Ever-changing Covid alert levels kept race organisers on their toes but paddlers were rewarded with fierce competition and near perfect conditions at the first Blue Lake regatta of the season.
Lake Tikitapu shimmered under blue skies for the paddlers, although participation numbers were significantly down from normal due to covid lockdowns in Auckland and Waikato. This meant a number of last minute changes to the programme which ended up having only 2 mens divisions and 2 womens divisions. However divisional racing meant that each race still provided decent competition throughout.
Entrants faced a range of ages in their division which is based on 200m times from the last nationals, or if a newbie, times submitted by the coach, and there was some good battles for podium places in each division.
In the Mens Div-1 competition the 200m honours went to Daniel Brown from Hawkes Bay, closely followed by Jack Clifton (Whanganui) and Damian da Silva (Hawkes Bay). With Daniel Brown having to withdraw due to injury, the 500m event, raced into a strong headwind, saw Jack take 1st, Damian 2nd and Leon Fuller (Eastern Bay) 3rd.
Womens Div-1 was also a close bunch with the podium spots going to Scarlett Old (Waitara), Genna Robertson(Poverty Bay) and Emma Kemp (Mana), respectively. The same three were again featured in the 500m – Emma (1st), Scarlett (2nd) and Genna (3rd).
Newcomer Nukuroa (Hawkes Bay) dominated in Div-2 winning both the 200 and 500m, whilst Madi Greetham (Bay of Plenty) did the same in the Womens Div-2.
It was clear that the effort by the event management team and volunteers to put the event on despite the extra effort and uncertainty was appreciated by all who attended. Thank you to everyone who helped to make the event happen.
Full results of all races can be found here
Photos below by Jack McDonald