Kayak Krazy 10km Race - Waitara
by Paul Randall
Taranaki received a huge dump of rain last week almost flooding the Club rooms. Luckily it passed in about 48 hours and the flow settled by the weekend to give great paddling conditions. Fine weather greeted the K2 crews on Saturday morning. A limited number of local club paddlers took on the 10 k course with Paul Randall and Adam Fraser crossing the line first in a test for the upcoming Marathon Worlds.
The K1 race started on a fresh Sunday morning with paddlers from Wellington, Hawkes Bay and Wanganui travelling to the Waitara race. A spectator friendly course of 2 km laps also gave some close racing.
With 23 starters spread across the river the field charged down to the first turn with Ryan Welch leading out. On the return leg the bunch split and by the second leg Adam Fraser and Ryan Welch had a commanding lead over the rest of the field which they held to the finish ... Adam paddling hard through the final turn to gain the advantage of a few boat lengths on Ryan and pushing through to the finish line to win in 48:43.
Andi Bunn paddled well to catch up to the second bunch of Toby Brook and Lachie Cromar earlier on in the race finishing first open woman and 5th overall. She organized the group ensuring they kept clear of the chasing pack of master men's paddlers. The U19's, Toby and Lachie, taking out the 3rd and 4th respectively.
The masters race was close fought with Gerry Callebaut taking the win in a sprint finish from Ben Bennett who gave a late charge for the line from a deficit at the last turn of about 20 metres or more. Brian Scott from Wanganui a creditable 3rd after a late night out and also paddling a multisport boat. Chester Burt put in a solid effort although I think he would have enjoyed bigger swells being the sole paddler in a surf ski. Robyn Scott was first in the masters woman's.
The U19 girls were lead in by Pheobe Cromar and the U16 girls by Jerusa Lambert-Fahey with both of these divisions taking on the 10 km race. The U14's raced 3 laps, 6 km, with Thomas Cole taking out the boys race with Liam Lace 2nd and Cassie Wilson first in the girls.
A huge thank you to all those who traveled to Taranaki for the race and to CRNZ for providing support for the race. We hope to see you all in the next few months in the coming events.