Paddling and sailing races with a difference will be held in Whangarei tomorrow when the Snake Bank Challenge and Snake Bank Classic take place at Marsden Pt.

People are invited to get dressed for success with their best fancy dress and, whether they're paddling or sailing, to embark on the epic journey out to Snake Bank and back again.

The paddle race — the Snake Bank Challenge - will have a safety briefing at 11.30am at the Marsden Yacht and Boat Club, One Tree Point Rd, with the races startling at 12pm.

The Snake Bank Challenge is a race for any person of any age with any craft powered by a paddle or hand. The challenge is to get around the 4km course.

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The race is to be the first or the fastest in division.

There is also a beginner/junior course for those still wanting to get on the water but relax a little more. The beginner/junior course is around 2km. New for 2018 is the Challenge X 8km course for those looking to push themselves further than ever before.

The Sail Race - Snake Bank Classic - will have a safety briefing at 2pm with the races starting at 2.30pm.

The Snake Bank Classic is a no-holds barred open sailing race for anything with a sail.

Held on the Whangarei Harbour, weather and wind permitting, it hopes to showcase water sports at its very best with a variety of craft embarking on a race around the famous bank, the scene of many spectacles and an iconic piece of sand and shell that appears to have not changed since the beginning of time itself.

The race could be a blaze of glory if winds are strong or a steely test of skill and patience should lighter winds prevail.

This year will include handicapped prizes and more divisional prizes.

In the spirit of a true regatta day there will be good food, refreshments and live entertainment all day, with live entertainment from 2pm and the combined prizegiving at 5.30pm.

For more details visit www.marsdenyachtclub.co.nz.