Monday, February 20, 2012

NZ Extreme Race Series - Kaituna & Wairoa Races

Its been a pretty full on couple weeks of competition/action down here in Okere Falls, NZ. We've recently wrapped up the 'unofficial' Andy Duff race (a mass start race down the Kaituna River at open gates-High water), the Championship Race (a bike, swim, paddle, run, beer chug around Okere Falls), and most recently, this past weekend, we held the back-to-back events of the Kaituna Time Trial (2 combined time trials down the Kaituna River) and the Wairoa Xtreme Race (time trial seeds a Head-to-Head bracket).  

Thankfully there are a lot of fairly to extremely competitive people living in the area, so it has been easy to organize a good turnout.  Even though the river was at open gates there were at least 20+ that showed up for the 'Unofficial' Andy Duff Face. Unfortunately my gopro was knocked off the nose of my boat early on in the race and I had to pull over to remove it, missing all the mayhem. No surprise here local racing guru Kenny Mutton battled off all the young pups and took the win.

The Championship Race is the brain child of imaginary Jamie Sutton. Members of the Okere Falls Massive are known for there multiple activities in one day, whether it be paddling, surfing, mountain biking etc... so Jamie decided to smash as many diciplines into one race as he could fit, born was the championship race. A short sprint to your bike followed by an immediate uphill road bike which eventually turns into a sweet downhill trip. you ditch your bike and run and dive into Lake Rotoiti and swim down the outlet towards the start of the Kaituna River. Getting out to avoid the control gates it is another short swim down a couple smaller rapids. Hoping in the kayaks it is a full river race to the bottom of the river, where you have to carry your boat up to the car park. From here it is a short 1.5km run to the Okere Falls Store where a nice cold German beer is waiting for you .... to skull as fast as you can !! Your time ends when you are finished the entire beer. Needless to say it was an amazing event, won by the event organizer Jamie Sutton. Myself and Josh took out the first place for tandom, we rode a sweet tandom bike and paddled a topo-duo.

Myself and Josh team up for a tandom go at the Championship Race

The Kaituna Time Trial went off with out a hitch, the weather was perfect and lots of good people showed up to have a fun day on the water. The results are at the bottom of this post if you want to check them out. Unfortunately, with helping organize and racing we were unable to get any photos.
The 2012 Kaituna River Time Trial Winners, Louise Jull & Kenny Mutton

 The Wairoa Xtreme Race was the sunday event. The river has been constantly changing since the giant floods, that moved lots of rocks around and ripped out all the vegetation on the sides, last summer, so it was pretty much a new race for all competitors. The first part of the day was a time trial from the seal launch at the put-in to the eddy above the waterfall. Everyones times from the time trial then seeded them into a bracketing system, which played out with head-to-head races down the waterfall rapid and rollarcoaster. The rollarcoaster rapid has changed the most and made for a rowdy end to a short, fast, action packed race course. Through the day there were lots of epic battles and huge upsets making for one of the best events of the year. Results at the bottom.

We were lucky enough to have Shilo Gibson there to snap some shots for us, as once again I was helping run and racing in the event. Also big thanks to Lousie Urwin, Brendan Bayly and Neil & Patti Sutton for organizing the race. Check out some of the better shots from the day. 

Louise hard at work
sometimes drastic matters are needed to get peoples attention
The boys discussing pre-game strategy
Josh Neilson ... I can do this with my eyes closed, Dan Riley ... outta my f***ing way 
Making the crucial boof stoke to keep yourself on top of the water 
Not making it leads to syncronized submarine racing
After spending that much time underwater you just can't get enough air! 
Baby Bird spending some time surfing the hole
Ryan about to be passed after getting surfed
Ryan not going to take it, with a sweet spin out and win of the race
Jamie showing Josh why he's king of the Wairoa
Toni George looking for the victory over competitor Kim Dodd
Lu Jull trying to go up and over Nikki Whitehead 
Amazing ender!
Just Amazing! 
Tyler Fox staying one step ahead of Carl Whitehead for a quarter final win
Sweet helmet and Willz Martin both looking super stylish
 Kenny getting some pop out of the cauldron
Looking rather happy about his semi final win
Looking for an opening at the finish line
Toni George heading for her second Wairoa Race title over Nikki
Mens final looking a bit sloppy through the cauldron
Jamie back out in front for second time in the race
Jamie getting a bit tail stood, while Kenny Mutton stays in the fast water
Kenny about to take the lead for second time in the race
It doesn't get any closer than this for a Final Race, mere meters from the finish banner
I think Kenny wants to strangle Jamie after a super close finish
The 2012 Winners of the Wairoa Extreme Race, Toni George & Jamie Sutton 

Huge Congrats to Jamie Sutton who has just won himself the first announced position in the 2nd Annual White Water Grand Prix, to be held in Chile this coming Dec

Here are the Results 

 Wairoa Extreme Race Results 2012


1. Jamie Sutton
2. Kenny Mutton
3. Tyler Fox
4. Willz Martin
Quarter Finalist placed according to Time Trial Results
5. Ryan Lucas
6. Carl Whitehead
7. Tim Trew
8. Julian Stocker
Preliminary Finalist placed according to Time Trial Results
9. Ben Robson
10. Sam Ricketts
11. Josh Neilson
12. Greg Clark
13. Cameron Shailer
14. Laurence Brown
15. Peter Vander Meij
16. Scott McGrath
17. Dan Riley
18. Joerg Waidelich
19. Matt Hern
20. Ima Badiola
21. Mark Thomas
22. Shannon Hayes


1. Toni George
2. Nikki Whitehead
3. Louise Jull
4. Laura Cashmore
5. Kim Dodd
6. Courtney Kerin


1. Patrick McKee
2. Sean Curtis
3. Ryan McDonald

Wairoa Extreme Race Time Trial Results

1. Kenny Mutton        5:35.03
2. Willz Martin        5:38.06
3. Ryan Lucas            5:42.53
4. Carl Whitehead        5:44.74
5. Tyler Fox            5:45.06
6. Jamie Sutton        5:45.18
7. Tim Trew            5:53.59
8. Ben Robson            5:55.24
9.Julian Stocker        5:58.37
10.Louise Jull            5:58.40
11. Sam Ricketts        5:58.81
12. Josh Neilson        6:00.15
13. Dan Riley            6:04.74
14. Greg Clark            6:05.24
15. Toni George        6:05.47
16. Joerg Waidelich        6:06.03
17. Matt Hern             6:09.87
18. Cameron Shailer        6:10.84
19. Laurence Brown        6:10.93
20. Nikki Whitehead        6:11.59
21. Ima Badiola        6:15.59
22. Sean Curtis        6:21.03
23. Peter Vander Meij        6:24.27
24. Laura Cashmore        6:25.03
25. Mark Thomas        6:27.24
26. Patrick McKee        6:27.93
27. Shannon Hayes        6:29.47
28. Scott McGrath        6:41.77
29. Kim Dodd            6:49.15
30. Ryan McDonald        6:52.81
31. Courtney Kerin        DNS

The NZ Extreme Race Series is shaping up for an exciting finish at the up coming Citroen Extreme Race down in Queenstown, March 10.  There are half a dozen men all within reach of the title so it could be anyone's, especially with the tough and tricky Citroen Race still left. It has been known to deal some huge upsets. After 2 races Jamie Sutton & Kenny Mutton are tied for 1st with 195points each, Willz Martin is in a close 3rd with 170 points, and tied for forth is myself (Tyler Fox) & Ryan Lucas with 160. 

Photos: Shilo Gibson
Tyler Fox

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Lifestyling with the Okere Massive

Disclaimer: This post has nothing to do with the actual act of Kayaking!

This is all about Lifestyling, and to me this is a huge part of the reason why I kayak. The people we meet on our adventures can easily make the trip just as epic as any number of amazing rivers can. Traveling around the world has given me the privilege to meet many friends/paddlers along the way. Most paddlers to an extent are nomadic, given they probably grew up in an area that doesn't support their need to get that whitewater fix. These paddlers will typically leave home, join other paddlers and then roam the globe in groups searching out that fix. However, as is built in our DNA, eventually the urge to put down roots, something at least semi-permanent, kicks in and we start searching out these rare places that seem suitable to act as a "home base". Everyone has there own ideas as to what this perfect area is, I've traveled to many of these amaing places; Pucon-Chile, Turrialba-Costa Rica, Ashville & Colma-USA, the Ottawa Valley & Squamish-Canada but this post is about only one such place ... Okere Falls-New Zealand, a place I've found myself coming back to year after year.

The kayaking here in Okere Falls is pretty amazing, we've got the Kaituna River in our back yard a 5 min paddle from our house, and plenty of steep creeks a short drive away in the Kaimai ranges. But this post isn't about kayaking, its about Life Style, something I feel Kiwi's take great pride in.

The Okere Falls Massive ... its all about kicking back, enjoying the sun, good company, maybe a couple cold beverages and what ever fun activities you feel like getting into.

Enjoying some Sun with our boy Si, those were the days.
Lu pulling out the big guns
Nothing like a potator gun to get things fired up
Time for some Margies. Chur Chur
Or a cold delicious cerveza.
Pump the Tunes ...
Get a little crazy
Shit is that a brown claw...
Not that crazy
Oh ma God whats that?
Ladys fancy a swim? 
 Yep !
What was in that drink ... mid day nap.
Nothing like a float in the lake to cool down.
Swims over
The Mayor holding down the barbie duties
Leela holding down some serious relaxing
Ok whos gonna provide some entertainment
Watch this !
This is gonna be so good ...
Ohhh snap! suns going down. Sick day
Cheers to an even better Night

This is for all my homeboys and girls back in N.America, I'll return with the summer sun and we'll have plenty of days just like this one. Till then hold in there.

Photos: Tyler Fox & Louise Urwin

Tyler Fox