Despite the gloomy outlook, It was a stunning day on the Porirua Harbour for the 2022 CRNZ Kayak Marathon Championships. Clear and sunny with just a light breeze the harbour provided calm conditions throughout the 3 hours of paddling.
A mass start saw the 14&U’s head off to the North and the rest head off to the South for a half loop and then into a portage. Surf Ski paddler Hamish Miller, not having to do a portage, managed to sit ahead of the lead Open Men’s K1 pack for most of the race, getting caught on his final lap. He finished well ahead of the other Open Men’s ski paddlers, and let the K1s continue on for another 2 laps.
Throughout the race Liam Lace (Whanganui), Sam Newlands (BOP) and Tim Waller (Karapiro) were vying for position before Lace and Newlands pulled away from Waller in the final half of the fifth and final lap, Lace finishing just 2 seconds ahead of Newlands.
After taking out the title at last years champs, Lace was thrilled to be able to make it two from two.
“I’m really stoked to be able to back up last years performance with another win at this years marathon champs. I had a great tussle with Tim Waller and Sam Newlands in the lead group throughout the entire race.
Mana put on a great event and it was wicked to see some of NZ’s up and coming young talent getting involved in the marathon scene”.
For the first two laps 18&U paddlers Sophia Lawson (Karapiro) and Kate Skeels (HB) shared the lead women’s pack with Open paddler Emma Kemp (Mana) before Kemp pulled away in the final lap.
A surprise upset was the Masters Multi/Ski division where the oldest paddler of the competition, Ben Bennet (Hawkes Bay) having been forced to race down an age group, blitzed the competition having consistently held the lead throughout.
The K1 portages were, as usual, a highlight, with time being gained and lost as legs faltered.
A really enjoyable day for all and some great racing! Thanks to Mana Kayak Club for hosting the event and to the Wellington weather who you certainly can’t beat on a good day.