Olympian back into race mode for Blue Lake 2

Max Brown is pumped to get back on the start line at Blue Lake 2 this weekend, his first competition back since his and Kurtis Imrie’s breakthrough performance in the K2 1000m at the Tokyo Olympics.

“Definitely looking forward to lining up again, although the event isn’t overly serious for us” said Max. “The goal is just to have heaps of fun and get the whole squad hissing.”

The men’s kayak team is still buzzing and pretty motivated following the K2 result at the Sea Forest Waterway.

Max and Kurtis smashed pre-race expectations when they finished fifth in the A final of the K2 1000m making a huge improvement from their last global competition – when placing 15th at the 2019 World Championships. They were only 1 second shy of a medal, and proved to themselves and the world that they could mix it up with the best, giving them huge confidence as they focus on Paris 2024.

“We were pretty close to winning a medal so feeling confident leading into this next Olympic cycle. Also moving to the 500m is pretty cool as Kurtis and I are already pretty fast in the first 500m of a 1000m. Now we can use that to our advantage.”

Max humbly acknowledges the role the entire men’s squad played in the result, which was indicative of a wider growth and development in the national team. “Our performance at the Games represented their hard work as well, so I hope they felt like they could own a part of the performance.”

Max and Kurtis will not be racing together at Lake Tikitapu this weekend, instead taking the opportunity to get used to racing with other members of the squad. Max will be racing with Zach Ferkins in the K2, but will join up again with Kurtis in the K4 alongside Ben Duffy and Hamish Legarth. Max is also racing in the K1 500m and 1000m.

Away from kayaking, Max has been enjoying training up his new GPS x Hungarian Vizsla puppy, Billie, that he got with his partner post-games. “She’s an absolute gem.”


Blue Lake 2 at Lake Tikitapu, Rotorua is this weekend (4/5 December), and will be run under the Red traffic light covid protocols. For full details, check out https://www.canoeracing.org.nz/events/blue-lake-2/