The first event in the NZ Extreme race series the Kaituna Timetrial went down last weekend, with nice healthy flows and some super fast paddlers combining to produce some of the fastest times we’ve ever seen down the tuna at commercially raftable flows.
The first event of the season is always a great catch up with paddling community, which together with the super fun kaituna rapids, made for an awesome day on the river. Just over 50 paddlers gathered for the race, with a stronger than usual field of junior men and open women which was great to see.
In the Open men category it was Czech legend Vavra Hradilek who took the win in a blistering 6min 5sec (Is sub 6 now doable??), closely followed by the quicker than quick father son duo of Zack and Kenny Mutton. In the Open women Martina Wegman (NED) narrowly claimed top honours from local Olympian Luuka Jones in a time of 6min 37sec, with kiwi paddling legend Nikki Kelly in 3rd.
The Junior mens category saw young speedster Jack Saies (Tauranga) convincingly defend his title with back to back wins, finishing well ahead of the pack in a time of 6min 35sec. Max Dobbe followed in 2nd place with Oliver English in 3rd. Special mention needs be made for Bill Thompson (Wellington) taking top honours in the Masters Men Category in a time of 7min 5 sec. Come on masters, we need more of you next year!
In the Teams Baton Relay, Team ‘Te Puke Thunder’ consisting of Captain Carl Whitehead, Cole O’Conner-Stratton and Jack Dangen took out the competition, earning themselves a delicious 6 pack of pilsner and mad respect from all. All in all it was a light hearted but super fun race.
For a full run down of results for the Timetrial runs click on the links below…