Saturday, December 4, 2021

The 31st Annual "Motorway Classic"

Sunday March 20 - 2022

Event location : Honiana Te Puni Reserve, Petone ( By the Wellington Waterski club )

Entry : by email to -

Online payment only : by online banking - Welly Paddlers 38 9016 0568806 02

*** Please use your Surname / Team Name "in the reference box" in the online banking portal ***

Registration : From 8 am - 9 .15 am
Event briefing : 9.30 am

Start times :

10.00 am W 6 & W 12
10.02 am all kayaks, W1, W2, all surf skis
10:05 am short course all craft

Spot prizegiving 12.15 pm - 12.45 pm

Entry fees :

long course - 13 km

$30 singles ( $15 under 18 & Over 60 ) 

$50 doubles

$60 surf canoes

$90 W 6

$180 W 12

short courses - 3.7 km & 7.4 km

$15 singles

$25 doubles

The full Event detail will be added to this post by January 31, 2022.
Updates will also be posted on the "Welly Paddlers" Facebook page and also shared on the separate "Welly Paddlers Group"on Facebook.

Monday, May 17, 2021

The 29th Annual Foxton Loop Race

                          Click on any photo to enlarge


The new date for 2022 is Sunday August 14.

This date provides us with a super high tide Spring at midday and of course a 12 noon start.

The rational for the change can be viewed on both the WELLY PADDLERS and the WELLY PADDLERS GROUP Facebook pages. Refer to the posts made on 18/8/21 at 8.30 am

The Foxton Loop Race is now in it's 29th year. 

Apart from a 2 year break when the Event was not held at all, the consistency of the Event being held on the highest Spring tide possible remains the same, with the Event being consistently organised on the third weekend of August over the last 3 years.

The very first Organisers of the Foxton Loop Race were the late Mike Rowley (Ruahine Kayaks) and Max Grant (Q-Kayaks) ably assisted by fellow Ruahine White Water Club members , who all dedicated themselves to the Event for it's first 26 years.

Since Welly Paddlers took up Organising the Event three years ago, we have managed to attract 47 paddlers along the first year in 2019 and 69 paddlers along in 2020. The 2020 Event was quite a tricky one, where the Event was held under NZ Government Covid Level 2 restrictions and we had to be mindful of not over advertising due to the fact that we needed to keep our numbers under 100 people.

                Click on any photo to enlarge

This year the flood gates may well open as far as entries go, however we are mindful that we could just as easily fall under Covid Alert Level restrictions again.

There is a good reason that we personally manage the entries. We can have so much more personal contact with everyone and at the same time manage the numbers if we are required too.

Click on any photo to enlarge
                    Long course above : Head around the first island you come to and turn left between the first island and the second island  ( it is 1 km from the loop entrance to the first island)  

                          Click on any photo to enlarge

Short course above : 1 lap or 2 laps

                           Click on any photo to enlarge
 Above is the Event venue marked as (Aqua cross hatch) the yellow flag and yellow buoy denotes the start for all courses and the turn buoy at the 3 km mark for the 6 km short course.
If you are doing the 3 km short course, keep going straight past this buoy on the homeward leg directly to the finish

The red flag denotes the Welly Paddlers flag at the finish and the red spot denotes the pink buoy at the finish

The yellow course turns are both yellow buoys and you will note the direction of the turns is from right to left the buoys always being on your left hand side when turning

NOTE : The blue lines indicates the area of the river loop that was widened in late 2020

Here's Sharlene (above)......spelt with an "S"......and ending in "ene" Sharlene provides the gel that keeps these Events running on the day.
When you see Sharlene (in the high viz top)......along with the Welly Paddlers Flag....and the pink know you are at the finish !


The 29th annual Foxton Loop Race - Sunday August 22

Te Awahou River Loop Reserve, Harbour Street, Foxton

Entries only accepted by email with payment by online banking to the following :


- Welly Paddlers Kiwibank - 389016 0568806 02

- Any questions about entries email us or phone Chester 022 6455 820

NOTE : ENTRIES CLOSE FRIDAY AUGUST 20 AT 7 PM - that includes the entry being paid by 7 pm as well :-)

Please use your "Surname" or "Team name" in one of the "reference boxes" when making your online banking payment.


When entering by email please give us the following detail.

1.Your name or Team name 

2. Your cellphone number

3. Type of craft..... K1, W1, VI (rudderless) W6, K2, W2, multisport kayak, adventure racing double, surf ski, sea kayak, double surf ski, double kayak, sea kayak, surf canoe, SUP or prone paddle board etc.etc

4. Are you entering the 3km / 6km / 12 km / 12 km recreational

5. Female / Male / Mixed

6. Classifications : Under 14 - Under 16 - Under 19 - Senior - Masters - Senior Masters - Grand Master 

check your classification here :

7. Town / City

Entry Fess :

Long courses :

$30 singles

$40 doubles

$50 surf canoes

$60 W6's

$120 W12

Long course : under 19 and over 60 and on a single take 50% off the above

Short courses :

$15 singles


Description of courses

12 km long course - From the start head north out the wide section of the loop, turn left at the Manawatu River convergence, paddle approx 1 km then turn anti clockwise (from right to left) around the first island then follow the same route back to the finish.

6km short course - 2 x laps from the start head North out and back on the wide section of the loop

3 km short course - 1 x lap from the start head North out and back on the wide section of the loop


Here are our Event run times :

Registration from 8.30 am - 9.40 am

Event briefing 9.45 am

10.05 am 12 km recreational start

10.15 am 12 km W 12, W6 and surf canoe start

10.17 am 12 km W1 and W2

10.19 am 12 km single and double kayakers

10.22 am 3 km and 6 km start (All craft start together) 

The Event is open to all paddle craft (sorry no rowing craft)


All paddlers must wear a PFD, all kayaks must use spray skirts, all ocean racing skis must wear a leg leash, all waka ama must carry a bailer/s (unless on a sit on top waka)

Every paddler needs to take personal responsibility for their own health and wellbeing and make good decisions in what they do on the water, and what clothing they choose to they wear on the day. Every paddler and crew, if they capsize, must be able to self rescue themselves by remounting their craft or by swimming to the shore quickly emptying out and continuing through to the finish. It must be emphasized that it's all about being prepared and to practice, practice, practice to keep your skillsets up. Please do not expect to come along and to "wing it on the day" this approach is likely to leave you ill prepared and places unnecessary risk on yourself.

Welly Paddlers - Covid scanning posters are at registration. Please Scan in with your phone in front of the registration team.

Every Paddler must check into registration when they arrive.  

PLEASE NOTE : The Event will run under Covid 19 Level 2 alert. If that is the case at the time the first 100 entries will be capped. so be mindful that it will be a case of first in best dressed.

If this is the case we will likely reach the limit 100 person limit 1 week prior to entry close off.

These are our events numbers and this is the left side front area that you place them

*** We recycle***

If you have an existing Welly Paddlers event number from the previous "Foxton Loop Race" or "The Motorway Classic" please let us know this Event number when you enter and we will check this off against our master list of numbers. 

If you sell your craft the number peels off easily and is able to placed on your new craft.

There will be 3 x Event updates on the Welly Paddlers Facebook page on the Monday Wednesday, Friday and then Saturday at 10 am in the days leading up to the Event.....these posts will show weather and tide details and any course changes.

 2 x Manawatu Coastguard jet skis will monitor the long course while 2 x Ruahine White Water Club sea kayakers will monitor the short course. We use Marine Channel VHF 60 for the Event.

Our Emergency contact number on the day is 027 4581 005

                     Click on any of the photos below to enlarge

Boat ramp Event Venue location
Looking to the left of the boat ramp
Looking to the right of the boat ramp

Please note the photos below...... 
Below is the brand new wider start area that has been redeveloped on the Te Awahou River Loop Reserve.
At this point we will place 1 x yellow buoy for the start.....which will also serve as the turn for lap two of the (6 km) short course
NOTE : The finish for all courses is back at the boat ramp.

The start is directly opposite Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom pictured above 

The start in front of Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom

Looking at all the photos taken on Saturday August 7.....yes the redevelopment is still quite fresh and the ground is soft......mud through, under and over shoes could be an issue....soooo......gum boots (Wellies) are highly recommended.
The nearest Toilets to the event are pictured below. This is a 400 metre walk from the Registration Area

The red hatched area below is a no parking area.....we need this as a safe clear pathway for craft to enter and exit the boat ramp. It is also a public boat ramp and needs to remain clear at all times.
The Blue Square is the Registration Area
The White circle with the cross is where the briefing and spot prizegiving will take place

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

30th Anniversary of "The Motorway Classic"

click on any photo to enlarge

*** The Motorway Classics results for 2021 - *** 



The Motorway Classic has always been a staple of Wellington Paddlers diets for 30 years now, it's a great local event and it's one that we should all encourage out mates and clubmates to participate in at least once in their life time.

Being the 30th Anniversary Event we've injected some extra financial resources into the event and we are also fortunate enough to have a couple of Angel investors come on board with us for the 2021 event.

2019 W6 start

As with all our events we have an event link so everything you need to know is here -

Originally the Motorway Classic was a 13 km event however we added the 6 km & 3 km options in 2012 to allow a stepping stone for new paddlers to be part of the Event. 

To run an Event of this scale we have an entry close off date which is 2 days prior. We post detail on our Welly Paddlers Facebook where we show you how the weather is tracking.

We have a number of means of communicating with us.

email -

Message the Welly Paddlers Facebook page....or make a comment on any of the pre event posts.

Ph Chester 022 6455 820


**********  Here is the Event detail as it appears on the Facebook link :

Event location - Honiana Te Puni Reserve, Petone (by the Wellington Waterski Club)
Sunday April 11, 2021
Registration from 8.30 am
Event briefing at 9.40 am
Start times
10.00 am Recreational 13 km
10.15 am All W6's and surf canoes 13 km
10.17 am All Kayaks surf skis and W1's and doubles 13 km
10.20 am short courses (3 km & 6 km)
Spot prizegiving 12.15 pm - 12.30 pm (10 minutes after the last paddler finishes)
Open to : all kayaks, - all waka ama - all surf skis - adventure racing doubles - prone paddle boards - stand up paddle boards - surf canoes
All paddlers must wear a PFD, all kayaks must use spray skirts, all ocean racing surf skis must wear a leg leash, all waka ama must carry a bailer (unless a sit on top ocean waka)
Entry Fees :
long course :
$30 singles
$40 doubles
$50 surf canoes
$60 W6's
$100 W12's

Short course entrants, Under 18 & 60+......take 50% off the above fees
Late entry fee (extra $10 per craft) applies from Friday April 9 th at 7 pm....late entries will be taken up until 7 pm Saturday April 10.....NO LATE ENTRIES WILL BE TAKEN ON THE DAY

*** We recycle ***
If you have an existing "Welly Paddlers" event number on your craft from one of our previous Welly Paddlers events...... please let us know this event number when you enter......some people have a few craft......and each craft has it's own number.
Entry to
Name ...........................
Type of craft.................. i.e W1, W6, surf ski, multisport, SUP, prone, surf canoe
Distance....................... 13 km open, 13 km recreational start, 6 km or 3 km
Town, City...................................
date of birth / or average age if a crew..............................
*** Please note if you are reasonably new to paddling we recommend you do either the 6km or 3 km rather than the 13 km. ***
Online payment - Welly Paddlers - Kiwibank 38-9016-0568806-02
Please use your - "Surname" or "Team name".....on the online banking payment "reference box"
The course maps have been posted on -
There will be 2 x event updates on the Welly Paddlers Facebook page on the Wednesday and Saturday (by 10 am) in the week leading up to the event. These posts will show weather, course, location, facilities detail and any courses changes.
There will be 1 x motorised boat that will act as a tail end charlie. The course is not suitable for K1's and every paddler must be able to self rescue by either rolling or remounting your craft. Just like anything in life it requires practice, practice, practice to maintain your skill level / competencies.
Any inquiries 022 6455 820 & Emergency event number on the day is 027 4581 005.
We operate our Safety on Marine channel VHF 77 *********************

2019 short course start

 click on any photo to enlarge
Below the 2019 Event with sponsor Terry Newsome from Nelo NZ / i-paddle NZ, Auckland (centre back); clockwise NZ Ocean Surf ski Champion Andy Mowlem, Perth; 12 x Molokai Ocean racing Champion / CEO of Nelo surf ski, Oscar Chalupsky, Porto; Rodrigo Azubel, Melbourne; Joerg Bungert, Wellington; Seth Putnam-Rea Vancouver
click on any photo to enlarge
below is the 13 km long course
Below are the short courses : 1 x lap = 3 km and 2 x laps = 6 km 
click on any photo to enlarge
click on any photo to enlarge

Event Venue :      
Blue - Registration
Red - Boat ramp clearway (drop off and pick up only)
Purple - single and doubles staging area
Aqua - W6 & W12 craft staging area / parking 

click on any photo to enlarge
Toilets :      
1. Turn left inside Honiana Te Puni Reserve
2. larger toilet block on the Petone Esplanade (opposite Bay St.
Dual turn buoys at the Interislander reclamation
1. closest to Motorway for singles and doubles
2. buoy 40 metres out for W6's and W 12's
3. All buoy turns - turn from right to left

Click on any photo to enlarge
Inside the entrance to Honiana Te Puni Reserve

Closest toilet block through the trees (600 metres from the start)

Largest toilet block on The Esplanade opposite Seashore Cafe
Same Toilet block
Click on any photo to enlarge
Aim for this high rise apartment block on the Lower Thorndon Hillside
Dual turn buoys at the Interislander reclamation - left buoy for W 6 & W12 and right buoy singles and doubles
From the water aiming towards the W6 & W12 buoy 
Click on any photo to enlarge
From the water aiming towards the singles and doubles buoy
Stay 50 metres clear of this concrete block building prior to the BP station to avoid any stray rocks under the waterline
Click on any photo to enlarge
buoy turn location for the short course opposite the BP station
looking towards the finish from the BP station - aim for the two white buildings to the right of the bow of this surf ski
start / finish buoys will be located here

View from "The Motorway"

Green cross - briefing area
Red hatching - Waka launching areas
white hatching - Water ski lane no craft parking
start line form a starting grid
dual turns for short course at start finish line only
blue arrow - finishing shute - all craft long and short courses

Run of play for the day.

1.There will be just over 180 paddlers plus supporters at the Event on Sunday

2.    This will involve turning up super early to unload craft and set up craft in the designated staging / craft parking areas

3.      Please use the Public Toilets as shown in the photos

4.      Please note that to the left of the Boat ramp is a designated water ski lane as per the Regional Council bylaws. While the Harbour Master has our Event booked in, we need to keep a careful eye on the General Public. So please keep the large waka clear of this area and use the beach between the green Rowing club Building and the Boatramp

5.      A second launching place for the large waka will need to be used close to the green Rowing Club building where Kokiri Waka Ama were previously based

6.      Parking : There is plenty of parking well prior to the Wellington Water ski Club the main car parking area is going to be a log jam and please give space for large waka trailers to load and unload

7.       Everyone will need to be weary and thoughtful of others in regards to parking and also out on the water

8.       Please have everyone read and understand the Welly Paddlers Event rules this detail is also lodged with the Harbour Masters Office

9.   . Please have all paddlers especially Team Captains read the pre event posts

10    We’ll be onsite from 7.30 am on the day……and will likely have registration set up way before 8.30 am

11   Unload your craft and have you gear set up early….then you all have the time and space to catch up with mates. Help each other out on land and on the water.

12   Lots of people requires plenty of co-ordination. Everyone working together to the times frames given and the Event will run smoothly.

1   Rhys is our guy in the Motor boat give him a shout out especially at the top turn

14 We will naturally have plenty of leaders on surf skis and waka out on the course not only racing but also helping each other out with communication and guidance

15  Channel  77 is the Recreational Marine channel that we will be using and a number of paddlers will be monitoring this own their personal radios

   The start calls are made over the loud hailer at : 2  minutes, 1 minute, 30 seconds 10 seconds…….then 3, 2 1…….GO on the loud air horn

1   Once you’re off the water load your gear up get changed and help others out.

1  Once the last craft is off the water….we will be kicking off the Spot Prize giving 15 minutes after this time

1   After the prize giving the Event Organisers are going to remain at the Venue to catch up with everyone properly


21   For the Event to run smoothly from both sides just remember these 4 key points - co-ordination - communication – listening -“merge like a zip”

22  There will be approx. 3 x Event still cameras in action and around 2 – 3 people running video set ups

2   Thank you in Advance from the Welly Paddlers Team of from Chester, Sharlene, Michelle, Laurelle & Rhys and all the Club Managers, Co-ordinators and Transportation Teams

24   Run times

Registration – 8.00 – 9.40 am

Event Safety Briefing 9.45 am

10.00 am 13 km All Recreational craft start

10.15 am 13 km Open W6 & W 12 Open start

10.17 am 13 km singles start

10.20 am 3km & 6 km all craft start

Spot prize giving 12.30 pm / (or 15 minutes after the last paddler finishes)