While you’ll see all the top NZ racers at this event, it is absolutely not just for the ‘big guns’. Whatever your ability and experience, you’ll be made very welcome. If you’re new to racing then the 4km race will be an ideal distance. For sure the paddlers at the front of the fleet will be taking it seriously and doing their best to win, but many of the participants will be there for the experience and sheer fun of being part of the pack.
How Good Do I Need To Be?
If you can paddle for half an hour or so without needing a rest, then you’ll be absolutely fine to take part in the 4km distance race. We’d suggest practice your cornering skills – being able to do a reasonably quick 90 degree turn will definitely be beneficial. And it’s going to be a bit choppy when the whole fleet is together on the start line, so it’d be worth getting a bit of practice on something other than dead flat water. But there is nothing technically demanding about the race itself.
Do I Need A Raceboard?
No, not at all. In the 4km Distance race there are many classes, including ones specifically for non racing boards, and there are even classes for inflatable boards. So any board can be used. You can find more information about the classes here.
But I’m too old to compete against the young guns!
Don’t worry, you won’t be judged against them. Your finishing position will be calculated against those in your age group, and there will be medals for 1st, 2nd, 3rd in each age group (and each sex). So you’ll be competing against equals. You can find more information about the age groups here.