Lake Ruataniwha in Twizel places host to the sixth edition of the annual South Island Canoe Sprint Championships this weekend (26-27 Sept) with Paralympic canoeist Scott Martlew among the star athletes in action.
The South Island clubs of Arawa Canoe Club and Otago Kayak Racing Club provide the vast majority of the competitors (note, they are several visiting guest paddlers from the North Island) over the two-day competition as they fight for the right to grab the South Island Trophy.
The event also incorporates the South Island Schools Champs at the stunning venue located in the picturesque Mackenzie District of South Canterbury.
One of the most eagerly-anticipated races on the programme features Martlew, the 2019 World KL2 200m bronze medallist, up against able-bodied opposition in the open men’s K1 1000m.
Leading the contenders will be the vastly experienced 35-year-old former New Zealand international Fred Teear (Arawa), who earlier this year placed a solid eighth in the K1 1000m final the National Championships.
Look out too for Teear’s club-mate Steven Armstrong, who placed a handy seventh in the K1 1000m final at the 2018 nationals – two places behind Teear on that occasion.
Martlew, Teear and Armstrong are all entered in the open men’s K1 200m, although the 2020 U18 National K1 200m medallist Thomas MacGibbon (Arawa) also compete and will present a strong challenge.
Both open women’s K1 races comprise an entire field of Arawa Canoe Club paddlers, however both races look highly competitive affairs.
The open women’s K1 500m event features 2020 National semi-finalists Brooklyn Saunders and Brittany Marquet.
Meanwhile, watch out too for the U18 national K1 500m bronze medallist Pieta Luthi and the returning former World Junior K1 200m A finalist Olivia Brett.
Brett is also in action over the 200m distance in which the same quartet of paddlers are expected to be prominent.
The two-day programme features races in the tyros (U13), U14, U16, U18, open and masters divisions as well as mixed races
The opening day of the regatta on Saturday opens at 8,30am and concludes with the Battle of Attrition at 4.15pm. The Sunday programme begins at 8.30am and climaxes with the mass-start 5km at 10.30am.
For full lane draw and programme go to here
To follow the action go to the CRNZ App. Results will be LIVE on the RESULTS tab.