Day Three of the Oceania Championships dawned with a strong trial wind blowing which made the heats of the 200m racing interesting for the paddlers. As the day progressed the wind dropped leaving a beautiful, sunny, still day and hence continuing the great weather trend for these championships.
In the open men’s events we saw the continuing dominance of Kenny Wallace from Australia who won both the K1 and K2 200m events. Wallace’s K2 partner Lachlan Tame made a clean sweep for the Australian’s by gaining second place in the K1 200. New Zealand Team member Scott Bicknell was third and first Kiwi.
A highlight of the Championship for many of the people watching was seeing Olympian Lisa Carrington in her specialist event, the 200m race. Lisa blasted out of the start and quickly accelerated to maximum speed within 10 seconds and moved clear of the field. Lisa won the race in a blistering sub 40 second time. The time was faster than any of her Olympic times. The next two places were filled by Australian paddlers with the next New Zealander being Rachael Dodwell who was chased by her team mate Jaimee Lovett. After Lovett saw our rising hope in the 200m event Aimee Fisher. Aimee is an Under 18 competitor and is already making her presence felt in the open ranks.
In the open women’s K2 event we saw the Australians turn the tide on the New Zealanders winning the 200m race while the New Zealanders had won the 500m the day before.
However this was a close race with Dodwell and Lovett finishing only 0.08 of a second behind the winners In third place was the Under 23 pairing of Welch and Imire who have achieved some improved results over the Championships.
Racing throughout these championships has been outstanding with 230 paddlers competing for NZ title honours and the U18, U23 and Open paddlers also competing for Oceania medals. Full results for the weekend are below.
Another beautiful day greeted the competitors at day two of the Oceania & NZ Canoe Sprint Championships. Warm sunny conditions with a light tail wind helped generate good times and fair racing conditions. Day two was in main about 500m races with heats in the morning progressing through to finals.
The premium events today had to be the Open Women’s 500m races. In the K1 500m Olympic Champion Lisa Carrington saw an early challenge from the Australian Hannah Davis but quickly Lisa moved into a strong position at the front of the field and continued through to win the race by a margin of 1.1 seconds ahead of Hannah Davis. Teneale Hatton produced a good race to finish in third place heading out another Australian Jo Brigden-Jones. A surprising result was the fifth placing achieved by the up-and-coming Under 23 paddler Caitlin Ryan who is on a steep improvement curve.
The Eastern Bay crew of Lovett and Dodwell hit out hard in the K2 winning the K2 500. The Australians took off hard but the Eastern Bay crew chased them down and managed to claw past them. Teneale Hatton and Caitlin Ryan from North Shore finished third.
In the Open Men there was a top battle between New Zealand and Australia with Australia coming out on top. In the Open Mens K1 500m we saw a dominant paddle by Australian Olympian Kenny Wallace. There was a huge fight for second place with fellow Australian Lachlan Tame coming out the victor of that group in second. Marty McDowell of Mana Kayak Racing Club finished third and Ben Fouhy fourth.
Wallace and Tame went on to win the K2 1000m in a very quick time of 3.15. Fouhy and Scott Bicknell of Hawkes Bay was the first Kiwi’s followed by the Quickenden brothers of Arawa in third.
Paracanoe athlete Scott Marlew who is an Under 23 raced in the Open K1 500 event and progressed through to be the winner of the B final which is a remarkable achievement. His form is a positive step towards his goal in the Rio Paralympics.
Day One at the Oceania & NZ Canoe Sprint Championships saw fast conditions in a clear sunny day at Blue Lake in Rotorua.
The first day of three was principally qualifying rounds for finals later in the weekend. However there were four key Olympic distance finals today. First out was the open men’s premium event, being the K1 1000m. Here we saw Ben Fouhy back in action against Australia’s Kenny Wallace. Wallace was bronze medallist in Beijing and finished fifth in the K2 at London, and today dominated the K1 putting 3.5 seconds on Fouhy who finished second. Another Australian, Lachlan Tame finished third with some of New Zealand’s emerging talent being Jasper Bats, Zac Quickenden and Alex Fort filling the next places. Missing from this final was Olympian Darryl Fitzgerald who unfortunately had to withdraw due to a back injury.
The next final was the Under 23 women over 500m, where we saw the fast rising star Caitlin Ryan smash her previous personal best by 4 seconds heading off AYOF star Lucy Johnston.
Kayla Imrie finished third showing big improvement in her performance to close the gap to Ryan. The Under 18 paddler Danielle Curry finished fourth.
In the age group men we saw the final of the Under 18 K2 1000m. Wanganui pairing of Brown and Nossiter headed the field from the chasing crew of Bay of Plenty’s Harker and Roy.
The last final of the day was the open men’s K4 which is the fastest event over the 1000m. The Arawa crew was unlucky not to break the 3-minute which coach Leigh Barker set them as a target. The young crew paddled through in 3.01 and was 4 seconds ahead of the Poverty Bay crew and a second Arawa crew was third.