The 22-23 March 2014 marked the inaugural race for the Great Barrier Ocean Challenge, with a small, but avid group of Surf Ski, Outrigger and SUP paddlers on the starting line. The prevailing SW wind failed to fire, instead coming from SE at 15-20Knots, prompting a course change, with the race start at Whangaparapara ending at Motu Kaikoura.
The downwind course provided a taste of what paddling at the Barrier is all about, with everyone making the most of both the swell, wind and scenery. Heading up the coast provided a chance to chase bumps and once turning in at Rangiahua, a flatwater grind through the Broken Islands.
Congratulations to Garth Spencer for taking out the 2014 title. Thanks to Garth Civil, race organizer, for initiating such a great event and for allowing Strongarm to be involved. We’re already making plans for 2015, so lock it down people!