A mural painted by members of the Alamoho Wanganui Rowing Club as they paused the race on the Clive River on Tuesday.Photography/Warren Buckland
A rowing regatta on the Clive River had to suspend the race at low tide, mainly due to weeds and tubeworms obstructing the course.
Organizers of Monday’s Hawke’s Bay Cup Regatta Featuring teams from across the country, Tuesday said the regional council needs to dredge the river to fix the problem and provide better rowing conditions.
The river has not been dredged for 12 years, despite the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s plan to dredge it every 10 years.
On Tuesday, one travel club built a large mural out of weeds pulled from the river to pass the time and wait for the race to resume.
Hawke’s Bay Rowing Club coach and regatta manager Ross Webb said most of the races were held when water levels were high.
“Low water levels mean we cannot provide a fair course.
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“[The weed growth] Some years it happens more severely, but it’s been going on for a while and… dredging the river would have solved the problem, but no dredging the river.
“Water sports can still be held, but generally speaking, above half tide, not below half tide.”
He said tubeworms are also a problem because they can create mounds along rivers and interfere with rowing.
“Tubeworms have been mostly under bridges for the last few years,” he said.
“Excavation seems to be the best option. [to get rid of it] But water temperature is also one of the key factors in removing it. ”
Chris Dolley, the regional council’s property management group manager, said the river will soon be dredged.
“We know how important this river is to Tangata Tenua, the community and water sports users, including boat clubs, and we are committed to supporting the community’s desire for a more sustainable alternative to dredging.” he said.
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“The local council dredged the river 12 years ago, depositing silt into the sea.
Last year, in response to community concerns about its impact on the coastal environment, the Regional Council withdrew its resource consent application to discharge Clive River sediment onto the shore and now refuses to discharge the sediment onto land. I was considering it.