Wind just blows out the cobwebs
The extraordinary storms that have been hitting the West Coast of the North Island did not deter a keen bunch of paddlers from the 10km race held at Mana Kayak Club in Porirua on Sunday. Whilst the winds were still pretty fierce, the sheltered Porirua Harbour, and an altered course which gave plenty of challenging turns, did it's best to protect them as they battled head winds both ways. The swirling wind made the going pretty tough, as it changed direction frequently and gave no respite in either direction. But as one keen paddler put it - "it's just there to blow out the cobwebs"!
The Open Men lead the field all the way with a bunch of 4 sticking pretty close throughout and 3 of them finishing within 4 seconds of each other. Seasoned local marathon paddler, Glen Muirhead, used it as a wee training run - he heads off to the World Marathon Champs in Singapore in September. He won in a time of 45m 27s, closely followed by Wanganui's Aaron Cox at 45m 29s and Ryan Welch at 45m 31s. Matt Thompson from Blenheim was a minute behind, having kept in with the pack most of the way.
Craig Jones was the first of the Masters in with a time of 48m 40s closely followed by the first of the U19s, Jake Allen, in a time of 49m 27s.
Champion marathon paddler Marriane Archer, also heading to World Marathon Champs in September, was struggling with a blown forearm and says she just couldn't push through that pain barrier on the day, pulling out short and none-too-happy about it. That left Anabel Ramsay to take the top spot for the Open Women. The U19 girls had a great day with Paige Nossiter from Wanganui claiming the no. 1 women's placing.
Four young Mana men took out a K4 for the fun of the race, and managed to stay in for the full 10km, despite struggling around some of the tight turns and shallow spots at the edge of the harbour. The course (close in to the edge due to the gales) didn't suit the longer boat, but certainly gave them an interesting and fun time of it.
Click for full series results and series placings.