Champion paddler: Open female winner Tara Smith competing in the inaugural Deepsouth Downwind 11 months ago

The wind’s so frequently a curse, but the organisers of the second annual Deepsouth Downwind are hoping for particularly windy conditions on Lake Whakatipu tomorrow.

Organised by the Queenstown-based Southern Lakes Multisport Club (SLMC), the event’s open to surfskis, waka ama canoes and ocean-racing stand-up paddleboards.

Part of the Darcy Price NZ Ocean Surfski Series — the only non-coastal event — it’s also doubling this time as the South Island surfski champs.

Depending on wind direction, competitors will be racing one of three new courses, each between 17 and 22 kilometres long, with the chosen option announced today on SLMC’s Facebook page.

Option A, for a northerly or north westerly, is from Glenorchy to 25 Mile Creek, past the islands.

Option B, for a westerly or southwesterly, is from 12 Mile Delta to Frankton Beach.

And Option C, for a southerly, is from the rest area 7km north of Kingston to Homestead Bay, by Jack’s Point.

The event’s been brought forward from January ‘‘to try to make the most of the spring winds’’, says SLMC’s Alex Martin, who’s organising the event with club colleague Kat Bulk.

The start time’s also been moved back to 3pm as the wind usually picks up mid-afternoon.

Between the course and date and timing changes, ‘‘we’re pretty confident we’ve maximised the opportunity for really good downwind conditions’’, Martin says.

She’s expecting about 40 entries — 40 also entered back in January, but six didn’t make the start-line after an accident up north.

As for prizes, Martin says they’re a participation-focused club, however the male and female South Island champs will collect trophies.

Otherwise there’ll be spot prizes up for grabs including Epic and Carbonology paddles.

As for viewing points, the top-of-the-lake and bottom-of-the-lake course options are alongside Glenorchy Rd and the Kingston highway, respectively, while Sunshine Bay, the Gardens and, of course, Frankton Beach are good spots if Option B’s employed.

Martin expects the fastest competitors, if this last and shortest course is used, will take about an hour-and-a-half or less.

[email protected]

- Advertisement -