The 2022/23 Darcy Price NZ Ocean Ski series is ramping up with 3 races over 3 weekends being held across the country over the next month. With loads of points up for grabs, it is going to be exciting to see which paddlers have been working hard over the summer break and who will take control of the series.
The Darcy Price series is made up of 8 ocean ski events each summer and a paddler’s best 4 races will count towards the series results. There have been 2 races held in the 2022/23 edition so far- the particularly testing Poor Knights Crossing in September and the downwinder’s dream Windy City Downwind in Wellington– so there are 6 more opportunities to maximise points over the next 4 months.
The first race of 2023 is a brand-new event, the Deep South Downwind on Lake Whakatipu in Queenstown on Saturday 21st January. This is followed by the Queen and King of the Bay in Tasman on Saturday 28th January, and then the iconic endurance event James “Bhutty” Moore-morial race. The Bhutty is also the 2023 NZ Ocean Ski National Championships, and is worth extra Darcy Price series points.
After 2 races, Carly Keys from Ocean Ski Canterbury is leading the open womens division, but is only 1 point ahead of current National Champion Tara Smith (Nelson Surfski Club). Carly has shown her strength by winning the Poor Knights Crossing in treacherous conditions followed up by a third place in Wellington. Tara was 2nd in both those races, highlighting consistency in key in a series like this. Last season’s series winner Danika Mowlem is currently in 3rd place overall. Danika won in Wellington but suffered an equipment breakage at Tutukaka and scored a DNF meaning she only has one race on the board.
Poppy Barnes from Waitara Kayak Club is atop of the junior (U19) age division, just ahead of Kyra Addison (Bay of Plenty Paddlesports) with Emma Brimelow in 3rd.
Wellington’s Emma Kemp is leading the U23 division, and Tina Leone is leading the Masters category.
Ben Keys, who is both the reigning national and DP series champion, is top of the table in the open men, but only 2 points ahead of Toby Brooke who will be hoping to knock Ben off his perch this year. Ben and Toby has a close fought battle at the Windy City Downwind with Ben taking it by just a few seconds. Jarrah Prior is sitting in 3rd place.
The U23 mens battle is exciting with Jonty Laver ahead of Kalani Gilbertson and Liam Lace but all within 7 points of each other. Noah Andrews from New Plymouth is leading the junior age group so far.
The masters men is often the tightest competition in ocean ski paddling and so far are proving to be. Reid Forrest and Jeremy Kuggeleijn are tied on points after two races in the 40-49years category, with Max Riley not far behind. Garth Spencer, last year’s overall Bhutty Moore winner, is leading the 50-59years ahead of David Clough and Chris Emmett.
Matt and James Flannery from Wellington lead the men’s double ski, Carbonology pair Dan Bremner and Elora Hallet leading the mixed double division.
The NZ Ocean ski series first started in 2019, named after Darcy Price who was one of the driving forces behind ski paddling in New Zealand. The series aims to promote and grow ocean paddling and encourage more paddlers to experience these fantastic events around the country.
- Poor Knights Crossing, Tutukaka – Saturday 3rd September 2022
- Windy City Downwind, Wellington – Saturday 29th October 2022
- Deep South Downwind, Queenstown – Saturday 21st January 2023
- Queen and King of the Bay, Tasman – 28/29 January 2023
- James Moore-morial “Bhutty Moore” Race*, Tauranga – Saturday 4th February 2023
- Paddler Virtual Champs, Virtual – 1st to 31st March 2023
- Heads to Harbour, Whakatane – Saturday 11th March 2023
- Auckland King & Queen of the Harbour, Auckland -Saturday 6th May 2023
* doubles as the 2023 NZ Ocean Racing National Championships