Kayakers mourn death of Louise Jull on Kaituna

Photo: https://www.facebook.com/322288427935070/photos/pb.322288427935070.-22075

Talented kayaker Louise Jull went missing from her kayak during a descent of the Kaituna river on Wednesday evening. Her body was found the following morning by raft-based searchers.

Louise represented NZ internationally in slalom, competing at Junior Worlds, Youth Olympics, Senior World Cups and the World Championships. Lou moved into extreme paddling, competing in the Whitewater Grand Prix in 2012. Lou recently won, or was highly placed, in the Okere Enduro, Christmas at Kaituna and Andy Duff Memorial events, along with the Citroën Extreme Race on the Kawarau.

She kayaked major sections in NZ including Huka Falls, Tree Trunk Gorge, Whitcombe, Arahura, Nevis Bluff, and her local runs Kaituna, Wairoa and Upper Ngamuwahine. Lou boated throughout Europe, South America, North America, Africa and Australia, picking up sponsorships by Lettmann, Palm Equipment, Watershed Drybags, Pau Hana Surf Supply and Huss. "For me its about being on the river with a group of my best mates pushing ourselves and the limits of our sport." [1]

Louise was living in Rotorua and teaching at Western Heights High School. The Kaituna was her local run and she was fully equipped and accompanied by a strong team.

A rāhui has been placed on the Kaituna. The local iwi and kayaking community ask that this be respected by staying off the Kaituna until it is lifted at the end of Friday. Police advise that Louise's death has been referred to the coroner.