Ocean Kayak Race - Warkworth
Report by Terry Newsome
The brave and the hardy turned up for the 21st Ocean Kayak Canoe Showdown last Saturday in Warkworth. The morning started off with a deluge of rain but fortunately cleared for a dry start for the 33 paddlers taking part.
The first start away was the 20 km paddlers. This included Ian Ferguson in his first Canoe Showdown and Simon McLarin trying for his 9th King of the Mahurangi after winning his first crown back in 1993. Also in this start was women’s 2-day Coast to Coast winner Toni Keeling.
At the end of 4 laps and 20 km the K2 of Andrew Newick and Nikolai Gordon crossed the line first to win in 1:36.40 followed by the second K2 of Philip Exeter and Blair Roskruge in 1:41.42. In the singles a group of three, 16 year old Toby Brooke, Sean Murphy and Simon McLarin had worked together over the whole race and had a good lead of just over 9 minutes over the rest of the field. With the finish line in sight the three knew that in the end only one would win the King of the Mahurangi ... would it be number nine for Simon ... would his training partner Sean take the win ... or would the young Toby get them on the line? In the end only 0.02 seconds would be the difference between the winner Simon McLarin (1:45.08) and Toby Brooke (1:45.10) with Sean taking an unplanned swim only meters from the finish. Once back on his ski he finished third in 1:46.44.
Cam Scott had worked hard in the last two laps to pass Ian Ferguson and finish in 4th place. Lance Smith was the first 20km Multisport Kayak home in 1:58.35 with Wellingtonian Chester Burt finding the last lap a killer adding an extra four minutes to his last lap.
A big effort by Toni Keeling in winning the Queen of the Mahurangi in very testing conditions in a time of 2:14.27
First to cross the line in the 10km race was Wally James and son Sam in a K2 in 58.07
After a break of a few years Keith McLeod was back and was rewarded with a win in the 10km Surf Ski in a time of 1:06.47.
Greg Morrison went two better this year and won the 10 km Sea Kayak race in 1:07.52.
Local paddler Wayne Wright was very pleased to win his first Men’s Multisport Kayak title in 1:09.37.
Erika Currie paddled a steady race to win the Women’s Multisport Kayak in 2:19.15
Julie Hopkins was first Women’s Sea kayak in 1:21.09.
Thanks to Ocean Kayak for providing a Sprinter Kayak, Extrasport PFD and Speedwing paddle. This great prize was drawn by Ian Ferguson and won by Jemma Hopkins.
I would also like to thank the following sponsors who supported the race.
Horleys, Bridge House Lodge Warkworth, Matakana Kitchen and Joinery, Carters Warkworth, Morris & James, Pizza Co, New World Warkworth, Sharkshins, F D Warren Jeweller and Jantex Paddles.
Thanks also to the Kowhai Festival Committee for getting behind this race and helping each year.