Posted on 11th July, 2017

This is a unique open ocean paddle event that starts inside the biggest sea cave in the Southern Hemisphere, heads through a natural rock archway and finishes inside the world renowned Tutukaka Harbour organised each year by local landscaper Tim Eves.

Darcy Bowden safety crew.

“It was a huge undertaking, especially in those conditions, but this is set to become a regular event on the paddling calendar. The calibre of paddlers was impressive, and it needed to be as the water was not for the faint hearted,”

Tim Eves

Originally Tim designed the course to ferry paddlers out to the Poor Knights Marine reserve and race back to the Tutukaka Harbour. In 2015 a westerly wind shift forced Tim to reverse the track to start in Ngunguru and head out to paddle through massive rock archways before finishing inside Rikoriko Cave, the biggest sea cave in the world.

But the water was simply too rough at the Poor Knights to send competitors through the archways.

Each year the race has been sponsored by Dive! Tutukaka, who put their entire fleet of craft to sea for the race as safety and ferry boats. Guy or son Darcy are also part of the safety fleet on their jet ski.
Other sponsors are Moana Nui, Strongarm Power in the Water, Tawapou Coastal Natives and Yachtbot GPS trackers.

Race coverage can be viewed at

This is New Zealand's toughest open ocean downwind paddling, the event is 30km's of open ocean set to test the abilities of the best open ocean athletes, all entries will be scrutinised before registration is complete and you may be asked to provide evidence of open ocean competency.

Prices donated by Tawapou Coastal Natives.

Race organiser Tim Eves says "The sponsors are the only reason the race happens, it is a real community effort to get this race done and dusted.”