This was the 2015 Mana Super 6! Seven men’s teams entered this year, up from five last year (but unfortunately no women’s teams).
The weather forecasts gave organisers a hard time this year, not because of too much, but because of too little wind, rather unusual for Wellington.
The full course distance this year was about 38km, and this year the race presented the teams with key challenges in terms of endurance, mental strength and tactics. Teams started at Mana (Ngati Toa domain), then went around the southern tip of Mana Island, and then pushed North with the finish at Paraparaumu Beach.
Conditions were very varied, with a 10knot southeasterly pushing the teams north for about 10km or so from the northern tip of Mana, the wind then dying down with almost glassy conditions, and a southwesterly kicking in at the tail end of the race. All the while there was a light Southwesterly swell. Because of the southerly conditions, teams had to paddle into the tide for most of the way, this meant that the line taken from Mana Island to Paraparaumu could be decisive.
At the front of the field, it proved to be a tight battle between Bhutty Boys, le-ko-ko, the Avengers, and Makaira for the first 10km. But at Mana Island the field started to spread.
North of Mana Island, Makaira opted for an inside line to minimise the effect of the tide (but with more distance to cover), and Bhutty Boys staying out wider, with other teams following the lines of those two teams. The inside line was clearly working though, with Bhutty Boys turning closer to shore in the Pukerua Bay area to cover Makaira. During the last 15km, Bhutty Boys maintained their lead, but with Makaira not letting them rest up until the finish. A well-earned win for Bhutty Boys. MitiMasters took the third place ahead of le-ko-ko, with the placings only decided in the run up to the beach finish.
Replay the race at http://www.yacht-bot.com/races/6337. Tracking was done with special trackers supplied by www.yacht-bot.com. Those choosing to cut in close to the shore rather than straight-lining it had to paddle an extra 800m, but it could pay big dividends.
Check out the photos at https://www.flickr.com/photos/hoetonga/sets/72157650558995031/ or click on the picture above (all can be downloaded in full size, more photos to be added in the next few days from our second camera).
A big thank you to our boaties, the Mana Coast Guard, our land officials, all the other numerous helpers and shuttle drivers, and our sponsors.
If you have any feedback on the event, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope to see you all back here next year.
|Bhutty Boys||Hei Matau Paddlers||Premier Men||1||3:11:35|
|Makaira||Wairarapa Waka Ama Canoe Cl||Premier Men||2||3:14:35|
|Miti Masters||Mitamitaga o le Pasefika Vaa’ Alo||Master Men||3||3:25:38|
|le-Ko-Ko!||Porirua Canoe Kayak Club||Premier Men||4||3:25:54|
|The Avengers||Te Rau o Te Rangi ki Otaki||Premier Men||5||3:31:13|
|Little Bit Tipi||Toa Waka Ama||Master Men||6||3:31:41|
|Rotoiti Raptors||Te Arawa Paddlers||Premier Men||7||4:00:33|
Check out last year’s results: click here.