Skip to content

Tour de Porirua race report

August 8, 2010

Sunny, breezy conditions greeted 18 paddlers this morning for their 10km, four stage journey around Porirua harbour. Paddlers were paddling a range of craft including K1’s, TK1’s, multisport boats, ocean racing ski’s and SLS ski’s.

The first stage was a 1km time trial. Paddlers were set off at 30 second intervals. Following stage 1 it was Dougie Wilkins that held a 3 second lead over Glen Muirhead with short gaps back to Marty McDowell and Todd Grace. However, the top three paddlers were about to discover that they were going to be handicapped. Not only was the tour leader required to where the tour leader’s yellow jersey, but the organisers would also put a bicycle tube around the hull of the lead paddlers boat. Second and third place paddlers were also handicapped to a lesser degree. The idea of the handicap system was to keep more competitors in with a chance of winning the tour.

Stage 2 was a 4km mass start race. It would be fair to say that Dougie struggled to defend the yellow jersey while a tyre tube was wrapped around his boat, with other top placed paddlers faring better. Todd Grace, 4th after the first stage made the most of being the top placed non handicapped paddlers to win the stage and move into the top 3 with Ben Candy lurking in 4th place playing a smart tactical game perhaps? A little further back, Kayla Imrie assumed the lead of the women’s race following an unfortunate withdrawal from the stage of previous women’s leader, Marianne Archer.

So after stage 2, it was Marty McDowell that took over the yellow jersey, with Glen Muirhead holding onto second with Todd Grace moving into third.

Now free of the tyre tube, Dougie was making a strong statement, winning the 2km long stage 3 leading Todd over the line with a bit of daylight back to the rest of the field. The tour lead went onto Todd’s shoulders following what would become the winning move of the tour.

The fourth and final stage was a 1 and a bit km downwind stage. The race organisers decided to remove all handicaps and start the field on mass. An experienced surf ski paddler, Todd had little trouble holding onto his tour lead on this short downwind stage winning the coveted Cadbury chocolate bar. Marty McDowell finished the tour in second place with Glen Muirhead in third. Kayla Imrie took out the women’s race with Brogan Coburn and Michelle Cole filling out the minor placings.

The Tour de Porirua is a fun event that was enjoyed by the competitors and one that Mana Kayak Racing Club will certainly be running again in the future. It would be fair to say that the handicap system might need a bit of work though before next time. Thanks to all those that took part.

Click here for full results.


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: