The 11th annual James Moore-Morial race, New Zealand’s biggest coastal race of its kind, this year attracted a record number of competitors.
The 30+ km ocean run for outrigger canoes, ocean skis and SUPs, took place at Mount Maunganui in February with 134 registered crafts.
The race is held in memory of James Lance Kiri Moore (aka Bhutty), who lost his life in July 2009 paddling the same course in rough conditions. Bhutty was a core member of the Goodyear Outrigger Canoe Crew and New Zealand’s white water rafting team, and the event celebrates his life and achievements.
Race coordinator Paul Roozendaal gives a roundup of the day:
What a race it was. I had been telling lots that we were due a flat one. Although the charts showed there was a possibility of the wind turning up, unfortunately it did not and we were treated to a NE breeze. This did make it a bit cooler in the hot sun.
With 134 crafts registered to race it was always going to be the biggest field we have ever had in the 11 years of the event. Race start was postponed an hour with the hope of the wind coming a bit earlier. But the wind didn’t arrive until prizegiving.
The race was tough, with New Zealand’s best paddlers having an honest battle for three hours plus with a few finding it too hard and pulling out.
Tupuria King showed his class taking his fourth win in five years for the men, with Nicky Kingi getting her first win in this event. Jordan and Richard on the W2 did their best to beat Tupu only to be caught and passed in the last 20 minutes.
Maylene and Louise were the sole relay team to race in the first of its kind for this race. They finished with smiles and lots of energy. They highly recommend the relay for next year.
Former Olympic Sailor Tom Ashley won the ski division in his first attempt, with former world ski champion Rachel Clarke winning for a second year in a row.
Special mention to three individuals that competed in the race for their 11th consecutive year - Mark Roozendaal, Tonga White and Paora Mcgrath. It’s a huge effort to just do the race once.
Thank you to the team of volunteers for running such an outstanding event and to the sponsors that make it so memorable for the participants. (Everyone gets a spot prize.)
Huge thanks to Strongarm - Power in the Water, Kai Wa’a Canoes, Loaded Sports Drink, Kitesurf Nelson, Tuakana Customs, Oceanrider, Okerefalls Store, Ipaddle, Red Seal, East Coast Paddler, Sharkskin, Chocolates Are Us, The Rising Tide, Turkish Delight and Ocean Culture.
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