Organisers of New Zealand’s unique kayaking event, Wild Descent, are delighted with the take up from competitors. Following last year’s successful first running of the four day event, interest has traversed the kayaking community, with entries coming in from both the North and South island, Australia and the USA.
The epic event is scheduled to kick off on the 9th of January with teams of two kayaking the length of the Clutha River, some 260km, from Albert Town to the Pacific Ocean. The expedition format, unique concept and fact that the organisers are providing all the kayaks have proved to be a big draw for many participants, particularly those from overseas who are extremely excited about experiencing the majesty of New Zealand’s highest volume river.
Wild Descent Co-Director Adam Fairmaid says that the interest in the event has been steadily increasing with the format appealing to various groups of paddlers.
“We’ve got people who have paddled the Yukon and other big rivers around the world looking to tick off the Clutha. The event also appeals to people who are in training for the 2014 GODZone adventure race, some who see it as excellent preparation for the Coast to Coast and others who just want to spend time with friends exploring one of New Zealand’s great rivers.”
The format of the event remains consistent with last year’s inaugural event with competitors travelling the distance in four days. One key change is the inclusion of a short time trial below the Roxburgh Dam on day two. This will introduce a tactical element to the event with the boats having matched speeds, with some racing teams keen to save energy where they can and make the most of their reserves in the time trial. The time trial also removes the need for teams to race through the tricky portage around the dam.
“The expedition format is a big draw for some who look forward to the social time in the evenings after a great day on the water. Some want to race, some want to take their time. That’s the beauty of the Clutha, the fast flows speed people along and despite what appear to be daunting distances, the kayaks get through the stages remarkably quickly.”
“Many competitors have indicated that they will be bringing friends and family to the event. We’re keen to retain the feeling of an expedition but at the same time ensure that the evenings are enjoyable and a time to catch up, relax and enjoy the surroundings.”
The organising team is also delighted to announce that event sponsors Barracuda Kayaks have once again donated an amazing spot prize of an AR Duo kayak which all competing teams will go into the draw to win.
With entries filling up fast competitors are encouraged to get involved in this journey from mountain to sea and book before the early entry discount runs out at the end of September.