Field Notes: A Kiwi Downwinder

New Zealand’s Sam Thom likes to challenge himself standup paddling long distances. In July 2013, the young Kiwi completed a 54-kilometer (or 33.6-mile) circumnavigation of Waiheke Island, the second largest island of the Hauraki Gulf Islands. Thom was back at it this week, and upped his game, embarking on an 88-kilometer (or 55.7-mile) downwinder from Great Barrier Island to Auckland. Departing from Whangaparapara Harbour at 6:55 a.m., Thom paddled 11 hours, encountering dolphins and catching some nice glides along the way. After a full day of bump-running, Thom arrived at Okahu Bay in Auckland at 5:50 p.m. We’re thinking his next distance paddle will be even greater.


For more on downwind paddling, click here.