A field of 90 ocean paddlers from throughout New Zealand and as far away as Australia hit challenging water conditions in an epic showdown over the weekend.
The paddlers encountered tailwinds of up to 30 knots during the Zest Brokers Poor Knights Crossing paddle race in Tutukaka on Saturday.
They started inside Tutukaka Harbour and raced to the finish line at the Poor Knights Islands.
This year's entry list included paddlers from Australia, Christchurch, Wellington, Gisborne, Tauranga, Raglan, Auckland and Northland.
The event included a short-course option (14km) for the first time to help foster a new generation of paddlers who find the full course a bit daunting. The short course started at Matapouri and sent racers south to Wellington's Bay.
The long course event is also the first race in the new Darcy Price Memorial National series launched by Canoe Racing New Zealand last month. The Darcy Price series involves five ocean races around the country.
Northern Advocate chief photographer John Stone arrived early on Saturday and snapped a few photos.