Top three teams break clear in Wild Descent

17:00, Apr 24 2014

Three teams in the Wild Descent race, which started in Albert Town yesterday, have taken a strong lead on their competition.

The first leg of the 261km race took place with kayakers working their way to the Clyde dam.

Wild Descent race director Adam Fairmaid said the top team of Sean Murphy and Andrew Newick, of Auckland, were able to nudge over the finish line just ahead of Ian Huntsman and Wendy Riach, of Christchurch.

Both teams finished the 89km stint in 6 hours and 7 minutes. "They've had a hard day," Fairmaid said.

The top three teams were about 14 minutes ahead of the fourth team.

While the sun shone through there had been a headwind on Lake Dunstan which racers had to compete with.


Most of the course so far had been filled with grade two rapids and there were three main challenges for racers at the Pioneer Rapids, Devil's Elbow and Shitters Ditch.

Fairmaid said "they found it a little bit tough on the lake".

Today will see 10 teams of two back on the Clutha River at the Clyde dam making their way to Roxburgh.

It is hoped conditions will be stable but it was likely a southerly wind could hit, Fairmaid said.

The final day of competition will be on Sunday where kayakers will finish with a Clydevale to Molyneux Bay leg of the race.

The Southland Times