Rasdex Prologue Race 2.1
A beautiful blue river and a light breezy tailwind greeted 120 paddlers for another attempt at the second Rasdex Prologue Race aka 2.1. This original race had been postponed due to a flooded river at the start of November. The conditions were perfect and definitely worth the wait. The Topsport Kayaking safety team had the river well covered. There were a couple of sections of Willow trees that demanded respect and the bluff at the bottom just before the Bridge once again proved to be challenging to negotiate under race conditions.
Photos thanks to Bruce Leslie
The Open Men and Women started the day off. Steven Armstrong took an early lead leaving the rest of the field to chase. He posted the fastest time of the day, just 42.30. Ryan Kiesanowski always showing his class was second in 43:07 with Sam Goodall claiming the final spot on the podium a mere 5 seconds back. The Open’s Women’s Race was wide open with Fiona Dowling our last race winner absent. Olivia Spencer- Bower set the pace for the race until an unplanned swim on the final bluff saw her drop back to 4th. Lauren Robb was right behind her and paddled away to her first win in this class. Sarah Rutene consistently strong came home for second place just 25 seconds behind with Sara O’Neil in third.
The Veteran Class once again saw Sven Zaalberg take off on the line and spend the rest of the race increasing his lead. He had a fantastic paddle to stop the clock in 45.03. Hayden Prattley was chasing hard to finish second in a time of 45.57. Glen Friery was third in 46.53. The Women’s Race saw Katie Cambie pull away early and never look back. She came home in 47.19 setting the fastest female time of the day and had the leading Open Women in her sights in the final few hundred meters of the race. Rachel Schmack paddled very strongly to come home second 42 seconds back with Claire Le Grice in third.
The Classic’s were next and this race was once again dominated by Paul Massie. Paul got away early and came home in a lighting quick 44.44. John Leath was second and Phil Damen was third in a sprint across the line. The Women had Jenni Blyleven take another win over Suzanne McLister. Jackie Dalton once again taking third spot.
The juniors saw a good race for the boys with Liam Walker taking the win. William Edwards had a great paddle for second place and Troy Daken in third. In the female class new comer Maisie Nattrass came home in 53.24.
The Novice Class was once again hotly contested. David Scarf had his first win, all his hard work paying off. Edward Hobson was second and Craig Muir was third. In the Women’s Race Louise Herring posted a great time of 51:11 to take another win. Carly McMillian was just 11 seconds back with Tracey Flatman in third. It is so great to see the novice field so competitive with these new paddlers really start to get the idea of what it is all about.
The Doubles just had the two boats racing with mixed duo at Optimal Performance finishing in 51.39 and the Garage Girls in 53.01.
The Classic River Race is five weeks away. The countdown is on as we lead up to New Zealand’s premier river race. 2021 will see our biggest ever field. As always the Fastest Man and Women titles are expected to be hotly contested and with entries still open there is plenty of time to for the stars of the sport to come out to play. Spaces are filling up, so if you’re planning to race and have not yet entered – do not procrastinate and risk missing out! Find out more, together with the link to enter at: https://www.arawa.org.nz/classic.html