King of the Harbour

Over the weekend we had the King of the Harbour surf ski race from Waiheke Island to Birkenhead Wharf in Auckland. With not too much wind to speak of it was always going to be a bit of a slog but having said that there was some advantage to be had with some runners about and plenty of boat wash. I was pleased to get my second win in this race with past winners including the likes of Dawid Mocke of South Africa and Tim Jacobs of Australia along with NZ paddler Mike Walker who has 3 titles to his name.
The race went pretty much to plan staying in contact with the lead group of 6 for the first 5km which included Travis Mitchell, Oskar Stelieu, Zac Franich, Marty McDowell and Mike Walker. It wasnt long after that the group fragmented as people took their chances on different runners and the group very quickly dropped down to Travis, Marty, Mike and myself. By halfway we all took our chances on different lines before Mike found his way back to my wash and we duelled it out before I was able to get away just before North Head. From there it was full gas for the last 6km to keep my lead which eventually got out to about 50 seconds. I wasn’t going to risk being complacent as all Mike would have required was an opportune boat wash and the lead could have changed hands. In the end I held on and finished the 24.2 km in 1hr41mins. Mike was second and Marty McDowell third.
Overall training has been improving but still some way to go before racing the K1 at the World Cup Sprint Regattas next month.


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