Soggy start to spectacular racing

Author -  Karen Simpson

Soggy start to spectacular racing

BL2 K4 Xmas.jpg

Aimee Fisher, Rebecca Cole, Lisa Carrington, Lucy Matahaere

Lisa Carrington shrugged off the dire conditions she faced on the opening day of Blue Lake 2 to claim a 200m treble with another clear demonstration of her kayak mastery.

The eight-time world champion and double Olympic gold medallist cruised to an predicted easy win in the K1 200m before teaming up with teenager Alicia Hoskin (Poverty Bay) to claim top spot in the K2 200m.

Carrington then completed a three from three winning record today by helping the Otago crew - also containing fellow World Championships K4 silver medallist Aimee Fisher, Rebecca Cole and Lucy Matehaere - to a decisive K4 200m victory.

In a day played out in incessant rain at a soggy Lake Tikitapu, Carrington (Eastern Bay) oozed class in her premier K1 200m event by powering to victory in a time of 41.20 to signal an ideal start to her domestic campaign.

“Today is all about getting some good racing under our belt and gradually building fitness and strength to reach a peak for August (at the World Championships),” adds Carrington, 29.

“It is pretty cold today, so that is always tricky and as we don’t have start gates, you need to confident with your start.

“This regatta allows us to enjoy racing with nothing really on the line and to get back in touch with the canoe racing community.”

In the battle for the minor places, Caitlin Ryan (North Shore), the world record holder for the K1 500m distance, was satisfied to claim second in 42.56 – just 0.14 clear of Aimee Fisher (Hawkes Bay).

Kayla Imrie – who alongside Carrington, Ryan and Fisher took K4 500m silver at the World Championships in August - grabbed fourth in 44.03.

One of the most heart-warming stories of the day was Hoskin’s victory alongside Carrington in the K2 200m final. Last year the teenager underwent heart surgery and faced three months out of the sport after she was identified with Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome – an extra electrical pathway to the heart which can lead to periods of rapid heart rate.

However, after undergoing successful corrective surgery, the 18-year-old has returned to the fray and competed at the 2018 ICF Junior Canoe Sprint Championships.

Today the Gisborne-raised but Auckland-based teenager was thrilled to claim a decisive win in the K2 200m final by more 2.6secs from Aimee Fisher and Lucy Matehaere.

“It was amazing to have the chance to jump in a boat with a legend of the sport,” adds Alicia of paddling with Lisa. “I’ve never paddled with her before. When I first sat in the boat I had excited twitches, I was so jittery.

“She helped me relax, she is so down-to-earth and fun. Lisa offered a lot of advice such as what to focus on at the start and little technical pointers as well. It was a cool experience to have so much power behind me in the boat.”

Kurtis Imrie edged a thrilling open men’s K1 200m A final as just 0.20 separated the top four. Imrie (Mana), who was victorious over this distance at Blue Lake 1, revealed his racing instincts to stop the clock in 39.40 – 0.10 ahead of North Shore duo Ashton Reiser and Karl McMurtie who tied for second.

In a further demonstration of the competitive nature of the race Zach Ferkins of Poverty Bay was fourth in 39.60.

A delighted Imrie, younger brother to New Zealand international Kayla, said: “It was challenging conditions with both a strong head wind and crosswind, so I’m proud I could put a good race together.

“I always set my expectations reasonably high and the goal is the same as always to put the best performance in I can. I’m not feeling too explosive at the moment because we have just come out of an endurance block, so it is cool to do some speedwork.”

In the open men’s K2 200m the combination of Ashton Reiser and Karl McMurtie worked to good effect to clinch victory.

The North Shore duo stopped the clock in 36.38 to finish 0.57 clear of Kurtis Imrie and Ethan Moore (Mana).

In the women’s U18 age group Olivia Brett (Arawa) impressed completing the K1, K2 and K4 treble. Meanwhile, In the U18 men’s age group Sam Ferkins of Poverty Bay was a decisive winner of the K1 200m. Madison Garrett (Arawa) also performed with great distinction completing the K1, K2, K4 treble in the women’s U16 age group.

Tomorrow the emphasis switches to the longer distances as the women’s 500m, men’s 1000m and 5km events swing into focus.

Carrington is back in action tomorrow in the K1, K2 and K4 500m with the former event likely to prove the highlight of the regatta as she faces a strong challenge from her training partners Ryan, Fisher and Imrie.

To follow the results
Soggy start to spectacular racing

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