Lake to ocean kayak race to test pad­dlers

Central Otago Mirror - - SPORT - By CHE BAKER

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.

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