Monday, March 16, 2009

Citroen Extreme Race

After a steller week on the coast we headed down to Queenstown to the Kawarau River for the Citroen race. Citroen is a class 4+ big water rapid which is super fun to race down with a line choice between the easier but slightly slower right line around the big boulder at the top or the fast and tricky left line which if you stuff up can see you getting pounded against the wall in a big recirculating eddy. First off you have the time trial which despite taking a roll I still had a pretty quick run down ending up seeded 15th. Then it goes to the Head to Head racing.
Looking at the draw I saw my number was up against #2, which turned out to be wills!
Winning the paper sissors rock at the top I had the good start and got a bit of a lead on wills, heading left while he headed right. Nailed my line through the left but hit a wave and took a roll, missed it and tried again getting it, luckily, because I was already out of breath. Looking behind I was still slightly in front of wills, then got smashed by another wave , ripping my paddle out of my hand and sending me back under. Rolling up I saw wills was sitting on my tail and we were coming up to the finishing gate. I quickly sprinted as hard as I could and just managed to take the gate before wills.
Next race was against Ben, a quick coast boater. I had the bad start position and as soon as I pulled off the start ramp Ben was already sprinting his way down to the start of the rapids. He had a perfect race and kept a decent lead on me the whole way knocking me out.
Finals was Brad vs Jamie and in a suprise race Jamie managed to take the win with brad in the lead most of the race. It was a quiet party with most of the competitors pretty tired out and we headed back to Okere falls at 10.30pm driving for 20 hours to be back here by 6.30pm the next day!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

West Coast

We arrived in hoki on Sunday after bullerfest prizegiving and got to bed nice and early(ish) to recover from a weekend of partying hard.
Waking up Monday morning all the rivers were cranking so we went and jumped on the styx which is a fun run with a not so fun walk in.

Tuesday it cleared up to a super hot day and we made our way up the Arahura with a massive group of 14! After like 3 hours of shuttling people up to the putin Sam, Brad, Ryan and I jumped on the river and started bombing it to try and pass everyone. It was pretty cool running some super steep stuff blind like that, and more or less sprinting down none the less. Arahura was a awesome run with rapids like curtain call, billiards and cesspit the highlights of the day.

Wednesday was a cruisy day to rest up before a big Thursday so we went and ran the upper Kakapotahi which is one of the coolest gorges I have ever seen. Everyone had good lines through postmans falls, airmail and we got to the supposedly sieved out tunnel rapid to find out that it had cleaned out and all bombed through to end a super sick run, and then attempt the hard man challenge at the take out.

Thursday was the Upper Hokitika, a run I was nervous about since I heard it suggested, and rightly so. The Hokitika is full on, sick, and scary. All was good and we bombed down through the class Iv-V section to the beautiful Gates of Argonath, which is the most amazing thing I have ever seen. There are too many sick rapids on the upper hoki to name but Mikeys drop is crazy, and definitely the biggest rapid I have ever seen that has been run. Its insane!

Got a few photos from over the last days but not a whole load.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Maruia Falls

On Saturday while the bullerfest slalom was on Me, Simon, Jamie, Sanga, and Ryan L went for a mish to huck the famous Maruia falls a few times. Il let the pics do the talking.

And they say you shouldnt boof Mariua!
Me on Mariua falls.

Jamie Garrod in flight

Ryan Lucas stomping it.

Simon Davidson with a nice freewheel

Oh yeah, and Ryan swum it.

Bullerfest 09

This weekend has been the annual Bullerfest kayak festival in Murchison, where 100+ crazy drunken kayakers have invaded.
After a 14 hour drive me and Phil Mac made it to Murch and got some sleep for the boatercross on Friday. The boatercross on the Matakataki (or something like that) is a really sweet race where 4 people race down a short stretch of class 2 rapids. While it may be some easy water there is always a bit of carnage in the battles that go on during the racing.
In my first heat I had a battle with Bernard who kept me honest the whole way to the finish, but I managed to take it out which means I get a easier next heat.
2nd heat, the course gets shorter and a compulsery slalom gate gets put up. I had a really good start in my 2nd heat and by the time I was at the crux rapid I had a comfortable lead and cruised the rest of the race almost missing the banner!
Back up to the top of the river the competition started getting harder as half of the slower paddlers of the day had been knocked out. My heat was up and found myself paired against someone we all called Lamborghini, and damn he was quick!
I had a terrible start and Lamborghini pushed me up onto a rock and suddenly I was last.
I sprinted to catch up through the crux moves and managed to spin the guy in front of me. I had to get 2nd to advance to the quater finals so I sprinted my way down the final 50 meters of the course and slammed the other guy, passed him, and got to the banner just behind Lamborghini! Stoked!
Quater finals I was up agains Sam Sutton, Jamie Garrod, and someone I think was called Pete.
Another less than excellent start saw me in 3rd place behind Jamie and Sam, with Pete doing everything he could to spin me. I managed to get him off my tail then sprinted to catch Jamie, and was gaining until just before the finish I took a bad line over some slow water and it was all over.
Finals was Sam, Tyler, Brad, and Johann with Brad taking the win and Tyler in second.
Then we went and paddled the Glenroy which is a short but fun grade 3 run.

Later that night, a big one at the pub. Murch goes off!