With the summer racing season feeling like a distant memory, hopefully you’ve had some quality rest and recovery and are now asking yourself “what now?”. We have the answer.
The Kayak Krazy 10km winter series of club racing begins 22nd July with Mana Kayak Racing Club, followed by 10 other races around the country including the 10km National Champs in Rotorua to wrap up the series. With shorter distances available, these events are suitable for all ages and abilities of paddler.
Whether you are a specialist sprinter, an endurance machine or a fun and fit kind of paddler, these races present a great opportunity for kayakers to participate in events which are not only fun, but also have great development benefits.
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Olympic Canoe Sprint Silver medallist and multisport coach Ben Fouhy encourages regular racing as part of effective training.
“Races provide motivation and can push you out of your comfort zone and beyond what you can achieve in training.”
NZ Mens Kayak Coach Craig Mustard agrees,
“The best training for any kayaker (sprint or marathon) is paddling. I like the 10km series races as some extra encouragement to get out on the water during the winter. The distance and speed of a 10km race just takes you outside your comfort zone so to enjoy it I know I need to have two or three paddles during the week building to 10km on the weekend. It’s also just a great time sharing the water with friends, and some healthy competition, earning that hot or cold beverage afterwards.”
What will I get out of racing the Kayak Krazy Series?
Lots can be learnt from taking the opportunity to race as many 10km races as you can through the next couple of months.
Firstly, they are a good time and keep you motivated, working towards something.
Racing is racing, and any type of race helps to sharpen your preparation and racing skills. You need to consider your build up, managing your physical and mental states throughout the race, and recovery. These are great events to practice these skills or try new things.
10km races can be very tactical and to race well, you need a good mix of skills from start speed, endurance, race strategy, and practical boat skills such as wash riding, paddling in a bunch and tight turns. Regularly competing is a good way to build and develop these. These skills will transfer across to whatever type of paddling you do.
Whether looking to build up your fitness and endurance, or build up your speed, these races can help with both. The 10km can be done at max effort and this could give you a rough gauge of your threshold speed for future threshold training sessions or it could be done at L2 pace and used to build your aerobic capacity.
What to expect from these adrenaline fuelled races
Races are typically held on flat-water venues so conditions are unlikely to be extreme, so achievable for most paddlers and craft.
The start line of a distance race is always a little anxiety-inducing with close positioning of all the racers and slight uncertainty as to when the start signal will be heard. From then, it is a good sprint to get into position and stay out of trouble. Then comes some decision making…go it alone or stay in a pack? Take the leads or wash ride in the group, go hard or save energy for the end? Positioning coming into turns is also critical. If you are on the inside of the turn, will the person whose wash you are riding give you space or try and squeeze you into the turn buoy? These races can often be quite social, as you can work with other paddlers to share the load and conserve energy, similar to a cycling peloton.
When are the Kayak Krazy races?
There are over 10 club-run races happening across the country from July -September, with the Canoe Racing NZ 10km Champs serving as a spectacular finale.
Jul 22 – Wellington, Mana Kayak Racing Club
Aug 06 – Christchurch, Arawa Canoe Club
Aug 12 – Hawke’s Bay, Hawkes Bay Kayak Racing Club inc
Aug 19 – Auckland, North Shore Canoe Club Inc.
Aug 27 – Lake Karapiro, Karapiro Kayak Racing Club
Sep 03 – Tauranga, Bay of Plenty Paddle Sports
Sep 09 – Taranaki, Waitara Kayak Club
Sep 16 – Kapiti Coast, Mana Kayak Racing Club
Sep 17 – Auckland, Waitemata Canoe and Multisport Club
Sep 23 – Christchurch, Arawa Canoe Club
Sept 30 – CRNZ 10km Champs, Lake Okareka, Rotorua
Who are the races for?
Any paddlers from 12 & Under up to Masters – for serious racers to fun seekers – these club races offer something for everyone.
Races are open to Kayaks (K1), Multi-craft boats (includes ocean ski, surf ski, multisport boats and sea kayaks) and team boats (please note, team boats are not eligible for series points). Many events will also be open to SUP, Waka Ama or other paddling craft.
And it’s not just 10km! There will be shorter distances to suit a range of ages and abilities.
How do the series points work? Paddlers need to compete in a minimum of 3 races to accumulate points (top 3 results will be taken if they race more than 3 races), but one of these races MUST include the 10km Champs to be held at the end of the series, which is also worth double points.
How do I learn more or sign up? Full series details are available here and individual events listed on CRNZ event calendar. Each race will have its own entry.
Pick a few races and we’ll see you out on the water this winter!