Raised in the Hawkes Bay, New Zealand men’s kayak squad member Hamish Legarth is finally realising the potential after many years of hard graft in the sport.
Inspired start to kayak racing after watching his sister, Elise, a former New Zealand Junior and U23 World Championship paddler, compete shortly after his introduction to the sport he earned national titles as a tyro before later winning U14 New Zealand gold medals.
In 2016 he made his international debut at the Oceania Championships before later that year appearing for New Zealand in the World Junior Championships in Belarus. Competing in the K4 500m the crew were eliminated in the semi-finals.
The next year he returned for the World Junior Championships in Romania, where his personal highlight was a fifth place finish in the K2 1000m alongside crewmate Dylan Neal-Hill.
In 2018 he moved from Hawkes Bay to start a civil engineering degree at the University of Waikato. Later that year he suffered a partial dislocation of the shoulder but despite struggling with the injury was still accepted as part of the NZ men’s kayak squad.
In 2019 he qualified to compete in both World Cups, finishing fifth in the B Final of the men’s K4 500m in Poznan. Later in the year he placed seventh in the B Final of the K4 500m at the World U23 Championships in Pitesti, Romania.
Hamish continued his progression by claiming K1 500m and K1 1000m bronze medals at the 2020 New Zealand Championships.