CRNZ Blog

King and Queen retain their crowns

Author -  Karen Simpson

Local paddlers Andy Mowlem and Rachel Clarke successfully defended their Vaikobi Auckland King and Queen of the Harbour titles on Saturday in gusty 20 knot conditions.

King and Queen retain their crowns

Local paddlers Andy Mowlem and Rachel Clarke successfully defended their Vaikobi Auckland King and Queen of the Harbour titles on Saturday in gusty 20 knot conditions. Andrew Mowlem KQH.jpgRachel clarke KQH.jpg

Local paddlers Andy Mowlem and Rachel Clarke successfully defended their Vaikobi Auckland King and Queen of the Harbour titles on Saturday in gusty 20 knot conditions.

The Canoe Racing New Zealand (CRNZ) Surfski Ocean Racing Championships witnessed more than a hundred paddlers battle the elements from the Whangaparaoa Peninsula to the Takapuna Boating Club on Auckland’s North Shore.

In the men’s race, Mowlem, made a clean start in his bid to claim back-to-back victories with Toby Brooke from Whanganui hot on his tail. However, Mowlem quickly established a clear lead before running out a convincing winner by more than three-and-a-half minutes from runner-up Sam Mayhew.

“The first upwind leg was tough,” said Mowlem, who for the past three months has been living and training in Perth. “At the 3km turn I just put my head down and went for it.”

Sam Mayhew produced a breakthrough performance to place second in challenging side-on conditions, edging out Brooke and South African surfski legend Oscar Chalupsky courtesy of a canny inside line approaching the final turn off Takapuna Beach.

Takapuna locals Oskar Stielau and Robbie Ford had a stomping paddle to take top spot in the doubleski and chased Mowlem hard for line-honours, finally settling for second overall.

In the women’s surfski race Clarke secured racked up her seventh successive victory in the Queen of the Harbour event by a victory margin of more than nine minutes from World Championship canoe sprint paddler Rebecca Cole. The Auckland paddler, was also good enough for an eighth place overall, once again demonstrated her world-class ability. Danika Mowlem completed the podium.

Highly respected SUP hardman James Reeves left nothing in the tank to complete the gruelling distance in 3:01:52. Simon McLarin, the only competitor to race all 18 editions of the King and Queen of the Harbour, took out the Specski category with Emma Walker landing the women’s equivalent. Richard Pehi was victorious in the Waka-Ama (OC1) title.

The 12km short course race was a testy two-lap course out to No. 3 buoy in the Rangitoto Chanel. Regular Short Couse Surfski champ Andrew Stevens was forced to withdraw for medical reasons, leaving the door open for Richard Cross to pick up the race win. Mike Weiss claimed the Waka-Ama (OC1) short course title with Geoff Evison first across the line in the SUP division and the overall winner in 1:00:29.
CRNZ CEO Tom Ashley addressed the prizegiving with some exciting news: “This is an iconic event founded by our good mate, Darcy Price, who, unfortunately, passed away recently. As a part of CRNZ’s vision to be more inclusive of all paddle disciplines, a Distance Paddle Committee has been established, chaired by Andy Mowlem, and as a part of this vision we are excited to bring you the new Darcy Price Series, which will be a points based Surfski series consisting of five or six races around the country, nominated by clubs or event organisers themselves. Incorporating selections for the ICF World Champs, further details of this will be released shortly.
Naming rights sponsor Pat Langley cemented his support for the event at prizegiving: “Vaikobi is proud to yet again support this fantastic Kiwi Ocean Paddling Race and we can’t wait for the next edition of the race which will now move a new time of the year, set for November 30, 2019”
Race director Garth Spencer who admits it was the toughest conditions he has experienced at the event, added: “I’m very excited about the future of this event, and with fresh ideas and stimulus from CRNZ, the Distance Paddle Committee, Takapuna Boating Club, sponsors and of course all of the paddlers I think we have the team to make this even better.”

Full Race results can be found at:
www.webscorer.com/race?raceid=174317

Images courtesy of Ben Levy

 

King and Queen retain their crowns

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