Karioitahi Beach is approx 8 Km from Waiuku, a rural centre servicing the Franklin area and Awhitu Peninsular. The beach features some of the best vehicle access on the West Coast of Auckland, and has prime beach area available at all tide times. Stretching for kilometers north and south, space is not an issue, and being a west coast spot, the swell is much more consistent which is a requirement for an event of this nature. The Karioitahi Surf Lifesaving Club have a prominent presence at the beach.
The event requires than an area of beach and surf to be closed off for its duration. This is to ensure safety for organisers, competitors, and the general public. Approximately a 100 to 150m wide section, and stretching from the beach out to the rear of the surf break (approx. 200m) will be sectioned off. It will require both the appropriate maritime closure for the water area and council closure for the beach area. The area would be starting from in front of the surf club and extending northwards down the beach. Provisions will be made to ensure that vehicles can still pass by the event area.
The format of the event is very simple. All riders are split into groups, or sessions, of smaller numbers. Throughout the day each group of riders is allocated a session time of approximately 15-20mins in the schedule for the day. The first group is sent out for their allocated time slot and, when signalled to finish, the following group goes out and so on and so forth. The schedule will repeat itself 4-5 times per day giving each competitor sufficient riding time to express themselves in the freeride sense.
During Saturdays proceedings there will be specific breaks in the schedule to hold the feature sections of the event. These feature classes are an elective option for competitors to enter and have specific requirements. Examples include “Biggest Air” – somewhat self-explanatory, “Sickest Trick” – best and most complicated trick, and the “Cherry-Popper” – first attempt at a back flip.
The safety of all organisers, competitors, and the general public spectating is of upmost priority. A detailed Health & Safety plan, appropriate cover from paramedical officers, and efficient and safe site layout are all key to this. A team of marshals will provide on water assistance for competitors that become separated from their craft. In the event of injury they will be there to transport the injured competitor back to the beach for medical review and treatment. As with all events the AJSA hosts, Marine Paramedical Services will be contracted to provide appropriate medical cover for the event. The area allocated on the beach will be cordoned off from the general public. This is to ensure the safety of the general public and likewise the competitors. All crews will require an approved fire extinguisher in their kit as there will be plenty of fuel containers about. All fuel will remain within the bounds of the cordoned area. The entire event is non-smoking. There will be
the allowance for some small “pop-up” style tents to be erected so that, in the event of rain or strong sunshine, competitors can shelter from the elements.
This event will be sanctioned by the New Zealand Jet Sports Boating Association (NZJSBA). Their approval, by sanctioning, will provide public liability insurance cover up to $5,000,000 in the event of an accident or death. Both district council and Harbour Master approval are required as part of the sanction application to the NZJSBA.
The Auckland Jet Sport Association (AJSA) is the local Jet Sport club for the Auckland region. Affiliated to the New Zealand Jet Sport Association, it has been around for more than 15 years and has successfully host many local and national events. It is this experience in hosting PWC related events that ensures a meticulous level of event management. The AJSA recognises the potential in this event, and the growth within this genre of PWC riding, and would like to ensure that it grows and develops annually. It is essential that this kind of event be presented in a professional and safe environment.