2021 Rasdex Classic River Race Series – Date Confirmation



The beginning of 2020 has brought about a drastic and potentially game-changing alteration to the date of the next edition of the country’s premier river kayaking event.  The Rasdex Classic River Race Series, which comprises three lower Waimakariri River prologue events, followed by the Rasdex Classic River Race itself, is being held early in the calendar year for the first time. 

The race date of Saturday 16 January 2021 has been confirmed by its organisers, Arawa Canoe Club.  The long-standing down river race features the stunningly memorable Waimakariri Gorge in its 67km journey; from Mt White Bridge near Arthur’s Pass, to the Gorge Bridge, near Sheffield on the Canterbury Plains.  Rasdex have joined as the naming rights sponsor, as they have for the past several years.

The change of date was brought about by several factors, such as more favourable weather conditions, increased training time for novice entrants and availability of the ever-important river safety team.  The event has traditionally been held in December and the extra training time over summer is anticipated to be well received by top competitors as they head into final preparations for the Kathmandu Coast to Coast.

The Rasdex Classic River Race Series organising committee is proud to announce that a new Race Director will be at the helm, as the well reputed Simon Trotter has chosen to step back, but not out, after three years in the role. Jennifer John (nee Walker) will be stepping in to put her spin on the event and its series of prologue races, while upholding the fresh and organised approach which served Trotter so well.  A seasoned multisport and adventure racing athlete, Jennifer is extremely well placed to lead the race organisation for 2021 and further the efforts put in by Simon and the organising committee over recent years.

It’s expected that the change of date will bring a heightened level of competition and more valid clues as to what may eventuate on the river in the Kathmandu Coast to Coast, following shortly afterwards on 12 and 13 February.  The weather should be more settled in January than the traditional December patterns that often cause fluctuations in river levels.  This is bound to create a tighter field at the pointy end, as higher flows will alter the race from being a time trial of strength and determination, to a truly exciting down river race.  It will be a positive change for the novice entrants, giving a few more weeks to achieve their Grade 2 certificates, which are a requirement of entry.

Entries to the Series will open in July and can be found via the Arawa Canoe Club Facebook page or the Club’s website.  The race sponsors will be released as soon as they are confirmed.  The dates of the three prologue events on the Woodstock to Gorge Bridge are: Sunday 11 October, Sunday 1 November and Sunday 22 November.  Make sure you put those and Saturday 16 January 2021 in your race calendar!

For more information see https://www.arawa.org.nz/classic.html