Warm weather training kicks off

By Claire O'Hara

New Zealand is an adventure paradise and the adventures just have not stopped since I arrived here four weeks ago. After the incredible few days at Jackson Bay we went back to the Hawea waves for the NZ nationals and team selections. There was a great turn out and atmosphere at the event, which also celebrate the official opening of the park in front of crowds of local people on a beautiful sunny weekend. Over the two days everyone took to the water to take part in a whole range of competitions on a wide variety of crafts. There was body boarders, surfers, hydro speeds, freestylers, creek boats and SUP's. Pro paddlers to beginners and ye oldies all the way through to loads of young kids.

I had a great weekend winning both days competitions but not being a Kiwi means I didn't make the national team! However it is going to be an exciting year for NZ freestyle as the event showed that freestyle is still alive and growing and 2013 will see one of the largest and strongest NZ teams compete at the worlds later this year and also a huge development of freestyle within the country thanks to new Hawea freestyle training facility.

it's not all about the competition!


After the event it was time for a few days chilling, wake boarding and waterskiing before a quick trip to Queenstown to go freestyle paragliding and grab a Fergburger. Then it was time to head north for a days hunting before jumping on the ferry to the North Island and Lake Taupo and the Kaituna. The Kaituna is a enchanting river and it was awesome to catch up with friends old and new as we explored the area and paddled the run. A drought in NZ meant the levels were super low but still really good fun. Another week on and we've been boating loads and filming, bungee jumping*, competing (the Full James event), mountain biking, speed boating on the lake, SUPing on a gorgeous spring and surfing in the ocean, playing ocean golf and going to the gym, the circus and several natural thermal hot and cold pools. So much fun!

The adventures just haven't stopped and now I am leaving the Islands to head to Australia and who knows what adventures will come next.