Norfolk Island hosted its inaugural international outrigger festival in January 2015 and, following on from this tear away success, the next Norfolk Ocean Challenge, NOC the Rock, will take place from 17- 21 January 2016.
This year, conditions varied from challenging to ideal, providing a fantastic experience for every paddler. From the colourful and moving opening ceremony in world heritage listed Kingston, with descendants of the Bounty mutineers and their Polynesian brides welcoming everyone in their unique native tongue, to the final party night, Norfolk Island was truly bewitching.
An island of just 5kms by 8kms, this is the perfect setting for competitors and spectators. The cliff tops that hem the shoreline provide superb vantage points for observers. The two offshore islands are positioned ideally for shorter events and the lagoon, Emily Bay, is a dreamy home base and playground. The 26km round-island iron marathon event is gruelling, but amazingly picturesque as competitors pass the magnificent sea stacks and towering cliffs that rim the coastline.
Norfolk Island has a raft of other attractions on offer as well. There is surfing, snorkelling and long boarding, horse riding, golf and bush walking through pristine native forests for the active holiday-makers. Plus there is a sizeable array of tours including visits to the four excellent boutique museums which relate the fascinating stories of the island's Polynesian, convict, Bounty and maritime past. For pure relaxation, there are several masseuse treatments to choose from, great cafes and restaurants, secluded beaches and many romantic scenic spots with ocean views that go forever.
The race registration fee includes entry to individual and team sprint events and the 12km and 26km iron events, plus social outings, all ceremonies and transfers and support transits required. Excellent packages are chock full of complimentary bonuses to make NOC the Rock 2016 a memorable holiday for everyone. This is a great way to experience Norfolk Island as locals and international visitors compete, socialise and celebrate together on this fabulous rock in the turquoise waters of the South Pacific.