KAYAKING

Steve Gurney lines up for first wild descent event on the Clutha

Tuesday 23 April 2013, 12:11PM
By 100% PURE Racing
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OTAGO

The South Islands longest body of water, the Clutha River, will this week play host to a fleet of adventure seeking kayakers competing in the inaugural Wild Descent Kayak event that kicks off on Thursday ( 25th April,2013).

The new four day expedition style competition has been launched by 100% Pure Racing, the company behind New Zealand's foremost adventure racing event, GODZone. Race Director Warren Bates says the event which navigates the Clutha from Albert Town out to the coastline near Dunedin has appealed to a cross section of people.

“We have attracted some big names and highly regarded kayakers like Coast to Coast record holders Steve Gurney and Keith Murray out of Christchurch, along with a gaggle of multisport adventurers and those who are keen to just enjoy the experience with friends.

Its going to be an exciting four days on the Clutha with all the teams travelling the length of the river, some 275km from the Albert Town all the way out to Molyneux Bay in four stages.”

The Wild Descent route takes in the towns of Clyde, Roxborough and Clydesvale along the way. The entire field comprised of 30 two person teams will spend each night camped on the side of the river before restarting the race each morning.

“The river has mass appeal for a lot of the competitors who want to paddle on what is arguably one of the most beautiful rivers in the world. The water is clear, turquoise in colour in most places and with some spectacular geography,” says Mr Bates. “ It is a river that is notoriously fast flowing and one that will provide plenty of action and fun for everyone who has entered.”

The Wild Descent is expected to become a regular annual feature on New Zealand’s multisport calendar and  Mr Bates says there are some keen competitors vying for first race honours.

“Who will take out this first race is hard to pick. Without Nathan Fa'avae and Sophie Hart  in the field as they are racing in China this week, its anyone's guess and I think the field is wide open.”