perfect opportunity to stir both sides of the pot," Bowler told APN.

"A big part of my family's culture is that rivalry of those two nations. It reminds me of all the best parts of my childhood.

"There was a civil war every year in my house and that was the Bledisloe Cup when the All Blacks and Wallabies went at it. No kidding, my home went nuts."

He is currently based in Los Angeles and stars in the Syfy Channel's drama Defiance.

"After Defiance dropped, I really doubted I'd be able to do any more races," he said.

"I didn't know if the timeframes would fit, so I was happy when the guys at Seven rang and the times worked."

This year's race starts in Australia's spiritual centre at Uluru. The teams will be competing for national pride as well as the $250,000 grand prize.

"They're all very competitive and in terms of their physical capabilities they seem like a very agile, mobile bunch," Bowler said.

"That leads to some hotly contested racing."

Australia's competitors include two bodybuilders, pageant models and intensive care nurses, while the Kiwis include two foster parents and a pair of fitness mums.

But Bowler has a race of his own during filming, often cutting it fine to both appear at the starting and finish lines.

"I have my own crew - two cameramen, a sound operator, producer and myself - and we run like a satellite race on our own," he said.

"It can be up to 25 to 30 hours between the teams and sometimes we're there 25 hours after the first teams come in and then go off again.

"Sometimes it gets a little crazy. In the first race I beat the first team by 17 minutes. If we hadn't beaten them then we would have buggered up the whole race. We have to win and lose every leg."

The Amazing Race Australia V New Zealand debuts on Monday at 8.45pm on Channel 7.



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