Event Title
Poor Knights Crossing
Saturday, 7 September 2019
Mitamitaga Waka Ama Club
Contact Number
A short course coastal downwind race will add another facet to the annual Zest Brokers Poor Knights Crossing event, back for the seventh edition at Tutukaka in September.

Zest brokers.jpg  Dive Tutukaka.jpg

** This is the first race in the Inaugural "Darcy Price NZ Ocean Surfski Series**

Until now the event has been one of the blue riband races in Aotearoa for experienced open ocean paddlers, with competitors racing 30km from the Poor Knights Islands back to Tutukaka Harbour.  The testy waters and unpredictable wind swells make the event unique on the calendar.

For the less experienced competitors the prospect of paddling so far off-shore has been daunting.  So race director Tim Eves has added a short course race that will send entrants along the Tutukaka Coast in the hope of giving nervous paddlers a taste of open ocean elements.

“There has been a bit of work going on in the background examining participation levels and the diversity issues facing the sport at all levels.  One of the issues identified was the distance of the events on offer and the barrier that presented to some who are new to the sport of ocean paddling,” Eves said.

“Paddling on the open ocean can be very addictive and certainly exhilarating, but it can also be quite challenging.  You need experience to master the skills needed, but to master the skills needed you need to experience it.  I think the safest way to get experience is doing a race where there are fellow paddlers, safety boats and experienced event marshalls watching,” he said.

“That’s exactly what the short course race, called the Matapouri Reef Run, will provide.”

The 14km run along the Tutukaka coast will be hosted and administered by the Mitamitaga Waka Ama Club with proceeds going to help the club’s junior squad travel to Australia for a waka ama regatta.

Open to ocean ski, waka ama (outrigger) and stand up paddle craft, the main Poor Knights Crossing  long distance event has two major sponsors, Zest Brokers and Dive! Tutukaka and is backed by Waka Ama NZ and Canoe Racing NZ.  The event has also just been named as the opening race of a newly formed national series called the Darcy Price Memorial Series.  There are five races in the series with a national Canoe Racing NZ title decided by points accumulation over the whole series.

It is one of a raft of initiatives from Canoe Racing NZ to help foster the next generation of ocean paddlers.

The long distance race starts inside Rikoriko Sea Cave and sends paddlers through natural rock archways at the Poor Knights Islands before the fleet hurtles back to the mainland.  Up to 100 paddlers are expected for the long distance event, including competitors from Christchurch, Nelson, Wellington, Tauranga and Auckland.  There has also been regular entrants from Australia and through the pacific region.

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