As one of Hawke's Bay's top multisporters in his age group Grant Morrish has some prestigious events on his schedule.
Occasionally some single-discipline events come along that will either suit his training schedule or deserve to be supported. Tomorrow's Clive "3 Rivers Paddle Event" ticks both of the above.
Morrish, 51, will compete in the 45-54 years 12km race of the event which has attracted 65 starters. It is one of four events hosted in the Central Region as part of the Canoe Racing New Zealand Kayak Krazy Winter series and will include a 2km race for tyros, a 6km race for under-14 and under-16 paddlers and the 12km event for under-18, open, masters, ski, multisport and K2 paddlers.
"It's all part of my buildup races and it's good to get in there and support local races. I hope to finish in a time around 57 or 58 minutes," Morrish said.
"You never know what is going to happen and anything can happen with debris after the rough weather we have had this week. You can get hooked up in a fishing line or in among willow trees ... you always treat the rivers with respect," Morrish said.
Next month Morrish will be part of a team which will tackle the 12 hour Whangamata Adventure Race. In October Bay of Plenty's Motu Challenge will be the priority, in November he will tackle the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge and in February the one-day race at the South Island's Coast to Coast.
Back in February the general manager for Grochem in Hawke's Bay was fourth in his 50-59 years age group and 44th overall in the two-day individual event of the Coast to Coast with a time of 14hrs 58m 06s.
Tomorrow's event pays homage to the successful "3 Rivers" multisport event from the 1980s and 90s organised by former Hawke's Bay multisport identities Janet and Bill Turvey. It has been organised by Wellington-based former Hawke's Bay imports Chester Burt and Sharlene Winiata who organised the Ngaruroro and Mohaka River kayak races in the 1990s.
"The aim of organising this event is to have a genuinely successful event that will carry on well into the future under the organisation of Hawke's Bay clubs," Burt said.
Paddlers from the Hawke's Bay Kayak Racing Club, the Waimarama, Westshore and Ocean Beach surf lifesaving clubs as well as the Bay's waka ama clubs have entered. The Bay's 2004 Coast to Coast winner George Christison and his son Thomas, who completed the two-day version of the Coast to Coast this year, will also be starting.
Burt said the youngest competitor will be 10-year-old Beck Allen from the Waimarama Surf Lifesaving Club while successful Hawke's Bay Kayak Racing Club coach Ben Bennett, who is in his late 60s, will be one of the oldest.
Experienced kayaker and Taradale High School teacher Phil Dooney will compete alongside several of his students. Myka Nuku and Mike Basset-Foss are other Bay entrants expected to feature in the tussle for podium finishes in the masters grade.
Wellington-based former Hurricanes and Black Sox physio Glenn Muirhead and 21-year-old Whanganui kayaker Toby Brooke are visitors tipped to shine. Muirhead is an accomplished kayaker and the 1.98m tall Brooke is a successful sprint kayaker who has shone on ocean racing skis during the last six months.
The 12km race will have a turn point 3km up the Ngaruroro River from the confluence of the Tutaekuri River. The 6km event will be a two-lap affair on the Clive River and the 2.5km course will be one lap for the tyros.
The event will start at 10am and all paddlers are expected to have finished by the Hawke's Bay Rowing Club by 11.30am. As it is the final event of the Welly Paddlers Cold Kiwi Series there will be numerous spot prizes.