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Outrigger regatta grows on paddlers

Last updated 07:57 25/01/2013

INCREASED POPULARITY: More and more outrigger paddlers want in on the action at the Takapuna Beach Cup.

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New Zealand's premier outrigger and paddling regatta continues to grow with this year's event having an extra day of racing and four new races.

The Takapuna Beach Cup runs from February 22 to 24 and begins on the Friday afternoon with a 7km outrigger race as a warm-up for international and out-of-town crews.

Due to demand Saturday's race schedule now features two new races.

The three main races are now a 42km marathon race with sea changes, set on a course around Rangitoto, Motutapu and Rakino islands. This is a change race, with nine or 10 person teams rotating through six seats in the canoe.

The changes are carried out throughout the race with those being replaced rolling out of the boat while their replacements are waiting in the water as the canoe approaches and have to grab the gunwale of the canoe and drag themselves into their designated seat as it surges past.

● A gruelling 35km Iron race with no sea changes in which a six-person crew paddles the full distance out and around Motutapu Island.

● A 24km ocean ski race, open to single or double skis, set on an out and back course to Administration Bay.

Sunday is a colourful day on the water and more races have been added. There is the traditional 24km outrigger relay and a new 24km ocean ski relay plus a 9km SUP relay race.

All courses are set close to the beach to allow spectators to follow teams' progress.

Go to takapunabeach to find out more.

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- North Shore Times

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