This past Saturday evening, a race was held on the Kaituna River with kayaks, tandem kayaks, sledges and rafts. About 50 paddlers competed in 5 different events, racing from the start of the Kaituna to the takeout of the commercial rafting trip. All the races were mass-starts, meaning everyone started at the same time, racing against each other, not the clock.
45 kayakers piled into the gorges of the Kaituna, squeezing through the waterfalls one after the other. Tandem kayaks sped through the river faster than any other vessel. Swimmers and sledges completed the race in 9 minutes. And the rafts bounced and clashed paddles all the way down to the waterfall, at which point the Rotorua Rafting team pulled ahead and stayed in the lead till the finish line. All the raft racers also competed in the previous 4 races, so they were pretty worn out by the time the raft race finished.... making the sweet taste of victory even sweeter!