Waimakariri River - New Zealand Kayak Magazine

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Waimakariri River - New Zealand Kayak Magazine

Waimakariri River– the Speight’s Coast to Coast secret! By Diana AustinThe last break before entering the gorge. Thescenery is stunning.I read the info on the world famous Speight’s Coast to Now that we have been there, done that, it is time you were all let inCoast event, watched the DVD and yes, the countryside on the secret. The Coast to Coasters have been hogging the Waimakaririlooked amazing but do you really have to run / scramble River. It is the most stunning piece of water and scenery ever to be seen.Here is the story of our day…up those rocks, wade that river, bike up that hill? The riverAn early start from Christchurch’s North South Holiday Park includedsection however was downhill but to do that leg required achecking people, gear and helping our guide find his cereal bowl - a55 km bike ride first – would my team mate be happy for a hazard of eating on the run I suppose. We jumped in the minibus andlater than usual start while I struggled up the hill with a few headed out of town, with a coffee pick up on the way (you can skip thephoto and snack stops along the way – I think not. I noticed trim for today). We were asked “are you doing the 1 day or 2 day?” I feltthe Waimakariri familiarization trips that were being offered flattered they thought I could do either. “We are here for fun”, we replied,which was obviously a new concept. However, inside I was getting moreby Rob Howarth from North Shore Canoe & Kayak – maybeand more nervous about what this river would entail. Rob was confidentwe could tag along as pseudo Coast to Coasters. Yes, I wasthat I’d enjoy myself.in and it didn’t take much to get Luke on board too.The seven paddlers and two guides (Rob Howarth and Mo Kennedy)Join Us For An Adventure - Family Toursarrived at the entry point, Mt White Bridge, thanks to our driver Roger.We were allocated boats and following a safety briefing were soonon our way. The river was running at 120 cumecs and from an initialglance all was looking good. I made it to the other side of the river, phewI remembered the eddy turns and ferry glides. From there on it wasall beauty, exhilaration and definitely fun. The river started off braidedand it was a challenge to know which the best path was. However atthis point, a wrong choice was only going to involve a bit of bouncingor pulling of one’s boat. It was then on to the rock gardens and you canguess where they got their name from. On either side, the SouthernAlps towered above us – we were paddling through the Southern Alps– it was unbelievable. Roger met us at Gooseberry Stream to checkthe team was OK and then on we went to the Waimakariri Gorge.We were whipped round corners, bounced over wave trains thatseemed to be going in more than one direction and then a shortreprieve before the next wicked ride. Before we ventured down eachDiana & Luke AustinThe Rasdex Multisporter PFD hashad another successful Speight’sCoast to Coast, taking wins withboth Gordon Walker and EmilyMiazga. A good number of theother top 10 finishers in all classesalso chose it. Why? Because it isthe most complete multisportPFD on the market: quickside entry, light weight,plenty of pockets, comeswith bladder and routingfor 3 tubes via our innovativeblock system. Why compromiseyour race? Use what the winners use!RRP $295.95The new Hydra PFD has been tested to NZS 5823:2005. Itis also approved for night time use. Available in high vizyellow (see Auckland harbour bylaws) and red, and in 2sizes. Features large front pocket and key clip, plus hiddenside pockets which allow extra foam to be fittedso it can be used for canoe polo.RRP $152.95Twilight ToursGlow Worm Kayak TourPaddle to the PubSugar Loaf IslandDeparts from one of your local beautifulbeaches. Enjoy the scenic trip with thesun setting as you paddle along thecoastline.Phone Canoe & Kayakon 0508 529 2569 for detailsJoin us for a picturesque paddle on LakeMcLaren to view glow worms by night orbeautiful waterfalls by day. This trip takesabout 1.5-2hours and is suitable for paddlerswith no experience. All gear, hot drinks andnibbles are supplied.Price $75 per person.Phone Canoe & Kayak BOPfor bookings 07 574 7415Kayaking to a local pub is a unique wayof spending an evening, bringing yourgroup of friends together by completinga fun activity before dinner and making amemorable experience.Phone Canoe & Kayakon 0508 529 2569 for detailsFrom Ngamutu Beach harbour we head outon the open sea to Sugar Loaf Island MarineReserve. View the scenic & rugged Taranakicoastline as we draw closer to the Islands.Enjoy the seal colony and experience thethrill of close up views of these fascinatingmarine mammals.Allow 3 hours subject to weather.$70.00 per person. Phone 06 769 550616 ISSUE FIFTY Nine • S u m m e r 2 0 1 1 www.kayaknz.co.nz www.kayaknz.co.nzISSUE FIFTY Nine • Summer 2011 17


The team ready to go!of these stretches our guides briefed us on the hazards and the safestroutes to take while still maximizing speed. It seemed to be over all toosoon and we were paddling through the Canterbury Plains. Luke andI compared notes; yes we were both sore, no we didn’t want to stopand catch a lift for the last bit. The group dispersed through the multiplepaths of the Waimakariri River hoping for the quickest route, some moresuccessful than others, all to end up at the Gorge Bridge and our pickup. Rob cheerfully explained that the competitors, on race day, wouldnow need to run up the nearby hill to collect their bikes and ride intoChristchurch. We laughed while I am sure I heard some expletivesfrom other members of the rather tired group. Sixty seven kilometresand our bodies knew it. Onwards to the airport drop off and we wereheading back to the kids (who had been asked to prepare the hotwater bottles).I don’t feel words can do justice to this amazing experience so you willneed to go and do it for yourselves. There is a costbut safety is nevertoo expensive.The guideshave amazingexperience and itis well worth tippingout just to see themin action (I left that tothe others though).Get your Grade Twowhite water certificateand be ready for nextyear’s river run.Behind us , the lead up.Ahead, the mouth of the gorge.Make an educated choiceMake an educated choiceRuahine KayaksDesigners and Manufacturers ofMultisport & Adventure Racing KayaksPhone: 021 273 0550kevin@ruahinekayaks.co.nz www.ruahinekayaks.co.nzRoof Racks– Dispelling the myths andanswering frequently askedquestions…By Steve SmithAs you’d expect, Roof Rack Centre staff are very experiencedOn their own, they cannot be used as roof racks. Roof bars runin carrying kayaks, bikes and roof boxes on cars. Becauseacross the roof side to side and are clamp mounted (secured withloads and cars vary enormously, your particular, almost fit kits to the door frames), mounted to factory-fitted fix points orunique requirements will benefit from their expert advice. roof-rail mounted.They are more than happy to provide this.I would like to fit roof rails to my vehicle. Do you supply these?When you wish to purchase you’ll find that the ‘Roof Rack Centre’,No, roof rails require internal roof mounts and are mostly fitted duringa dedicated part of your Canoe & Kayak Centre, stocks everything youvehicle manufacture. Whilst possible, the cost would probably not becould possibly need for recreational or commercial use on your vehicle.worthwhile and we have a specific solution for your vehicle anyway. YouOur brands include Thule, Prorack and Rhino-Rack.won’t need to buy a set of longitudinal roof rails to find a roof rack toIn New Zealand in particular, there are a large number of importedsuit your car.vehicles which will often require a different roof rack solution from the onethat you may find in a fit guide. We can advise further on these.What is the difference between a roof rail & integrated roof rail?Here are questions commonly asked by kayakers:Integrated Roof Rails are usually amoulded profile, raised slightly, runningWhat type of roof rack will suit my car?front to rear down both sides of theWhile roof racks work on about 98% of vehicles, you’ll require specificroof. There is NO GAP between theparts to fit them to your vehicle.rail and the roof. Commonly theseIf your vehicle has rain gutters any rain-gutter mounted roof rack willare found on the Subaru Legacy /almost certainly work, but you may need to change bar width and footOutback models.height. More than likely, you can take the rack off one vehicle and put iton another with a rain gutter.What is a roof mounted fix-point?However, since most modern cars do not have gutters, most roof racksA fix-point is a recessed, roof mounted, fixture point on a vehicle. It isare designed for cars without them. These incorporate removable andnormally a threaded hole or metal profile, concealed by lift up covers,permanent mount designs, and some have rails, fix-points or take aslide back covers or plastic plugs.clamp mount system.Your gutterless vehicle’s roof rack consists of the bar, ‘feet’What is a clamp mount system?and the ‘fit kit’ which attaches around the upper edge of theBecause some vehicles don’t have a fix point or rails, adoor jamb to hold the roof rack onto your vehicle. TheRoof Barsspecific fit kit or bracket is available to clamp the rooffeet used fit many different types of vehicles, whereasRoof Railbars from the inside of the door frame. Contrary toeach kit is made to fit a specific vehicle.some people’s views these systems are very secureand need only an occasional check for tightness.What is the difference between a roof ‘rail’Note that as you tighten some steel clamps on roofand roof ‘bars / racks’?bars you’ll see the steel bars curve slightly – this isRoof rails run front to rear on both sidesentirely normal.of the roof. They are often factory-fitted.18 ISSUE FIFTY Nine • S u m m e r 2 0 1 1 www.kayaknz.co.nz www.kayaknz.co.nzISSUE FIFTY Nine • Summer 2011 19

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