Inaugural Waikato 100
Inaugural Waikato 100
The inaugural Waikato 100 got underway with a Waikato Rowing Club quadruple scull, a Cambridge Rowing Club octaple and a stand up paddleboarder (SUP) setting off from under Victoria Bridge, Hamilton with a healthy current flow assisting them. Then at minute intervals, several waves of craft were set off including single/double kayaks and waka ama, and waka ama 6s. Pretty soon crews were spread out over a considerable distance on the river.
There were relay change out options at 20km (Ngaruawahia), 50km (Rangiriri) and 75km (Mercer). Crews who did not back themselves to do the whole 100km from Hamilton had the option of starting the race from any of these locations to finish at Elbow Corner.
Following the startup Waikato 50 event (shortened from the original 100km to 50km) in November 2016 all 38 athletes across the six crews concluded the 100km distance was achievable. And so it bore out. Of those who entered the 100km Full Monty all completed the course without incident bar the SUP who pulled out at the half way mark. First placed Sean Murphy on a surf ski completed the course in and unofficial time of 6:59.10. The event ‘Taniwha Tough’ award was given to second placed overall and surf ski paddler Paul Gillard who is five weeks into a six week course of radiotherapy treatment for cancer.
NZ Rowing entered two men’s eights and a men’s quadruple scull into the event starting at the 50km start line at Rangiriri.
Athlete prize giving was preceded by musical entertainment, a hangi and beer which hit the spot nicely.
The Waikato region has a serious long term event on its doorstep.
Photos can be found at https://www.waikato100.kiwi/gallery More to follow.
Quotes from competitors
“Event’s like these are good for community because it connects us back to the river and if we’re connected to the river then we’ll look after the river.” Tim Manukau, Turangawaewae.
When you connect people to a natural resource the more that will advocate and fight for it’s well being.” Nicholas Manukau, Turangawaewae.
“I just wanted to email to say thanks for a great event on the weekend the team loved it and we will be back next year with more paddlers.” Garth Clark.
“Awesome event, we will be back next year. So many good people to meet and chat to, huge ups to you all that put the time in to make this happen, just mean as.” Mike Hill.
“Thanks so much for putting it on - I really hope it becomes an iconic event - it has so much potential and you guys did a great job of putting it together.” Paul Gillard.
“It was an outstanding experience that both Rebecca and I have “waxed lyrical” about to our Club Mates since getting back. I know that the “Swans” will have an even better attendance next year. Organisation, companionship, environment and weather all turned up to produce a fantastic day (even if my butt ached right through toMonday morning). We loved the variety of craft, ages and genders all on the river together too – it really added to the overall vibe and atmosphere.” Gordon Williams, North Shore Rowing Club.