Category Archives: Race reports

Foxton loop race 10 Aug 2013


The finish line buoy of the 18km race            Photo Charkes Jarvoe

The Foxton loop race is always tough.  The race, starting on an exposed estuary for 4.5 km then heading up a man-made cut for another 4.5 km, it then returns on the same circuitous route and always brings some surprises.  There’s wind, which constantly appears to change as the loop cut snakes its way to Foxton township.  There’s the current – high rain inland can influence the route taken and the race outcome.  And then there’s tide. This year, the race started at 11:00 am and we were told the tide was high at that same hour.  As there had been little rain, we could have expected an upstream leg on slack water and no current on the cut.

At the hooter the top K1, multisport and ski guys zoomed off leaving us slowbies and sea kayakers for dead.  The path upstream was not bad – just a little chop on the exposed sections.  Heading into the cut I felt pretty good.  No sign of the shoulder injury, and all was well.  I glanced at the GPS that I use as a speedo.  11.5 km/hr – as fast as I have ever been without a current.  “Yahoo” I thought – my collar bone must be fixed and I am back to good form.  We steamed up the narrow section, although Dave McKnight overtook me and I thought I had seen the last of him. A strip built wooden sea kayak paddled by Pete Notman’s son came past – unbelievable.  A bathtub boat with an inexperienced paddled using a slalom paddle – he obviously had some serious fitness.   I caught up a bit through cunning on the turn and the,n as we headed back towards the river, Dave just took off.  A boy in a K1 overtook me and again the wooden sea kayak, and I knew all was not well.  I was down to 7.5km/hr.   Despite a rudder guard, I must have picked up a twig or some weed.  I reversed back off and then gained almost 2 km/hr as a result.  Speed still only 8-9 km/hr – the tide was still going in – about an hour after apparent high tide.  I sped up enough to start overtaking. Goodbye Guillemot sea kayak and stripling K1’er.  I caught Dave after a while by sneaking up the edges against the current while he battled the main flow in central channel.  I went to overtake on the wrong side and he upped has pace.  We were neck and neck for 2 km.  I could not gain the lower counter flow on the bank as I was on the mid-channel side of him.  We made the main river together.  Inexplicably I got my second wind and scooted away from him in the later stages, just managing – I thought- to pip a K1 on the line.  Tough race.  Poor Kupe Canoe Club turn out – only Paddy Urlich and myself.

Winter series race 4 – Onepoto

28 July 2013


Pic of Hubert and Iona I sent to WSNZ for their annual report late last week.

The last race I did was the Matariki 7s, and it took a serious toll in terms of bad tennis elbow. Yesterday the paddle Hubert and I did got the ligaments aching a bit and I was prepared to withdraw from the race if things were not going well.  As it happened I almost pulled out within 400m or so. I am just not used to the speed of racing after all these months off and suddenly lost the will to live.  But I kept going and was glad I did.  The course was 9+ km under SH1 and round the Browns Bay buoy.  I was happy yto edge out iain Gilies, but Dave McKnight overtook me 100m from the finish after we’d been going at it level for a while, and I eased off.  I have lost my feistiness in that respect..  Still, good to get the blood pumping./  I was in the Maximus but may have been able to handle the Sharp, although there was a decent northerly that proved tricky on the turn across the harbour junction.  Some hours later and no serious elbow or shoulder problems.  Spray skirt is a tight fit now.  Am 86.7 kg and determined to lose some blubber.

Matariki race 2013

DSCF3514  2013 course

Matariki is the Maori New Year, and is celebrated by all sorts of mid winter events in New Zealand. 29 June saw the Matariki 7s paddlecraft race from Petone on the northern shore of Wellington Harbour.  Most of the entries were outrigger waka ama, both singles and for 6 person craft.  There were a few surf skis and me in a Q-Kayaks Maximus sea kayak. The course was a triangular one around Matiu island and then south towards the harbour entry and around Makaro island, turning the head back to Petone and the Hikoikoi club which hosted the event.  There was a 5 knot northerly blowing ans as we got further from shore, gently wavelets appeared, but not big enough to surf.  they were straight behind on the first leg and quartering slightly on the second.  I lost ground to a single waka ama on the second leg, and when we rounded Makaro I was some 200m back.  No bad thing as if gave me someone to aim at on the home leg.  The upwind final leg favoured the kayak which has less wind resistance.  The 6 person waka ama which started some 15 minutes back from the singles overhauled us in the second half of the race.  It was a long haul back into the breeze for a 15 km trip, and I was happy to make the finish with no serious outcomes to my shoulder.  

There was then a shorter 7 km race for novice paddlers and a 3.5 km one for stand up paddle boarders.

A good event, well run by the Hikoikoi waka ama club.