HISSING PITS AND VOLCANIC VIEWS IN TARANAKI. BY LUKE KENNEDY
On a bleak, rain-swept Friday afternoon we hit the tarmac in New-Plymouth airport going sideways. As the plane went in to a four-wheel slide Taj Burrow, Jack Freestone, Ryan Callinan, Creed McTaggart, Kalani Ball and their entire entourage brie y wondered if their aircraft would go careening off the runway and disappear into the stormy ocean that heaved and boiled right alongside the slippery landing track.
As we aquaplaned over the bitumen everyone wished they’d paid just a little more attention to the Air New Zealand instructional clip, which funnily enough had featured Mick Fanning, Gabriel Medina, Alana Blanchard and Laird Hamilton giving the safety tips. It was a sur ng tragedy in the making. Fortunately the pilot pulled us out of the sideslip and by the time we stepped off the plane the landing had the buzz of a handled late take off.
“A little bit of Tokyo drift on landing there,” suggested Creed McTaggart excitedly as we bee-lined for the baggage collection conveyor.
Creed was fresh off a trip across the Nullarbor from West Aus’ to South Australia. He’d just applied for his license and gured the best way to rack up the RTA’s required miles was to drive across Australia’s longest stretch of straight road.