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This a very exciting paddle to tackle and conquer. The 58km marathon course involves exiting the harbour at Mt Maunganui, heading to the ocean off Matakana Island (against tide initally), then setting course directly to Bowentown entrance – 25kms away. At the entrance there could be waves to contend with, but the tide will help into the harbour. That’s the ocean leg complete, then its a scenic harbour paddle with tide assistance.

As the marathon paddlers enter the harbour the 32km ‘short course’ paddlers will set off from the inner harbour beach at Bowentown. It will be exciting to see if the leading marathon paddlers can keep pace with the 32km ‘sprinters’ as everyone makes their way down the harbour to Pilot Bay. It will be incredible if (after 28 kms) the marathon crew can keep up.

The final 1-2kms might not be plain sailing, as all paddlers strike the low end of outgoing tide and have to cross channels to the bay. Pre-planning for that area will help.

Not for the faint hearted. You have all summer to train and put some hours in preparing.

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Words From Brent Bourgeois:

The Marathon is, exactly that! But it is not beyond mere mortal paddlers…I can assure you. But a good amount of training needs to prevail.

A few years ago, while training solidly with two others for an end to end Waikato river 325km/4-day paddle for a fundraiser, I was doing some good kms. My longest paddle in training I think was about 25 kms, I knew that we needed to paddle ‘all day’ for the Waikato River trip.

I looked at this Matakana paddle course, saw a date (which worked with tides) and decided I’m going, that day…solo.

I packed food and water and set off.

What a day!!!! About 8.0 something hours later I hit Pilot Bay again. after the 26km ocean coast run (which went by quickly in my mind), entering the Bowentown Harbour (with the tide running fast) and reaching the top of the tide, at the point in the harbour I had identified would give me a following tide run home. It was a hard!!! But I made it.

Anyone that knows me knows that I am NOT an endurance ‘built’ athlete. While it was very physical – it is the mental game and planning that gets me home.

You can do it!!!

Happy to talk to anyone thinking about it….call me (Brent) on 027 654 8801.

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