Kayak race postponed in 'hard' call

For the second year running, the weather has disrupted the 261km Wild Descent kayak race down the Clutha River from Albert Town, Wanaka, to Molyneux Bay, near Balclutha.

The event was due to start tomorrow but has been put back to April 24.

Race director Warren Bates told the Otago Daily Times yesterday that it had been an ''incredibly hard decision'' to postpone the event, particularly as teams from Australia and the United States had already arrived.

As well, volunteers helping to organise the event along the river were ready to go. Some volunteers from the North Island had been on their way south.

However, information from Contact Energy showed the Clutha River catchment was quite full and little could be done to control flows.

As well, more rain was forecast for today and tomorrow.

Mr Bates said the possibility of willows trapping kayakers was one of the main safety concerns.

About 25 two-person teams had entered the event.

mark.price@odt.co.nz