8 March 2008

Women on Whitewater

On the 5th - 7th of Feb a group of kayakers converged in Murchison for a weekend of boating. This however was like no other weekend....it marked the first all women kayaking event in the South Is (after a similar North Is event was run last year). Organised by our very own Ari Yates and fellow friends from AUT, the event was designed to bring together female paddlers from all over to share stories, paddling tips and to have a wicked time boating with like minded peeps. Games, workshops and river running sessions were all enjoyed by those who attended the highly successful weekend.
Playing in the wave on Middles

The event was kicked off with a run on Middles, where all the girls showed off their skills playing on the waves and styling around the river. The more experienced practised their instructional skills by assisting the newbies - which gave everyone a chance to work on specific goals. After a well deserved lunch the girls divided up into teams which focused on different paddling aspects (safety, leading and developing personal skills) and paddled different sections of the Buller. Everyone came back buzzing and an relaxing evening was had with plenty of tales and laughs shared between the group.

Leela & Soph playing around

Sunday was another pearler of a day which was a fab host to the WOW competition. This was held at O'Sullies rapid and gave a chance for the everyone push themselves and show off some sick moves. It was magic to see chicks carving up on the wave, making some wicked lines and sexy eddie turns. Soph Mulder was seen having a cheeky wee surf and KT got her kit off in the water - exposing her extreme white arse to some baffled onlookers! (which was rewarded with spot prizes!)

KT on O'Sullies

After the event had finished a couple of our crew (Sophia, KT & Leela) decided to tackle the mighty Mauria Falls - everything was looking sweet, the girls pumped themselves up and the crowds gathered to watch. All went over without a hitch and came up at the bottom with a grin that a cheshire cat would be proud of! A wicked way to top off the weekend. (It was flammin difficult to get them to talk about anything else on the drive home!) - however they deserve the bragging rights, particularly as they did it before the boys!

Checking out Mauria

Sheewee, Paddlerzone and Cumec Mag were key sponsors of the event - providing prizes ("yeahya - i can pee standing up!") and resources for the girls. A huge thumbs up to them for supporting such a choice event.

Sophia styling Mauria

However Ari and her dedicated team of organisers are the ones which are the true stars of the weekend. Without their vision and organisational skills the event would not have happened. I'm sure that everyone that attended will agree with me when I say that it was one of the best boating weekends I've had and that we appreciated the time and effort that was put in for the event. Cheers ladies! For those who missed out this year - don't fret, after the attraction and support that the event generated it is set to be a yearly occurrence. Keep an eye out for information around November - and if you live in the North Is then check out info for the event up there.

Some of the crew on Lowers

See you out there on the water.

5 March 2008

Bullerfest '08

On the first weekend of march every year the small town of Murchison goes off! This is the weekend of Bullerfest. This is when kayakers and beer converge to celebrate the Buller river by participating in a range of kayaking events and supporting the local community by spending a load of time at the pub and having a massive party that is a guaranteed excellent night out!

The weekend started out with a crew of us from level seven heading over on Thursday to lend a hand setting up the slalom course on O'Sullie's Rapid. On the way to this however we stopped in at Maruia Falls and hucked our sorry ass's of of the 9m(?) drop. Turns out it's actually a lot of fun!
Chee droppin it like it's hot

This was then followed by an afternoon slaving away followed by a much deserved beer at The Comercial.

Friday came around and it was the day of the extreme race. This is held on the lower section of the Matakitaki River. CPIT ended up doing pretty well with Leela coming third in the womans and I got into the semi finals in the mens.. this was then followed by a massive night at The Commercial...
Sanga leading the pack

Saturday came around a little fast for most with the heavy rain. It rained soo much that day that the Buller came up at least a good foot while we were racing. This was Buttas event and he tore up the course in his response! Believe it or not Saturday is also the night of the infamous party, and boy can kayakers party! We will just leave those stories for the individuals to tell though.

Sunday was another wet one which meant for a slow day. This alowed for the hangovers to clear and forced the cancellation of the big air. So everyone just lazed around 'til prize giving where we collected our booty before going for one last paddle before every one went home.