Lake to ocean kayak race to test paddlers
A gruelling 260km expedition-style kayak race from Wanaka to the Pacific Ocean will be held for the first time in January for endurance athletes looking for a challenge. Organisers of the successful adventure race GODZone, where athletes compete in a 522-kilometre multi-sport event from Milford Sound to Queenstown, will host the Wild Descent kayaking race. The four-stage race will kick off on the Clutha River in Wanaka on January 17 and finish at Molyneux Bay on the east coast of New Zealand. Event organiser Adam Fairmaid said: ‘‘The route will be demanding physically, testing teams in many different ways, but will create a huge sense of achievement to those who complete the distance.’’ Kayakers will compete in a variety of challenging conditions – long sections of white water, narrow gorges, and slower-moving hydro dam lakes. The event will be open to pairs and teams of three or four. Participants will carry camping equipment and supplies in their kayaks and at the end of each stage of paddling will set up camp by the river. AR Duo kayaks, manufactured by Barracuda in New Zealand, will be provided to participants, removing the stress of transporting them to the start and finish of the event, Mr Fairmaid said.