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Saturday, 11 April 2015
Although the morning started off with heavy drizzle and cold conditions, the weather-gods favoured the brave by clearing up the skies just prior to the start of racing. This set the scene for a perfectly calm marathon champs for the duration and show-cased off the beautiful Lake Hood in Ashburton perfectly.
Although numbers were small the racing was of a good calibre with some close racing. The lead pack of Open/U23 men opened the gap early-on which was dominated strongly by Steven Armstrong throughout. Matt Loveridge in the U23 division, stayed close to Armstrong until the last portage where Steven showed his class by opening up the gap. Andrew Mowlem paddled well throughout finishing a couple of minutes behind Armstrong.
Quaid Thompson cleared out with the lead pack for the first lap but dropped behind them later in the race. His win in the U18 age group was convincing.
Rebecca Cole showed that she's done this more than once and was in a class of her own in the women's field winning the U23 division comfortably.
The U18 women's category was the most fiercely contested with the top three all finishing within a minute of each other, Shani Clarke taking out the win.
K2 racing takes place on Sunday and we're hoping for a repeat of the "smooth sailing" conditions of today.
Masters Men 35-44
Masters Men 45-54
Masters Men 55+
On Sunday the racing was moved back up to Christchurch with the weather at Lake Hood cutting up severely in the forecast winds. The Avon, in contrast, was like a milk pond and with the small numbers racing K2s was ideal for a long narrow 4km circuit.
With only three age groups having two paddlers, the others were, with no compeition, out to complete their race in a good time.
The two Open Men's boats stayed side-by-side throughout the 20km and gave a good sprint for the finish-line, but apart from that the boats were fairly well spread across the course.
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