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Exciting Changes to 2024/25 DARCY PRICE OCEAn SKI SERieS

The dates are set for the 2024/25 Darcy Price New Zealand Ocean Ski Series and organisers have made some exciting new changes to further boost an already exciting and growing summer series.

Eight events across Aotearoa will once again make up the Darcy Price Series, the national ocean ski series comprising of the premier ski races each summer, which runs from September through to May.

The series events for 2024/25 season are:

Tawhiti Rahi Coastal Challenge, Tutukaka - Saturday 14th September 2024

Windy City Downwind, Wellington - Saturday 2nd November 2024

Deep South Downwind / 2024 NZ Ocean Ski National Championships, Queenstown - Saturday 7th December 2024

Paddler Virtual Champs - 1st to 31st January 2025

Queen and King of the Bay, Tasman - 25/26 January 2025

James Moore-morial “Bhutty Moore” Race, Tauranga - Saturday 1st February 2025

Heads to Harbour, Whakatane - Saturday 8th March 2025

Auckland King & Queen of the Harbour, Auckland -Saturday 3rd May 2025

The Southern Lakes Multisport Club’s Deep South Downwind event on Lake Wakatipu will double as the 2024 NZ Ocean Ski National Championships. National titles will be up for grabs, and it will be worth additional series points.

A change to the points structure of series this coming season aims to create more buzz around the series, make the series more competitive across all divisions and reduce barriers to allow more paddlers to take part in the series.

The first change is that a competitor’s series points will be the total of their best THREE race points, which is a reduction down from 4 events in previous years.

“We’ve (the Darcy Price Organising Committee) recognised that there are growing challenges to attending multiple races each summer- with races relying on suitable weather, the ever-increasing cost of living and travel, and busy schedules as paddlers typically participate in a variety of sports and events.” said series coordinator Danika Mowlem.

“We hope that this will encourage paddlers who might otherwise only do one or two events to attend just one other event in order to be part of their series division.”

The Paddler Virtual Race, a 12km time trial that can be done any time, any place throughout the month of January, is a series event that paddlers do not need to travel to. Paddlers simply upload their GPS track and time to the online registration.

The 2nd change was adjusting the points available at different event. Events are now weighted so that some events are worth more points than other events, based on significance or size of the event.

The event that is allocated National Championships and the Auckland King and Queen of the Harbour will be worth 400points (for the winner). All other races are worth 300points, apart from the Paddler Virtual Champs will be worth 250points.

If other series events reach a participant threshold, the number of points they are worth can increase.

The logic behind this weighting is that bigger races, where it is harder to do well based on the higher quality of paddlers, should be worth extra points.

Last summer’s ocean ski series concluded in spectacular fashion with the final race determining the overall series winners. The Vaikobi Auckland King and Queen of the Harbour in May was the largest ocean ski event ever held in NZ, and saw Gene Prato and Danika Mowlem snap up the series titles.

Dan Bremner and Claire Sykes from Motueka won the mixed double ski overall title.

The series, named after Darcy Price, aims to promote ocean ski and grow the ocean paddling community and showcase the amazing ocean paddling we have all around Aotearoa New Zealand through encouraging paddlers of all ages and abilities to compete, challenge themselves and experience these fantastic events.

The series was created as fitting tribute to Darcy, who sadly passed away in 2018, who was one of the driving forces behind ski paddling in New Zealand, founding the Auckland King and Queen of the Harbour and the Takapuna Beach Series surfski races.

Most of the Darcy Price events also include and welcome other paddling craft such as waka ama and stand up paddleboard, and all events aim to be a vibrant community celebration of paddling. With 8 awesome events to choose from this summer, we look forward to seeing you on the water.



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