2016 Auckland Downwind Winter Series: RACE 2


16 Yr old Jordan McLarin leads the 60 odd paddlers around Sunday's Race 2 of the 2016 Auckland Downwind Winter Series.

An uncharacteristic stunner of a day saw 60 SUP, Waka and Surfski paddlers rip open Okahu Bay as they charged around the ‘Reverse Bean-Rock-Backburner’ course on Sunday. RAYC’s Jeremy Kugelleijn was quick off the mark, with Rebecca Cole on his wash, both working their FLOW Sharpskis hard to the turn at the breakwater, as was Mark Malaki-Williams in his Ferrari-red and white waka. But the large pack quickly reverted to a natural order that would form the basis for the final positions, and it was overall series winner 16yr old Jordan McLarin that would start to cement his position on the front four.





Jordan and Simon neck on neck in the long course

With Simon Longdill, Jordan Mclarin, Oskar Stielau and Jack Wilson working hard this was not going to be an easy 16kms! The Long Course for Surfski and Waka took paddlers out and around Bean Rock with not much assistance from the light following SW’lies and the incoming tide. Hitting the turn and charging back this lead pack managed to put in a good 1-2 minute lead on the next group of RAYC local boys Andrew Mowlem and Tim McLaren. Behind them had formed another strong group with Jeremy Kugelleijn, Sean Murphy and others, but amongst this group another battle was forming between Rachel Clark and Rebecca Cole for the top ladies peg.

With the music going and the competitors rounding the turning buoy just off Royal Akarana Yacht Club, the spectators and officials were kept entertained.

Heading straight off the start-line like and arrow from a bow was Sammy Mayhew, with a large colourful pack hot on his tail. Straight under the pier so as not to snag any of the fishing lines it would be a few boat lengths lead that eventual long course podium finishers Simon Longdill and Jordan MClarin would need to claw back. Claw back they did, and from a spectator perspective it was fascinating to see the leads change hands as the tussles developed between the tope two oceanski lead groups, the lead waka group and the leading SUP's.

In the new Art-In-Surf SUP Course, Mike Pirrit would charge around the single-lap 6km course relishing the conditions to stamp his claim as Chief-SUP-Dude for Race 2 of the Auckland Downwind Winter Series, while the ladies would keep the action close with winner Marlene Jackson just eeking out Angela McKee, with team Art-IN-Surf’s Courtney Hunter running up third. 

Andrew Stevens managed to hold onto his Short Course title for the series claiming a win over RAYC paddler’s Dave Chambers, with Paul Whitley third. There was some drama of course, and a broken paddle at the hands of newcomer Mike Knowsley forced his withdrawal.

Long course would  see Simon Longdill break away from Jordan McLarin on the second lap, only to be reeled back in by the youngster.


Much to the onlookers enjoyment, with the bass pumping and the dub flowing, paddlers rounded the turning buoy off Akarana’s boat ramp to head out for the longer second lap. This tight turn while a delight for spectators was a challenge for some of the rudderless Waka-ama’s, who would skid around with one leg over the side. This second included heading under the bridges of Tamaki Drive for the Judges Bay loop. And it was on this second lap that Simon (Epic V14) made his move. Breaking away from the group he laid down a solid grind back towards ‘the Bean’, opening up a gap on Jordan (FENN Elite SL), only to have Jordan reel him back in. In top form, heading over to Germany for the Junior World Marathon Champs in August, the hours of training certainly paid the bills this time, and an elated and highly charged Jordan would out sprint Simon in true Mahe-Drysdal photo-finish format, winning by mere centimetres in a time of 1:17:50. Less than 5 minutes behind Jordan would see Rebecca Cole cross the line, stealing the Series title off Rachel Clark, followed by Pamela Kane.


Rebecca Cole taking out the Ladies Long Course  narrowly from Rachel Clarke after a tough battle.

Waka-Ama paddlers would recognize the familiar sight of Mark Malaki-William’s boat approaching the finish line with a convincing lead over regular Jason Eruera, and the not-so-familiar sight of Art-In-Surf NZ’s Felipe Dos Santos in third place. Felipe, more used to racing at the sharp end of the SUP pack, showing everyone that he ‘still has it’ in the Waka! But it was Mark’s winning-grin that took out the Vaikobi Mystery Prize for the media-board social media tagging competition, and coincidentally Sugar Te Pa’a (Ladies Waka Race 2 winner) who would nab the Vaikobi main spot prize too. Tania Albert and Liz Tane would round out 2nd and 3rd respectively.

 Young Aotea Clifton taking out the Short Course in the surfski again, .


A great day out on the water, with slightly lower numbers than usual, due to the postponement of Race 2 due to weather. Event 3 kicks off normal time on Sunday 28th August and the odds now favour more wind. There are a number of gorgeous photos taken by Lissa from LiveSailDie.com available:


Click on the below for Full Series Results To Date.


Click here for results





A huge thank you to our loyal supporters and volunteers! And what about our awesome sponsors – make sure you thank them for their generous ongoing support!

The prizetable for the last race of the series, with spot prizes being awarded for lucky random draws.


With a readership of 155,000, New Zealand's popular Good Health Choices magazine brings some valuable horsepower to the event sponsorship team, allowing us to extend further the awareness of the health benefits of paddling and of course of the Downwind Winter Series in general. Click on the above link to find out more about the publication!


The Explore Group continue to demonstrate a willingness to support adventure paddlesports, whether its transporting paddlers and spectators to the start/finish on event day, of getting us and our craft over to Waiheke Island for a stonking downwind session! Stay tuned for some exciting news in this space as we work with Explore Group getting paddlers to places otherwise inaccessible in gnarly downwind weather!


Balance Sports Nutrition is one of the longest running, most trusted sports nutrition brands in Australia and New Zealand. Balance Sports Nutrition are responsible for ensuring our race packs and spotty-table is stocked with gels and bars. Click on link above to find out more.


Matty Graham from Exponential Performance Coaching is again providing 2 copies of his e-Book 'PADDLE STRONG - Kayak Specific Strength Training' for two lucky paddlers during the Series! Be sure to click on the above link to find out more about how you can improve your strength and technique! 


Andrew and team will be again hosting us at the Royal Akarana club for the 2015 Downwind Winter Series! 2015 will see commencement of construction on the new clubhouse facilities. Click on the website to join as a member of the coolest paddling and sailing squad in town!


Oskar from FENN New Zealand is, as always, quick at making available a range of FENN surfskis for international or out of town paddlers. Click on the link above if you need any support from FENN in New Zealand. 

Vaikobi are a Principle Sponsor of this years Auckland Downwind Winter Series, with 4 stunning Vaikobi Race-Kits up for grabs worth $500 each! Also, be on the lookout for some good deals at the 2015 ADWS Race Headquarters: PFD's and other gear up for sale!! Click on the icon to order.


Welcome back to Charles and team, who provided the Winter Series High-Vis trucker caps. The high quality T's, hoodies and race gear are now synonymous with NZ paddling events! Cant wait to see what's in store for this event yeehaa! Click on the link to order your paddle-apparel now!



Art In Surf retain their support of the POP events so stay tuned for some exciting news in this space! Click on the link above or hit up Felipe/Courtney for any of your SUP related needs!


Canoe Racing New Zealand are a strong supporter of this years events. Don't forget to check out the official website for all the details of the 2015 events!


For da faces behind da races - Don't forget to check out the official website for all the details of the 2015 events!


Fergs Kayaks continue to support our events, with support in transportation, boats for international paddler and of course spot prizes! Click on the link to see what else Ian and the team have to offer!


PaddlePro - our recent family addition, paddling ergo's that allow you to keep up the training right through the worst of winter! 

Star Kayaks are sponsoring the new 'STAR-COURSE' : No experience required - catering for a wide range of age and ability, this fun course will be run inside Okahu Bay with entries free to all, and all gear and instruction provided. Just bring your own paddle-wear: there really is no excuse to get yourself of the young ones onto the water! 


Pacific Ocean Paddlers are thrilled to maintain an association with the World Surfski Series calendar. With 19 race around the world this year, paddlers are tempted into exotic locations across Australasia, Europe, Africa and North America. This brought an exciting international element to this years King and Queen of the Harbour, and will look to take advantage of international paddlers travelling through Auckland to the ICF World Champs. Click on the link above to find out more!


Tim and the team at Aquanaut remain firmly behind this years POP events, taking care of our quality craft stickers, and ensuring our spotty table is loaded with some high quality race-wear. Paddler are encouraged to take their time applying race stickers and keeping these on their craft as long as possible over the season, as these are reusable for all POP events and will again include the safety feature of Contact Details (including Next Of Kin) of paddler in the case of emergency.


Flow are fronting up with four $250 vouchers off their brand new beautiful carbon MS1/MS2/MS3 paddles! Flow quality products are proudly NZ made and Neil and team enjoy an association with discerning paddlers of these quality boats and paddles across NZ and Australia. Click on the link to find out more about Flow's products.


ipaddle is again providing booty for our spot prizes, specializing in premium gear for serious paddlers, selling the gear that the professionals use, including Mocke, Jantex Paddles, Washrider, Vaaka cadence meters, K1 Trainer ergometers, Nelo kayaks, Nelo surf skis and now Nelo waka ama!  The waka ama are proving a real success with several golds at the Nationals last month. Click on the above link to take advantage of a 10% saving on Terry's Vaikobi stock, including free delivery!