Wind – it’s what Wellington is famous for and paddlers will be hoping that the capital city lives up to reputation later this month for the Windy City Downwind race on Saturday 29th October.
After a hugely successful inaugural event last year, race organisers are looking forward to the 2nd edition of the Windy City Downwind and showcasing the awesome downwind paddling available in Wellington.
“The north-westerly winds are pretty consistent at this time of year, and create really good conditions within Wellington harbour, which our Kupe Canoe Club paddlers get to enjoy regularly.” said Toby Brooke, one of the race organisers and a keen ocean ski paddler.
“We are excited to show it off to paddlers from around the country, and give them a great experience in Wellington.”
Hosted by Kupe Canoe Club and suitable for oceanski/surfski, waka ama and SUP paddlers, the expected course is from Petone to Tarakena Bay “16km of downwind goodness” but there is also a southerly course option should the Spring Northerlies not show up.
This is the 2nd event in the 2022/23 Darcy Price Ocean Racing Series, and while some events in this series are true ocean paddling adventures, this race aims to be much more achievable for the every-day paddler, who might be looking to get into downwind paddling or paddles more casually than the elite racers.
“This won’t be like the adventurous Poor Knights Crossing or have the endurance factor of the Bhutty Moore, and we aren’t trying to be. We want to be a nice event for a more casual or entry-level racer who might not have done a downwind race before but is keen to get involved, while still being a tight and competitive race in great conditions for the top racing paddlers.” said Toby, who won the event last year.
Over sixty paddlers took part in 2021, an impressive number considering Covid had a big impact on the race- remember the upper North Island were in lockdown and unable to attend, so organisers are hoping for growth in participation this year. Entries are open now and paddlers of all ages, abilities and disciplines are encouraged to come along and experience what Wellington in famous for!
For more details and to register, visit https://kupe.org.nz/events-and-activities/windy-city-downwind/
The Darcy Price NZ Ocean Surfski Series is the national ocean racing series, made up of 8 premier ocean paddling events each summer. For full series details including 2022/23 events dates, check out https://www.paddler.nz/darcy-price