Bruce Cole-Baker has defended his title at the highly successful Wild Kiwi multisport event at Whangarei Heads.

The 2016 winner led from start to finish to end the race more than half an hour ahead of his nearest rivals.

Event organiser Mike Davis said the day was a huge success and it was good to see the defending champion come back in form.

"Bruce placed well in the Coast to Coast during the year and to have him back defending his 2016 title was great for the event," he said.


"It was an awesome event. The weather held out and everyone had a great day. All the race starts went well and there were a lot of happy faces who finished the tough day and enjoyed food and music.

"Lots of kids and parents were doing the shorter courses. The whole community involvement aspect was just fantastic.

"Whangarei Heads School got a lot more involved this year with catering and car parking. There was a lot of local buy in and helping us make the event happen."

The day had eight different events, which all threw up entertaining action.

Paul Sumich led Murray Dix home in the 15km run, while Rebecca Meffin eased to victory in the 15km walk.

Andrius Ramonas and Shirley Dryden were the front runners in the half marathon distance, winning the run and walk respectively.

The multisport event, which involved a 12km sea kayak, 25km mountain bike and 14km run, threw up some challenges for the competitors - particularly on the kayak and mountain bike legs.

The kayak leg saw paddlers start at Taurikura Bay before heading past McKenzie Bay and turning around at Urquharts Bay.


However, Davis said that was part and parcel of the day.

"The conditions can make the event tougher. The wind caused a bit of chop on the kayak course so that was a bit challenging," he said.

"People understand it's going to be tough on the day. The mountain bike course was a little soft under foot but the bikers do love that.

"We are looking to move the event to February next year to allow people to utilise a bit more of the sun and the area."

Davis was thankful for the volunteers, the Wild Kiwi crew and Murray Jagger, who were major players in the success of the day.

"There's an amazing community of Whangarei Heads' people who volunteer to get involved. They love showcasing the beautiful bit of area out there," he said.

"They really go above and beyond, just like our crew. They were out there at 5am making sure everything was going to run smoothly.

"Murray deserves a special mention. He was out there mowing all the land. He built a pontoon bridge so people didn't have to go into the water.

"He moved stock off the land and him and his dad Eric took on that expense.

"The work they do is just awesome, they're good Kiwi buggers."