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NZPA 2019 raft race

Thirty-two teams converged at the Kaituna River in Rotorua on March 1 for the 13th annual Police Association Raft Race.

Photo: The Police Association team, Guilty by Association, in action going over the waterfall.

They came from all over the North Island, including a team fielded by the Police Association (Guilty by Association), and, for the first time, a team from the South Island (Canterbury Water Wolves).

Forty-one brave souls took part in the challenging river surfing event, won by Justin from Wellington.

The rafting winners were the Wellington Dive Team – makes sense – but, as organiser Aaron Holloway reports, there were many other highlights, including:

  • Best Flip of the Day by the Porirua team, who didn’t flip in the usual spot – the big waterfall – but while racing at Boiling Point rapid, where three team members tipped out.
  • Best Swim of the Day by a member of the Cruising for a Bruising team who fell out on the big waterfall and went under for about 15 seconds… that’s a long time in the drink.
  • Best Dressed were the Hawke’s Bay Gladiators.
  • The Fair Play Award went to Hamish the guide for saving a competitor who had tipped out of another raft, which meant his team lost the final.
  • The Welsh Worst Wound Award went to the guy who cut his foot on the first rapid of the river. St John patched him up downstream and he made it back on to the river for the final race.
  • Guilty by Association failed to place, but did uphold the association’s values by assisting a member who had become separated from her raft…

Next year’s event will be held on Friday, February 28. For more information, photos and videos, visit the NZPA Raft Race Facebook page and see the full Police News April pdf available through the website.

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