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Great Racing on Porirua Harbour for The Canoe Racing New Zealand National 10km Championship

September 27, 2010

Mana Kayak Racing Club hosted the CRNZ 2010 National 10km Kayak Championships on Porirua Harbour on Saturday 25 September. The one day race format for both singles and team boats was a real winner on the day as we managed to race in a respite from the northerly gales that had been buffeting the country.  It was great to have close on 50 paddlers racing across a wide variety of disciplines including sprint kayak, multisport, ocean ski, surf ski, and waka ama.  Competitors came from across the country with paddlers representing Hawkes Bay, Wanganui, Poverty Bay, Karapiro, Arawa, and local crews from Lyall Bay, Kupe, Mana, and Porirua with one paddler making her way up from Dunedin.

 Several race divisions had to be amalgamated which made for some interesting and exciting on the water combinations of age, skill and crafts.  The course had a balance of challenging corners, a tricky chicane, and both flat and choppy stretches ‐ giving the paddlers different options and strategies for choosing the best line around the course. 

The Open Mens K1 was a great race and proved to be a real battle between two of the young kayaking talents in New Zealand, Jasper Bats (Poverty Bay) and William Wilkins (Hawkes Bay). Both Jasper and William have trained for a number of years at the Mana club however that knowledge of local conditions did not provide either with an advantage. Jasper managed to put in a burst in the last 100 meters and just pipped William (Dougie) Wilkins to take out the Open Mens kayak title in 47:31. A fantastic effort  followed in third place with Ben Bennett moving from the Masters 3 category to Open Mens. 

The U19 Men weren’t far behind with Jason Anderson (Wanganui) again demonstrating his kayaking improvement. Jason has dominated the U19 category throughout 2009/10 by taking out the CRNZ sprint series, the marathon championship (21kms) and taking 10km line honours in 49:05. Second and third places went to some more young talented paddlers with Mitch Graham of Hawkes Bay and local Lyall Bay paddler Tyler Maxwell tying for second place – even after reviewing video footage. 

Wanganui paddlers were to the fore in Masters Mens category, the largest category on the day, with Aaron Cox winning in 49:06, He was not left alone at all by his fellow Wanganui paddler Brian Scott and in similar fashion to the Open Mens this race was decided over the last 100 meters. Brad Hayes (Karapiro) had a great paddle for third. 

Local Lyall Bay U17 paddler Jack Manners roared around in 53:01 another close race. He was tracked by silver medallist and fellow Lyall Bay paddler Trent Luka in a time of 53.13 and in third place was 15 year old Max Brown of Wangaui taking the bronze in a very meritorious time of 56.38.

With times and form like this these young guys are really letting their fellow and older competitors know that there is paddling talent coming through, great to see guys.

The Open Womens kayak was won by the most travelled paddler to the event, Carla Laughton in 53:20. Carla lives in Dunedin and paddled for the Christchurch club Arawa. Carla looked very accomplished in moving through the field of paddlers, the women started in the second grouping that was 2 minutes down on the first wave. After a very good marathon championship earlier this year this was great reward for Carla and we look forward to seeing her impress at up coming events. Local Mana paddler Brogan Coburn took the silver, with Mereana Hodges hauling in the rest of the field in her waka ama for third place.

Mana paddler Kayla Imrie won the U19 Womens kayak in 55:49 showing that she is one of the leading U19 women paddlers in New Zealand. A tie followed for second placing between Adelaide Cox and Brooke Watt, both Lyall Bay paddlers. 

The sun came out for the lunch break and everyone enjoyed the hot soup and BBQ food laid on by the team at Mana Kayak Racing Club. 

Although it was a little disappointing that there were insufficient numbers for official categories to be made up in team boat races in the afternoon the three K2 crews and 3 six man waka crews that took to the water to challenge each other were a brilliant sight.   The senior K2 crew of Aaron Cox and Brian Scott had to pull out with rudder problems, leaving Jason Anderson and Mitch Graham to demonstrate their obvious talent and lead the field.  The young Wanganui K2 crew of Max Brown and Aiden Nossiter were chased down by a very determined Porirua womens waka crew. The womens crew in the big six person waka worked really hard and the two 15 year old lads knew they were being tracked but they dug in and the boys just held them at bay to cross the line 15 seconds in front.

It was tremendous to see this piece of the competition and exciting to see the girls waka ama and the boys waka ama crews on the water. Special thanks to those crews that included a large contingent from the Hodges family. We had three generations of Hodges paddling on the day and the support and obvious enjoyment was great to see.

After the conclusion of the team boat races these was more BBQ and some further prizes for the afternoon paddlers.

Special acknowledgement and thanks to sponsorship from the great people at Canoe & Kayak at the bottom of Ngarunga Gorge in Wellington, The InterIslander for a fantastic family travel package including a car, Pak ‘n  Save, and Ramp brand communications who all contributed to a spot‐prize pool valued at over $1,000.  The Mana Club welcomed the opportunity to run this event and look forward to hosting other events.

Thank you to our volunteers, we are very greatful to those club members and non club members who assisted.

Full results are available at here.

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