Thursday, August 18, 2022

The 31st annual Motorway Classic - Sunday March 26

Event Location - Honiana Te Puni Reserve, Petone (by the Wellington Waterski Club)

Course Distances :

13 km - 7.4 km - 3.7 km

The Event is open to the following craft :

- All Waka ama - All multisport kayaks & adventure racing doubles - surf ski - SUP - surf canoes - prone paddle boards & kneeboards. Sorry the courses are not suitable for K1's,  K2's or Ocean Rowing Craft

Every person who paddles any craft on Wellington Harbour must practice self rescuing themselves, and practice a few times prior to the Event. 

The courses are sheltered from the fiercest Wellington Northerly, as you can paddle all courses between 2 metres and 20 metres from the Motorway Coastline. 

If you feel a little tippy in your craft, then being nice and close to the shoreline is the easiest most confidence boosting part of the course to paddle on.

We have a number of means to communicate with us.

email - - phone Chester 022 6455 820

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

Online payment only - Welly Paddlers - Kiwibank 38-9016-0568806-02

*** Please use the "Surname" / "Team name" (of the Person /Team you are entering) in the online banking payment "reference box" ***

Entries Close : Friday March 24 at 4 pm. Payment by online Banking must also be made prior to this time.


Entries now open.

*** How to enter ***

Email - - Please provide the following detail

1. Your full name / Name of Team

2. Your cellphone number

3. Type of craft eg. W1, W2, W6, W 12, multisport kayak, surf ski, sea kayak, SUP, prone paddle board, surf canoe, adventure racing double

4. Are you entering : 13 km recreational - 13 km open - 7.4 km - 3.7 km

5. Female / Male / Mixed

6. Classification Please supply your date of birth - Or average Age if you are in a Team boat

7. Town or City

8. *** We recycle the numbers ***

If you have an existing Welly Paddlers number on your craft from a previous Welly Paddlers Event please let us know when you enter and we'll check this off against our Master Spreadsheet Our numbers are easy peel and do not leave any sticky residue.

Entry Fees

- 13 km long course -

- $35.00 - singles ($20 for U 18 & 60 +)

- $60.00 - doubles

- $80.00 - surf canoe

- $90.00 - W6

- $140.00 - W 12

- 3.7 km & 7.4 km short courses -

$20 singles

*** Please note if you are reasonably new to paddling or do very little fitness paddling we recommend that you enter the 3.7 km or 7.4 km...rather than the 13 km ***.

     All photo credits : Laurelle Winiata & Sharlene Winiata

All pre Event updates are on this Facebook link -

There will be 3 x Event updates on the above link on Tuesday & Thursday before 10 am in the week leading up to the Event. These posts will show weather, course, location, facilities detail and any course changes

*** 24 hours prior to the Event we will post the Event Briefing on the Facebook link above ***

click on any photo to enlarge

13 km long course below

Short course options : 

1 x lap = 3.7 km
2 x laps = 7.4 km 

Long Course turn buoys below at the Interislander reclamation

- Buoy closest to Motorway for singles and doubles
- Buoy 40 metres out for W6's, W 12's and surf canoes
- All buoy turns - turn from right to left   

Below short course turns and start finish buoys

- dual turns for short course at start finish line only
- blue arrow - finishing shute - all craft long and short courses

Toilet Locations below

1. Turn left inside Honiana Te Puni Reserve (600 metres from the venue)
2. Larger toilet block on the Petone Esplanade - opposite Bay St (1.5 km from the start) 

Below - Closest toilet block pictured through the trees 
just inside the entrance to Honiana Te Puni Reserve

Seashore Cafe pictured below

Below - Largest toilet block on The Esplanade (opposite Seashore Cafe)

Below - Stay 50 metres clear of this concrete block building prior to the BP station to avoid any stray rocks under the waterline

Below - 
Green cross - briefing area
Red cross hatching - Launching areas - keep clear of vehicles
white cross hatching - Water ski lane no craft parking

Below - start line - form a starting grid

Notes and run of play for the day

- Please use Public Toilets as shown in photos

- All Team Captains and paddlers must read the pre event posts on our Facebook page and also all the Event detail on our page here.

- Both the long and short courses are easily paddled close to the sheltered shoreline so if you are not a confident paddler please heed this good advice

- Anyone who enters the 13 km course we require that they are competent paddlers or place yourself in a craft with other competent paddlers who you can learn from. Anyone lacking confidence or fitness the 3.7 km & 7.4 km distances are both awesome distances to paddle and still be an integral part of "The Motorway Classic"

- We do have safety monitoring craft however paddlers do need to make good decisions so they do not put themselves at risk of capsize or getting themselves into any other un neccessary trouble. 

- The Motorway course is not designed for the windy Southerly condition, an alternative day has only be used once ( 2021 ) in the 15 years we have been Organising the Event

- This Event is approved by the GWRC Harbours Department. As such everyone is required to obey the bylaws here -

- PFD's are required at our Events - if you don't wear one the Harbourmasters Department will be around to fine you.

- If you have a collision with a motor craft or a medical Event (whether training or racing) a PFD will allow you to float, and make you more visible (better still if it's a High Viz PFD) and will save your life. 

- Our Event Safety number on the day is 027 4581 005

- We use VHF Channel 77 for Event Safety.

- High tide is at 9.39 am 

- The start calls are : 2 mins to start - 1 minute - 30 seconds - 3 - 2 - 1 - loud air horn

Event Schedule

Registration from 8.30 am - 9.45 am

- 9.50 am - 13 km All Recreational craft, 

- 10.00 am - 13 km Racing SUP's start

- 10.10 am - 13 km Open W6 - W 12 & Surf canoe start

- 10.12 am - 13 km singles & doubles start

- 10.14 am - 3.7 km & 7.4 km all craft start (  including SUP's touring and inflatable)

Spot prize giving 12.00 pm - 12.20 pm

FINAL NOTE : Over the next three years there is a significant amount of construction work being carried out within the Honiana Te Puni Reserve. ( Wellington - Petone cycle / walkway ) 
We will post updated maps regarding access to the venue and parking by February 1.

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Foxton Loop Race briefing notes - Full Event detail in previous post


Foxton Loop Race briefing notes

·         As soon as you arrive at the Event go and check in at Registration

·         Protect our waterways take note of the craft cleaning detail between our fresh water paddling locations

·         The Navigation bylaws apply to all craft on the water

·         Welly Paddlers display Event rules at our Events they are based on respect, fair play, common sense and the laws of the land


·         Welly Paddlers follow an Operational Plan which covers the Organisers, Event Staff and paddlers for this Event. We update this plan annually, we are all about continual improvement of our processes and fine tuning the Event each year

·         Please stay close to the start line 3 minutes prior to your start time

·         Give each other plenty of sideways space at the start. Starting on the 2nd 3rd or 4th row at the start is an advantage as you get to ride someone else’s wash !

·         If you withdraw for any reason please notify Sharlene immediately, we do need to account for all paddlers

·         Sharlene is on a loud hailer calling start groups up. Each group will get 2 minute warning - 1 minute warning - 30 seconds warning -  Countdown 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1 - LOUD AIR HORN IS GO

·         As soon as you finish warm down out of the way of others paddlers then go get changed and place your craft on your vehicle or trailer

·         We will kick the spot prize giving off at 2.15 pm this will last no longer than 15 – 20 minutes

·         Please bear in mind that so many people have travelled long distances to get to the Event and many have very long drives home……so think of them and move quickly to the Spot prize giving

·         LOCK YOUR VEHICLES - hide all items in your vehicle from public view - This should be done at all Events, it’s about valuing your gear and avoiding the opportunity for it to go missing



12.00 pm - 12 km - W 1, W 2 & TK 2

12.02 pm - 12 km - Female

12.04 pm - 12 km - Male

12.06 pm - 3 km - All craft

12.08 pm - 6 km – All craft

12.11 pm - 10 km recreational 

12.14 pm - 10 km Open all craft

2.15 pm - 2.35 pm Event Spot prize giving.

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

31st Annual Foxton Loop Race - Sunday August 14

This year the Event venue is again taking place on the Te Awahou Riverside reserve, Harbour Street, Foxton based around the boat ramp area. 

The FLR is best held on the highest Spring tide each year which has generally been the third weekend in August. 

The course basically heads around the Manawatu River loop around Matakarapa Island, which is obviously smack bang in the middle of the loop and accessed by a bridge, so it's sort of like a moat without the Castle !


               Click on any photo to enlarge

We do not take entries on the day so it will require all paddlers to be organised and to enter early.

*** The current information from MPI below..... in regards to not carrying any noxious bugs or weed between your local waterway and the Foxton waterway - Read detail in photo below ***

                            click on any photo to enlarge

Matakarapa course - 10 km

This course is a complete circumnavigation around Matakarapa Island only suitable for kayaks or surf skis due to the narrow winding section around the back of the loop (at the halfway point  approximately ) PLEASE NOTE : If you have a kayak or surf ski with a flip up rudder you may find you will catch less weed (if there are random loose patches around the narrow end of the waterway) This course starts in the opposite direction to the 12 km course.......this means that both courses come together at the halfway the 10 km exits the narrow end of the loop......the 12 km course turns around the small island ! 

This course is back onstream again this year due to 2 x significant flood events where the Moutoa Floodway gates have been opened. The huge volume of water has cleared the vegetation that grows rampantly blocking the very narrow section around the back of the river loop.

                Click on the photo to enlarge

                            Manawatu course - 12 km 

This is our go to "out and back" course when the narrow section of the loop is completely blocked with weed.
This course is wide and deep with all the space in the world for waka ama singles, doubles and sixes.
Kayakers can choose this course or the Matakarapa course as their long course option

Paddle 5 km out the wide section of the river loop, turn left out onto the main Manawatu River. Head up river 1km then turn from right to left around the first of the three small islands in the river.

Head directly back to the finish the same way.

12 km course - start at yellow buoy - finish at pink buoy

Close up Manawatu River section
Close up of 12 km course turn
Click on any photo to enlarge
Te Awahou courses - choose either 6 km or 3 km

As pictured below you can either choose the 1 lap (3 km option) or the 2 lap (6 km option) 
This course is really sheltered and a great option for all comers, juniors, racers and SUP's or anyone who would just like to be part of the event on limited training. As with everyone paddling please read down to the bottom of this page to check what your responsibilities are as a paddler at this Event. 

                          Click on any photo to enlarge

Navigation around each course

Every paddler needs to comply with the Navigation bylaws.

This Event is approved by the Harbour Master at The Horizons Regional Council.

The nuts and bolts are :

Waterways work opposite to roads. Basically you travel on the left, on the road.....and on waterways we travel on the right.

To avoid a collision with any other paddle craft or motorboat we always veer off to the right to avoid a crash...... and sinking to Davie Jones locker (Think of Johnny Depp "Pirates of the Caribbean")

Click on any photo to enlarge

Event Venue, start and finish (pictured above)

Venue - (Aqua cross hatch)  Start - the orange flag and yellow buoy denotes the start for all courses as well as being the turn buoy at the 3 km mark for the 6 km short course.
Finish - If you are doing the 3 km short course, keep going straight past the yellow buoy on the homeward leg directly to the finish (pink buoy & orange flag)

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

The short course course turns are both yellow buoys with orange flags 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 

Below are the buoys as described above

Entries only accepted by email with payment by online banking :

Every entry received, will be responded with an email back confirming your entry.


- Welly Paddlers Kiwibank - 389016 0568806 02

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

NOTE : ENTRIES CLOSE FRIDAY AUGUST 12  AT 7 PM - that includes the entry fee being paid by 7 pm as well :-)

Please use your "Surname" or "Team name" in one of the "online banking reference boxes" when making your 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, W 12, 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 / 10 km / 10 km recreational / 12 km

5. Female / Male / Mixed

6. Classifications : Please supply us with your date of birth......or average age if you're in a Team boat. 

7. Town / City

Entry Fess :

Long courses :

$30 singles

$40 doubles

$50 surf canoes

$30 W3

$60 W6's

$120 W12

Long course : under 19 and over 60 ( and in a single craft ) take 50% off the above

Short courses :

All single craft $15

Here are our Event run times :

Registration from 10.30 am - 11.45 am

Event Briefing will be a written viewable briefing here - this will be posted by 3 pm the day before the event.

12.00 pm 12 km - W 12, W6 and surf canoe start (Manawatu course)

12.02 pm 12 km - W1 and W2 - Female ( Manawatu course )

12.04 pm 12 km - W1 and W2 - Male ( Manawatu course )

12.06 pm 12 km - All single kayaks, surf skis and doubles ( Manawatu course )

12.08 pm 3 km / 6 km start - (All craft types start together) ( Te Awahou course ) 

12.11 pm 10 km recreational ( Matakarapa Course )

12.14 pm 10 km single and double kayaks Female  ( Matakarapa Course )

12.16 pm 10 km single and double kayaks Male  ( Matakarapa Course )

1.45 pm - 2.05 pm Event Spot prize giving.

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

If the numbers are extraordinary high for any of the above start groups we may well add in an extra start time


All paddlers must wear a PFD, all kayaks must use spray skirts, 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 skill sets 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.

Every Paddler or in the case of a double - four - six or 12 person craft (the Team Captain) must check into registration immediately when you arrive on site  

Below - our Event numbers and they are to be placed on the left side front area of your craft within 1 metre from the bow.

*** 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 Facebook page on the Monday, Wednesday, Thursday within the 6 days leading up to the Event......these posts will show weather and tide details and any course changes, which may be dictated by the weather forecasting or hazards. 

We will post the briefing notes by 3 pm the day before the Event.

 2 x Manawatu Coastguard jet skis will monitor the long course while Chester will monitor the short course on a surf ski. and follow the final groups of paddlers to the finish, taking over from the Coastguard. 

We use Marine Channel VHF 60 for the Event.

Our Emergency contact number on the day is 027 4581 005.

                   Boat ramp Event Venue location

       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 Riverside Reserve.
At this point we will place 1 x yellow buoy for the starts.....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 below

The start is directly opposite Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom pictured above

The nearest Public Toilets to the event are pictured below. This is a 400 metre walk from the Registration Area. There are also toilets at Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom, where there is also a Cafe

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

                Click on any photo to enlarge