Today we had the NZ Kayak Marathon Champs out at Te Atatu Peninsular, West Auckland. We had a good turn out and it was nice to see representation from Clubs all around the country. I have fond memories of winning my first NZ title in (any discipline) out here in 2002 when I raced Simon McClarin and Rob Nicole for the podium spots. If my memory serves me right we had fairly similar weather – solid wind and rain and a strong tide.
For the second time this month Mike Walker and myself dueled it out for another long distance NZ title with the previous one being the NZ Long distance surf ski champs (King of the Harbour).
Ryan Quickenden set the pace early on the first lap before Mike and I got away on the second lap as the field started to thin out. On the 6th lap portage of 7 I managed to get a gap on Mike and extend it to come home with a good half a minute or more. Quite a relief as we have just finished a solid 3 week block of training and as I am teetering on the verge of overtraining I was dubious about my chances of winning today.
Time for some rest now as we get ready to head off to Europe for the World Cup Sprint Regattas. A lot of work has been put in since Aussie GP3 two months ago so very much hoping for some good fair racing and that the effort will be enough to put down some good races.
Below is a pic of some of the North Shore canoe club paddlers after the race. Great to see the club numbers building again. Hope these young fellas dont age as much as I have over their next 11 years..
Also a photo taken during one of the portages.