Perfect conditions greeted the 50-plus people who took part in the Poor Knights Crossing at the weekend, but Covid-19 restrictions meant the field was only half its original size.
The Crossing, which this year went from Tutukaka over 25km to Rikoriko Cave, in the Poor Knights, normally has well over 100 entrants paddle skiing or waka paddling the race.
However, organiser Tim Eves said, this year Covid level 2 restrictions meant numbers had to be limited and most of the Aucklanders down to compete did not travel up.
Eves said the conditions were perfect for the crossing, with more than half the field making the journey in less than two hours, which was a first. In fact, only one person in history has gone faster than winner Ben Keys, from Christchurch, who finished the race on his surf ski in 1h 36m 41s.
The highest placed Northlander was Tupuria King, from Broadwood, who was third in a waka. The first woman home was Anne Cairns, from New Plymouth, who came 19th overall.
Eves said the dates for next year's event had already been organised - for September 18/19.
1. Ben Keys, Ski - 1h 36m 41s.
2. Toby Brook, Ski - 1h 38m.
3. Tupuria King, Waka - 1h 38m 59s.
4. Samuel Newlands, Ski - 1h 39m 54s.
5, Reid Forrest, Ski - 1h 42m 17s.
6, Daniel Peacock, Ski, 1h 44m 11s.
7=, Luke Wainui, Dwaka - 1h 45m 32s.
7=, Paora Monk, Dwaka - 1h 45m 32s..
9, Jonathon Alsop, Ski - 1h 45m 32s.
10, Eric Holland-Waterson, Waka - 1h 50m 40s.
19, Anne Cairns, Ski - 1hr 57m 09s.
36, Emma van Berkel, Waka, 2h 09m 44s.