Sunday, February 9, 2014

Wairoa Extreme Race 2014

Well 2014 has been great so far! I have been busy with photography work so far but decided to take a well needed day off to head to the Wairoa Extreme Race! This is the North Islands premier event with all the best racers heading to Tauranga for the Race.  The sun was out and it was set to be an epic day! First up way the Time Trial with a 5-6 minute down river sprint.  My idea was the same as usual, keep it clean and don't use all the energy up to make mistakes.  All went well and I seeded in the middle of the pack with a 5.36 time.  1st place races last place for a tough/easy race for some but being in the middle meant my first head to head race would be against someone who was equal speed and could go either way.  My first race was against a Canadian called Jeff.  He posted a 1 split second faster time trial run so he got choice of side at the start.  In previous years the left has been faster so he chose left.  I had been watching a few races and noticed all the wins off the start were coming from the right so I was not worried at the start for a good time off the mark.  I lead coming into the first hole but only by a nose.  We both came off the waterfall at the same time but with that nose length lead it spat me out into the flat a bit further ahead.  Entering the Roller Coaster I was a bit flustered because I hadn't seen the race line since the river changed so was going off beta from someone else.  I managed to mess it up pretty good and do the bottom half upside down but rolled to catch the eddy and take the win.
Next up I drew Mike Dawson and my day was statistically speaking well and truly over.  I would give him a run for his money anyway and not give him any space if I could.  We took off and he went right and I went left without any contact.

Coming into the waterfall I was still on his tail and even landed on him to let him know I was there.  Again into the Roller Coaster I was a lot slower but nailed the eddy turn to come in just as he was touching the banner.  That was one of the most fun races I have done to date! Well done to Joe Morley, the current World Champ who progressed with Mike to take the overall win of the 2014 Wairoa Extreme Race. Also congrats to Lulu Jull for taking her first win in the womens devision!  The day did not end there as we headed to prize giving and the OFM gathered in the Mount for Burgers and Ice Cream on the beach as the sun went down on another epic day!
Cheers to Tyler Fox, Brendan Bayly and Lu Urwin for organising the race!