Kapiti Observer : January 16th 2012
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Family day: Sunday's Kapiti Coast Harness Racing meet is always popular with families. Airborne: The Birdman competition returns to Wellington for the upcoming long weekend. Punters and families will be out in force on Wellington Anniversary weekend as the Otaki Racecourse hosts two harness racing meetings. Kapiti Coast Harness Racing Club s annual event is among the events on offer throughout the Wellington region from Friday, in an action-packed Wellington Anniversary weekend. On Friday the course will host the Twilight Trots from 3pm, while on Sunday the Summer Fes- tival of racing kicks off. Club president Mary Colman said the events should attract good numbers, especially on Sunday, should the fine weather forecast come true. The forecast is better than we have had in the past few years, she said. In the past we have had more than 3000 people turn out on the Sunday. Friday s trots, aimed to attract racing fans after work, will run through till 8pm. Sunday s event is a real family day , said Mrs Colman, with people bringing gazebos and tents for picnics on the bank next to the course. There are kids activities there, and they are all free, which is why we have a $5 entry for adults. The Classic Jazz Trio will per- form on Sunday, and there will be local food and wine available. Local trainers will also be out in force, seeking success on the home tracks. Te Horo trainer Wendy Deven- port will have two horses, Ryans Way and Nicole Vaidisova, trying to defend race wins in last year s trots on Friday. Te Horo s Murray Gibbs and Peter Scaife, of Foxton, will also have horses competing, as will Paraparaumu driver Neal Pritchard. Racing on Friday starts at 3pm, while Sunday starts at noon. Entry is $5 on Sunday for adults and free Friday. Further south in Kapiti, anglers will be out on Raumati Beach from 7am on Sunday competing in Raumati Sportfishing Club s annual surf casting competition. Last year about 150 fishermen took part in the event, seeking to catch the heaviest kahawai and claim the $1000 prize. Organiser Myra Collett said anyone can enter the event, but must have their own fishing equipment. A senior and junior section is run, with prizes for first, second and third largest kahawai caught. Further spot prizes are awarded for other fish caught. A couple of years ago one of the juniors actually caught the biggest fish, Ms Collett said. He was about 12 or 13. It just shows that if you turn up and are in the right place at the right time, you could win it. Registration starts at 6.30am at Marine Gardens in Raumati, with the day finishing at 3pm. Other action in Kapiti during the long weekend includes the All Ford Day, from 10am Saturday at Kapiti Primary School, show- casing the beauties from the car marque and the Paekakariki Road Races, run by the Kapiti Harriers and Multisport Club in Paekakariki, Saturday from 9am. Outside the district there is also plenty on, with those feeling they can fly able to test themselves in the 350 Birdman event in Wel- lington on Wellington Anniver- sary Day, Monday, January 23. The annual competition gives people the chance to create a cos- tume and attempt to gain liftoff as they jump off the Taranaki St Wharf and into the harbour. This year the event also features another day, this Saturday, from the Days Bay Wharf in Eastbourne. 350 Birdman manager Martin Wilson said there will also be a BMX jump ramp, and asked people to bring along their sense of adventure. The main event, the 350 Bird- man, sees people jump from Tara- naki St Wharf dressed up in cre- ative costume from noon. We re looking for time aloft, Wilson said. Seriously, everyone goes plop, into the water. We re looking for humour. The best entertainment, and creativity. As well as the main compe- tition, children have their chance to give the Birdman a go at 11am, while BMXing, kids rides, crafts market, music and a food court are open from 10am until 5pm. Also at Wellington s waterfront on Sunday will be the Great Scav- enger Hunt, held by Capital E as part of the Summer City pro- gramme. Families are to complete clues to find each location, where a fun challenge awaits them. The city s finest actors and comedians will also be on hand to entertain, help and perhaps even humorously derail the best-laid plans of the contestants -- in the interests of the best possible fun, of course, organisers said. The great scavenger hunt takes place from 4pm until 5pm in Frank Kitts Park, Wellington. Wellington Cup week also kicks off on Saturday at Trentham Racecourse in the Hutt Valley, with the wine and racing festival on Saturday, the summer festival family day on the Monday and Wellington Cup Day the following Saturday, January 28.
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