King & Queen of the Harbour

KaQoH-2.jpg

Rachel Clarke, centre

 A top-quality line-up of international paddlers will headline the iconic Vaikobi Auckland King and Queen of the Harbour when the latest edition hits the Hauraki Gulf on Saturday March 30th.

Endorsed by Canoe Racing New Zealand as the 2019 National Ocean Racing Championships, the annual event, which will once again feature SUP, surfski and waka-ama categories, is expected to attract around 150 local and international paddlers.

Boasting four different downwind long course (26km) and short course (11km) options – the Gnarly Northerner, Rangitoto Ringbuster, Maraetai Mix and Hobsonville Humdinger – for all prevailing wind directions, the marquee ocean racing competition in New Zealand will also serve as the selection race for the surfski ICF Ocean Racing World Championships in France in September.

Vaikobi return as the naming rights sponsor and all races will start and finish outside the race headquarters at Takapuna Boating Club. 

2018 A Mowlem.jpg

​Andrew Mowlem

The men’s field is led by defending champion Andrew Mowlem of New Zealand and is further bolstered by Tom Ashley who, fresh from his recent win at the Bhutty Moore, should fare well, particularly in flat, less technical conditions.

The younger Kiwi brigade are led by the Poverty Bay duo of Quaid Thompson and Jordan McLarin, who finished 1-2 in the 5km at last month’s NZCT NZ and Oceania Canoe Sprint Championships, and Toby Brooke of the Whanganui Club.

A strong contingent of Australian paddlers are also expected to enter.  Watch out too for South African veteran and 12-time Molokai champion Oscar Chalupsky.

The women’s race is expected to provide a thrilling tussle between Rachel Clarke, the defending Queen of the Harbour, who is bidding for a remarkable seventh successive win, and her Auckland rival Teneale Hatton, the 2015 ICF World Ocean Racing champion.

Watch out for last year’s minor medallists - Dene Simpson and Danika Mowlem – who will also be looking to mount a strong challenge.

Rachel, a former world series winner and two-time victor in the iconic Molokai Challenge, said: “The King and Queen of the Harbour is always a great hit out. I have been lucky enough to have some pretty good races in past years, winning six consecutive titles, so I’m really looking forward to giving this year’s race another good crack. Let’s hope Auckland can put on another great show.”  
Race Director Garth Spencer is hugely excited by the 2019 edition – which he believes has significantly benefited from the much closer involvement of Canoe Racing NZ.

“What makes this year’s event really quite different is that we have some really meaningful support from Canoe Racing New Zealand,” explains Garth. “Under Tom Ashley’s (Canoe Racing NZ CEO) leadership there is a real appreciation of the broader participation aspect of paddling. Canoe Racing New Zealand’s commitment has lowered costs and entry fees. 

“By using the Takapuna Boating Club as headquarters we have a great recipe for success. We have a stunning white sand beach, an attractive grassy slope for patrons to sit on and we have a feast brewing for a cracking after-party in the club.

“We are comfortable the event is on the right trajectory and we are optimistic that the King and Queen of the Harbour will be an ICF event next year.”

Among the surfski entries in the men’s race is former TV Bachelor and 2015 World Championship canoe sprint paddler Zac Franich, who is returning to the race for the first time after a five-year absence.


The 30-year-old, who works as head coach at Orewa Surf Lifesaving Club, is excited to enter the event and adds: “I want to have some fun and I’ll be looking to produce a smart race because it is technical racing in the harbour. We are so lucky in Auckland to have such amazing water on our doorstep. Not many other places have water which is quite so clean or accessible. It is incredible. There is nothing quite like it. If you want a physical examination, I would say it is a great challenge to take on.”

Registration details: www.pacificoceanpaddlers.com

Photo credits Ben Levy. 

Article Steve Landells.

 
Zac Franich.jpg 

 

King & Queen of the Harbour

A top-quality line-up of international paddlers will headline the iconic Vaikobi Auckland King and Queen of the Harbour when the latest edition hits the Hauraki Gulf on Saturday March 30th.

KaQoH-2.jpg

Rachel Clarke, centre

 A top-quality line-up of international paddlers will headline the iconic Vaikobi Auckland King and Queen of the Harbour when the latest edition hits the Hauraki Gulf on Saturday March 30th.

Endorsed by Canoe Racing New Zealand as the 2019 National Ocean Racing Championships, the annual event, which will once again feature SUP, surfski and waka-ama categories, is expected to attract around 150 local and international paddlers.

Boasting four different downwind long course (26km) and short course (11km) options – the Gnarly Northerner, Rangitoto Ringbuster, Maraetai Mix and Hobsonville Humdinger – for all prevailing wind directions, the marquee ocean racing competition in New Zealand will also serve as the selection race for the surfski ICF Ocean Racing World Championships in France in September.

Vaikobi return as the naming rights sponsor and all races will start and finish outside the race headquarters at Takapuna Boating Club. 

2018 A Mowlem.jpg

​Andrew Mowlem

The men’s field is led by defending champion Andrew Mowlem of New Zealand and is further bolstered by Tom Ashley who, fresh from his recent win at the Bhutty Moore, should fare well, particularly in flat, less technical conditions.

The younger Kiwi brigade are led by the Poverty Bay duo of Quaid Thompson and Jordan McLarin, who finished 1-2 in the 5km at last month’s NZCT NZ and Oceania Canoe Sprint Championships, and Toby Brooke of the Whanganui Club.

A strong contingent of Australian paddlers are also expected to enter.  Watch out too for South African veteran and 12-time Molokai champion Oscar Chalupsky.

The women’s race is expected to provide a thrilling tussle between Rachel Clarke, the defending Queen of the Harbour, who is bidding for a remarkable seventh successive win, and her Auckland rival Teneale Hatton, the 2015 ICF World Ocean Racing champion.

Watch out for last year’s minor medallists - Dene Simpson and Danika Mowlem – who will also be looking to mount a strong challenge.

Rachel, a former world series winner and two-time victor in the iconic Molokai Challenge, said: “The King and Queen of the Harbour is always a great hit out. I have been lucky enough to have some pretty good races in past years, winning six consecutive titles, so I’m really looking forward to giving this year’s race another good crack. Let’s hope Auckland can put on another great show.”  
Race Director Garth Spencer is hugely excited by the 2019 edition – which he believes has significantly benefited from the much closer involvement of Canoe Racing NZ.

“What makes this year’s event really quite different is that we have some really meaningful support from Canoe Racing New Zealand,” explains Garth. “Under Tom Ashley’s (Canoe Racing NZ CEO) leadership there is a real appreciation of the broader participation aspect of paddling. Canoe Racing New Zealand’s commitment has lowered costs and entry fees. 

“By using the Takapuna Boating Club as headquarters we have a great recipe for success. We have a stunning white sand beach, an attractive grassy slope for patrons to sit on and we have a feast brewing for a cracking after-party in the club.

“We are comfortable the event is on the right trajectory and we are optimistic that the King and Queen of the Harbour will be an ICF event next year.”

Among the surfski entries in the men’s race is former TV Bachelor and 2015 World Championship canoe sprint paddler Zac Franich, who is returning to the race for the first time after a five-year absence.


The 30-year-old, who works as head coach at Orewa Surf Lifesaving Club, is excited to enter the event and adds: “I want to have some fun and I’ll be looking to produce a smart race because it is technical racing in the harbour. We are so lucky in Auckland to have such amazing water on our doorstep. Not many other places have water which is quite so clean or accessible. It is incredible. There is nothing quite like it. If you want a physical examination, I would say it is a great challenge to take on.”

Registration details: www.pacificoceanpaddlers.com

Photo credits Ben Levy. 

Article Steve Landells.

 
Zac Franich.jpg 

 

King & Queen of the Harbour
 

 

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