Wednesday, February 10, 2021

30th Anniversary of "The Motorway Classic"

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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

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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
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below is the 13 km long course
Below are the short courses : 1 x lap = 3 km and 2 x laps = 6 km 
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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 

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1010.    We’ll be onsite from 7.30 am on the day……and will likely have registration set up way before 8.30 am

1111.   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.

1212.   Lots of people requires plenty of co-ordination. Everyone working together to the times frames given and the Event will run smoothly.

1313   Rhys is our guy in the Motor boat give him a shout out especially at the top turn

1414. 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

1515.   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

1616.   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

1717.   Once you’re off the water load your gear up get changed and help others out.

1818   Once the last craft is off the water….we will be kicking off the Spot Prize giving 15 minutes after this time

1919   After the prize giving the Event Organisers are going to remain at the Venue to catch up with everyone properly


2121.   For the Event to run smoothly from both sides just remember these 4 key points - co-ordination - communication – listening -“merge like a zip”

2222.   There will be approx. 3 x Event still cameras in action and around 2 – 3 people running video set ups

2323   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

2424.   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

Friday, December 11, 2020

Summer Paddling Events


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Welly Paddlers summer activties

Sunday December 20 - Matiu Island - 8.4 km & 6.6 km or view the Event detail at the bottom of this post

Sunday January 24 - Dolly Vardon Beach - 8 - 10 km (Wellington Anniversary weekend)

Sunday February 14 - Seatoun 8 km

Sunday March 21 -The Motorway Classic 13 km and 6 km

Sunday April 18 Matiu Island Race - 8.5 km & 6.5 km (surf ski & waka ama & sea kayak only) *** Cancelled due to the rescheduling of The Motorway Classic ***

Please carry out some regular paddling activity to ensure you're fit and fully capable of completeing the distances. 

*** Please also practice your remounting / capsize / self rescue drills ***

Minimum craft length 4.6 metres. 

*** PFD's to worn by all paddlers  *** No PFD no entry

All Event links will be added above over the next few weeks.

For more detail -  - phone 04 976 1795 or 022 6455 820 

Here are a couple from our Event Partners.

January 17 Rangitikei River Race

March 28 Porirua Grand Traverse multisport event

Friday, April 3, 2020

The Foxton Loop Race - 2020

The Event this year is timed for Saturday August 22. Every year the date is set within 1 month from the date of the event just held.

Last year we had 48 paddlers on the water for the revived event, however our goal has always been to achieve around 80 - 100 paddlers on the water at this event every year, a number which is very achievable.

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Above is the circuit around the loop. Unless we get a descent flood this year to clear the vegetation and flush some sedement, it is likely we'll be running last years configurations. Below is a picture of the mentioned blockage at the "S" bend at the very southern (narrow end) end of the loop before it joins back onto the Manawatu River. This blockage covers an area of approx 200 metres in length and 3 - 5 metres in width. This photo has been taken from the farmers bridge looking east towards the Tararua range.

There is one change of last year in that we are moving the start finish point down to the boat ramp close to the intersection of Union and Harbour Streets. There are two very good reasons for this 1. Better launching for all craft 2. Increase the opportunity for better photos of all paddlers

So again the long course is here and will be 12.5 km

 For the short courses a buoy will be placed 1.5km from the start /finish. There will again be a 3 km course = 1 lap and a 6 km course = 2 laps. The rational for this option is again that paddlers and spectators can see and yell out support for each other on each lap.

Event time frames

Registration from 11.00 am
Event briefing at 12.15 am
Start times
12.30 am Recreational craft 12 km
12.40 am All W6's and surf canoes 12 km
12.42 am W1 and W2 12 km
12.44 am All Kayaks surf skis 12 km
12.50 am short courses 3 km & 6 km

Spot prizegiving - 2.15 pm - 2.30 pm (10 minutes after the last paddler finishes)

All the event entry detail contained here

Ruamahanga Kayak Race

Six days before the Foxton Loop Race the Wairarapa Multisports Club are holding the Annual Ruamahanga Kayak Race.

This years event is on Sunday August 16.....Note this date may be changed to September 6 due a clash with the Mukamuka Munter.

For both Welly Paddlers and Wairarapa Multsiports this is a strategic allignment. The rational is what I tend to do myself when travelling to the South Island with paddling events, I check in to see if events in some regions are a week apart to take in a couple of events and also to tour around, enjoy a break or work remotely.
The opportunity now exists for anyone travelling from either Auckland or the South Island to make these events on an extended road trip.

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Again thanks to Derek Cox from the Wairarapa Multisports Club for sharing this vision.
The event is on grade 1+ water and has a long course 28 km from Kokotau Bridge and a short course 12 km from Morrisons Bush, with both courses finishing at the Martinborough Bridge.

NOTE : If there are any extentions to the dates above, we will update this info and place a post on the Welly Paddlers Facebook page noting any changes.

The current list of  "various events" is on the event calendar on the left hand side of this page.