Portage Kayak Race 14 May 2011

23 04 2011

Dave Hansen all smiles in the 2010 Portage Race

The Marlborough Sounds Portage Kayak Race should be on every kayakers bucket list!

It’s not named the Portage race because it goes past Portage (although it does), it’s so named because of the significant portaging (kayak-carrying over land) sections. This event is on again next month over an outstanding course in our beautiful Marlborough Sounds. It has 27 km of kayaking (in 3 stages) in the Queen Charlotte and Kenepuru Sounds and two portages between. One of the portages is actually over the same route that Maori used to take way back when so you can add interesting history to all the other attributes of the race. This is by no means just another kayak race, it’s different, it’s an adventure and …. it’s iconic.

It has been on our calendar since 1990 and in that first year, among others, on the start line were well known local athletes Lachy Hynd, Murray Chapman, Denis Jacques and Rene de Ruiter. Conrad Edwards from Wellington took out the honours in a time of 2.44. Conrad dominated the event for the next few years holding the race record of 2.32.58 until this was broken by Tim Grammer from Christchurch in 1999. Since then it has been lowered by Andrew Martin, again by Grammer and is presently held by Daniel Busch in 2.24.03.  Now, that is fast paddling and running – yes they run the portages! Fast!
The women’s category has also had many high profile paddlers competing over the years including Elina Ussher, Emily Miazga and Jane Martin, with the record being held by local multisporter Andrea Koorey at 3.01.26. Not surprisingly it tends to be the multisporters who do better over this course than the pure kayakers.
Don’t be fooled and think that this event is all about FAST – it’s not. It’s an event that caters for all types of paddlers with a recreational section where wheels/trolleys can be used in the portage sections.
If you up for a bit of an adventure mark May 14th in your diary and we’ll see you in Picton. On the other hand, if you’re not up for the paddling but you’d like an up-close look at the action and a fun day with two complimentary boat cruises in The Sounds, put your hand up to be a timekeeper. Contact Andrea on andreakoorey@hotmail.com
Get an entry form here.




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