Blue Lake 1: Battle with the Elements
Race report by Karen Simpson
It really was a case of "Man vs Wild" on Saturday, the first day of racing at the Blue Lake 1 regatta in Rotorua. With the lake already at it's highest point in 50 years, and a makeshift finish tent erected on two pontoons on the marsh-like point, the whole regatta crew was under no illusions that they'd be doing it tough on Saturday. And Mother Nature really came to the party.
Racing started on time at 8.30am but it was already raining and starting to gust. By 9.30am the conditions out on the lake were just too dangerous to race and the decision was made to postpone the racing and review at 1.00pm. However, things only got worse and after a meeting with the Team Managers it was agreed to cancel the rest of the day with the plan being to race the U18 selection events and Open K1s early on Sunday morning and squeeze in some of the other priority races at the end of the day. Having made the call to cancel, around mid-afternoon a whirlwind swept across the lake and destroyed a couple of tents on it's way (including the finish tent) so the decision to cancel was a good one!
First thing Saturday, with a calm if cold lake, the crew erected tent number 2 on the finish line in time to start at 7.00am with the new Programme and the day flew by without a hitch.
The selection races, aimed at identifying a team for the Autralian Youth Olympics, were certainly raced in the best conditions of the day. The top three places were fairly consistent with Rebecca Cole 3rd in both the 200m and 500m, Danielle Currie 1st in the 200m and 2nd in the 500m, and Lucy Johnson 1st in the 500m and 2nd in the 200m.
The boys were a fairly similar turn-up, with Kurtis Imrie 3rd in both the 200m and 1000m, Jarrod Fitzgerald 1st in the 1000m and 2nd in the 200m, Aiden Nossiter 2nd in the 1000m, and Zac Quickenden 1st in the 200m.
Andrew Roy & Scott Bicknell win Mens K2 200m
Alicia and Courtney Hoskin win U14 K2 200m
More photos on http://www.johnroy.smugmug.com/
The Open races were noticably without the Olympians paddling (who were still having a well-deserved break) except the well-committed Darryl Fitzgerald who raced both U23 and Open races, and also paddled K2 with his younger brother Jarrod winning the U23 k2 200m. Our gold medallist Lisa Carrington came down to support the competitors and was geared up to present ribbons at prizegiving. However with the racing being cancelled she was happy to have pictures taken with some of the juniors before heading back to drier climes.
The Open Men's K1 races were, like the U18s, dominated by four paddlers - Scott Bicknell claiming 1st in the 200m and 3rd in the 1000m, Darryl Fitzgerald 1st in the 1000m and 2nd in the 200m, Ryan Quickenden 3rd n the 200m, and Jasper Bats 2nd in the 1000m. The consistency carried through to the women with Marianne Archer earning 3rd in the 200m and 2nd in the 500m, Jamie Lovett 2nd in the 200m and 3rd in the 500m, and Rachel Dodwell 1st in both races.
It was great to see some competitive racing across the age groups and a good number of Novice paddlers competing in their first ever sprint regatta. We hope the conditions haven't put you off! We managed to squeeze the Tyros 500m races in on Sunday morning too and are confident we got as many races in as we possibly could, given the tough parameters we had to work with.
Full results of all age groups are in the document below. Note: The U18 Mens K1 1000 was re-raced on Sunday as race number 78.
The U23 Mens K1 results had to be progressed manually and were:
|1st ||Darryl Fitzgerald||Poverty Bay ||4:00.4|
|2nd||Jasper Bats||Poverty Bay||4:01.8|
|3rd||Ben Tinnelly||Poverty Bay||4:03.4|
|4th||Andrew Roy||North Shore||4:03.7|
|5th||William Wilkins||Hawkes Bay||4:08.6|
|6th||Jarrod Fitzgerald ||Poverty Bay||4:08.7|
|7th||Henry Ellingham||Poverty Bay||4:17.2|