Rasdex Classic River Race Prologue 3



With wind and rain greeting Christchurch City on Sunday morning we all hoped it would be better up at the river. As we all headed out to Woodstock we left the weather behind us and even saw a few spots of sunshine. The river was in great condition and flowing at 70 cumex, the weather was a bit on the cold side with a steady headwind for most of the paddle. Despite the good river conditions the Topsport safety team were kept on their toes with a fair number of swimmers, the last bluff taking most of the victims.

Photo Credit to Bruce Leslie

Racing got underway with the Open Men and Women heading off first. Sam Newlands opened a gap early on in the race and took the overall fastest time of day in 43.36. He was followed by Steven Armstrong in second place in a time of 44.51 with Ryan Kiesanowski just 10 seconds back for third.


The Open Women saw seasoned paddler Fiona Dowling take the fastest female time of the day in 48.26. Second place was Sarah Rutene having a great paddle to post a time of 51.38 and Olivia Spencer-Bower completing the podium.


In the Veteran Race Sven Zaalberg got away to a flying start and never looked back. He took line honours in 47.15. After a slow start from the rest of the field Glen Friery came home in second spot with Hayden Prattley third. The female race saw Katie Cambie come in ahead of Rachel Schmack and Claire Le Grice.


The Classic Race saw the return of long time paddler Paul Massie who in his UFO paddled away to an early lead. He crossed the line in 46.38 ahead of John Leath and Tony McGuire. The female Classic class was won by Jenni Blyleven, followed by Suzanne McLister just over 2.30 minutes back. Jackie Dalton placed third.


The Junior Men had a bit of action with first placed Euan Coates paddling very strongly to take the top spot despite a swim along the way. Will Edwards was paddling well in second place with Troy Daken in third.


The Novice Class was once again hotly contested. With new comers Edward Hobson and Travis Brown taking the number one and two spots. Alan Steel coming home in third. In the female class Amanda Robinson was first home in a time of 51.20. Catlin Ruddle making her river debut was second 23 seconds later and Adele Macgregor in third.


The Doubles saw a lot of competition across them all with the Hokitika pair taking the top spot in 47.56.


As always thank you to the Arawa Canoe Club and race organisers, the Topsport Kayaking Safety Team and our dedicated race sponsors. See you all for the last race in the prologue series on Saturday the 5th December.