Kayaking classic enters 29th year
by Mike Isle
For 29 years in a row, one of the country’s oldest and most popular kayaking events has been held in Canterbury.
The 2018 Rasdex Classic River Race Series began last week with the first of three prologue races from Woodstock to Gorge Bridge on the Waimakariri River.
Race organiser, Simon Trotter, said that the race attracted 107 paddlers, whilst the final race in the series, the 68-kilometre Mt White Bridge to Gorge Bridge on December 8 is expected to attract a full muster of 200 paddlers.
“The series is a fantastic way for paddlers to build up to the Coast to Coast in February. For some, this series will be their first time racing on a river, and for others, the Classic is the pinnacle kayak race of the year,” Mr Trotter said.
Since the first Classic in 1989, the race has attracted a significant number of New Zealand’s World Champions in kayaking including Mike Bassett — World 20km Champion, Andrew Martin — World Down River Racing Champion and Ben Fouhey — World 1,000m K1 Champion. Each in their turn has won the main race.