Portage Reports

A report bonanza for this ever-popular race. First up Rodney on our mixed crew :

This is a great event, and this year was no exception. Here are a few of the details of the day.

The weather played a major role in the day, there was a strong/gusty nor ‘west wind however not a big sea. The organizers decided to change the course as a precautionary measure and the course was reset to go into Mistletoe Bay. This in fact was not a bad thing, most crews I suspect were a little underdone due to the harbour being closed here. Hence the slightly shorter course of four to five kilometres was good.

The start was reset for 9.30 – everyone headed out. The heavier male crews were away so no need to talk about them (they are not as pretty as the other W6 crews). The lighter female crews and our mixed crew of first timers then had the racecourse to ourselves – Hinetahi, NMW, Motueka and ourselves.

Hinetahi had a crisp start, and though they were in sight were ahead by a few boat lengths. The MOT crew were moving along and with their help dragged us past NMW. The MOT crew and ourselves then had a great time, they were in front we were in front. All the while the wind (gusts) were coming and going. Not necessarily unpleasant, made paddling that little bit harder.

After the turnaround, Hinetahi still in front, we managed to overtake MOT on the turn and NMW were not far behind. And it stayed this way until we reached Mable Island. There, because a ferry was coming out, we were stopped (apparently the ferries have the right of way!!). Once released Hinetahi were away, and unfortunately (for our crew) the MOT crew managed to get ahead as well with NMW in close attendance. It stayed this way until the finish. Well done Hinetahi and NMW, it was great having other club boats in sight the whole trip. I personally really enjoy races within a race (it helps bring out the competitive side of most crews).

Well done to our crew. For the four first timers it was a tough day for your first long distance event. 

A thankyou to Jacqui for the trailer towing, I know everyone pitches in to load and unload, however without a driver the boats go nowhere. 

Roll on the Winter series and Waka Te Tasman – fun times ahead!!

Next up Simone :

We went into the race with instructions from coach extraordinaire Sean Timoney that we were not to let speed drop below 10kph and had to come in under 2 hours……’yes coach’ we said as the compliant bunch of wahine we are!  Then we saw the conditions and were like ‘yeah right’!  We waited to see if the race would go ahead and it was mixed feelings when we heard it was all go.  We really wanted to paddle, but man that wind looked gnarly, but we came to paddle and any thoughts of coffee and breakfast at the café soon left as we got on the water. 

We decided to not get amongst the scramble but got out to a decent start.  By the time we rounded the first buoy the realism hit with an average speed of a little over 6kph……it was going to be a long day.  Speed picked up as we started heading toward Mistletoe Bay and we were comforted by the thought of the shelter from the wind that we would find in the sound……little did we know that the sound would essentially act as a wind tunnel which hit us as soon as we rounded the corner.  We dug in, head down with Jode shouting encouragement and technique reminders from seat 5 like a throw back from a Jane Fonda video from the 80’s – imagine the lycra!  It was with relief that we made the turn, after giving up on looking for the pontoon we were supposed to turn around.  So now the wind was behind us, so Jode would give us a break right……nope!  Now she was focused on making the most of the assist and getting that average speed up towards 10kph, and that’s a lot of ground to make up, so more ‘push, push, push’ – like we were all giving birth!  We finally make it to the home straight only to come into the path of a ferry…..I did feel the need to make it clear I was only joking about playing chicken with it!  We had to wait for 2 minutes until the path was clear.  That gave the Motueka ladies crew chance to catch us up, so that gave us a great opportunity for a race to the finish. 

We all feeling a bit jaded after not paddling anything like that distance for months but some healthy competition and Jode’s best Jane Fonda motivation got us to dig deep and keep a boat length between us at the end.  We did come in under 2 hours coach, so we were pretty pleased with that (conveniently we forget it was a shorter course at 18.5km). We were all totally knackered, but lots of smiles and the odd reference to how much we love the sprint distance……but its always great to get that sense of achievement with the Hine Tahi girls, you just can’t beat it!

Its never too early or too late to start paddling waka ama

We always welcome new members to the Maitahi Outrigger Canoe Club.
We have social and racing waka ama crews catering for a wide variety of ages and abilities.