Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Portage Race preview

We're off to the Portage race this weekend! The race runs a circular route from Picton over to Kenepuru Sound and back again meaning that it's 27km of kayaking (3 legs) and 5 km of portaging (2 legs). 
There are about 7 of us from the wider Wellington region heading over this year and we'll all be doing the walk on walk off thing with our surf skis and kayaks using one of two of the Cook Strait shipping Companies. The start/finish line, prizegiving venue, Cook Strait Ferries and our accomodation are all within 300 metres of each other so this makes it easy for those of us coming from the North Island.
  The course is a goodie when the weather is good it's starts with a 10km kayak from Picton to Torea Bay then cracking into it we have a 2 km Portage over to the Portage Hotel in the Keneperu Sound, back in the drink again and a quick 7 km squirt south toTe Mahia Bay. The last portage is slightly longer at 3 km and though you start climbing the hills at the start of both portages............ you have downhills both ways to recover again........

Finally the homeward leg is then another 10 km kayak out of Mistletoe Bay and back into Queen Charlotte Sound to the finsh on the Picton Foreshore.
If the wind forecast looks a bit rank, they generally transfer the course to Anakiwa with the course changing and the event about 30 minutes shorter in timewise.
Usually there are around 20 entrants every year, and many who are missing out on a spectacular course. The fastest time is around 2 hours 21 minutes for a double and 2 hrs 24 minutes for a single.
I'm heading back to improve my 2010 time of 2:52 on a Think Evo, I'm hoping to finish somewhere around 2:46 and I'll be on a Think Evo II this time..............and stuff it I'm using wheels, I'm no spring chicken :-)
Photos from the 2010 race, click on photos to enlarge

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