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Wet and wild Easter for Tekapo

Media Release
For immediate release: Wednesday, 7 April 2004

Wet and wild Easter for Tekapo

Adrenalin junkies will be gathering at Tekapo this Easter weekend (8 to 12 April) for the New Zealand National Canoe Slalom and Wild Water Championships.

More than 100 people have entered the national competition being held on the Tekapo Whitewater course, which will contain water being released by Meridian Energy.

Canoe and Kayak Slalom is an Olympic discipline and has a keen following in New Zealand.

“New Zealanders have an appetite for adventure so the sport is relatively popular here. We receive a lot of support, including that from Meridian Energy which has helped us stage this year’s event and provided a purpose built course in conjunction with the New Zealand Recreational Canoe Association,” says Alan Hoffman, the event’s organiser.

“This is one of the more action packed events we support as part of our commitment to the communities we generate
in. It is an exciting event to be involved in,” says Alan Seay, spokesperson for Meridian Energy.

Alan Hoffman says it is not a sport for the faint hearted.

“The action is fast and furious – it’s great to watch highly skilled competitors aiming to beat the clock and each other to get the fastest time.”

Participants race down a 300 to 400 metre course of whitewater rapids, negotiating a number of gates along the way. They are penalised if they touch a gate (with either their boat, paddle or helmet) by having two seconds added onto their time and 50 seconds is added if a competitor fails to go through a gate.

Alan Hoffman says this year will see fierce competition with both the New Zealand and Australian junior teams among the competitors doing battle for the national titles on offer.

“The athletes train hard for this event – most have up to three training sessions a day and they will be trying their hardest to make sure they go home with a medal around their necks.”

The programme for the competition is:

* 8 and 9 April
Open practice at the

* 10 and 11 April
Individual slalom in
kayaks, canoe and
double canoes (the team
event will take place
on the afternoon of 11

* 12 April
Down-river races from
the control gates to
the power station.


© Scoop Media

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