World Sprint Championships – Day 6

A big day at Eton Dorney with heats and repechages in the 500m and 1000m races. Not many photos today as one race came on top of another and there wasn’t much time to get the camera phone out. Like the crew, this report is a little tired and frazzled !

First cab off the rank were the Maitahi ladies paddling for Taranaki. Linda Heath, Carol Hunter, Tracey Marvin and awesome steerer Zoe Horvath made it to the quarter finals of the 1000m Master 50 and took out fifth place. Their main goal when they came was simply not to DQ in their heat so they have far exceeded their own expectations.

Mars Dempster’s crew came third in their quarter final which took them through to the semi-finals but fourth place was not enough to take them through to the final.

Jan Blythe’s Master 70 Aratika crew came third in their 500m heat which takes them through to the final on Tuesday. Go Jan !

Greg Buck raced in the heats of the Master 70 500m with Tauranga Moana Koro Express crew. They came fourth which take them into the final. Go Greg !

Krakenz had a gruelling day, though the heat had dropped a bit from yesterday. The day started with the 1000m Master 50 repechage with us needing to take first or second place or be the fastest other canoe to go through to the semi-finals. A solid race saw us progress in second place, just ahead of our Royal Canoe Club friends.

We then had about 90 minutes to eat a banana, drink some coffee, do some lacklustre stretches and have a chat with some of our supporters ( and they say sports stars have lost contact with the general public).

Our 500m Heat wasn’t our best effort and we trailed in 5th in 2.10.28, not a time to cause much excitement in the crew. But it does take us into the repechage at 08.00 (19.00 nz time) tomorrow morning and if we can rip a chunk out of that time we may yet make the semi-finals.

We had just about got on dry land when our 1000m race was called. We went through our usual breathing session to get us calmed down, said our karakia together and then headed down to the marshalling area to load in again. I have to say that the atmosphere amongst the teams is fantastic, with everyone happy to chat and encourage just before doing battle.

Having come through the repechage we were not favourite to progress but an electrifying start, great first turn and great pick up out of the turn saw us in second place and an automatic qualification position for the final. Our next two turns were also brilliantly executed by Sean and the crew in difficult, gusty conditions and coming into the last 250m run for home we were just behind the Brazilian Carioca crew. But perhaps our two earlier races had taken a bit of a toll as we couldn’t claw back the ground and finished just under 4 seconds behind, with the Hawaiian Lanikai crew a mile off in front.

That put us in with a chance of qualifying as fastest third place but unfortunately the wind dropped a bit for the next heat and Horouta came in third with a better time than us. There was little in the way of disappointment from the crew : with only five lanes available rather than the usual eight for the turns race it was always going to be a big ask but we were the sixth best team in the world, so pretty happy with that.   

We had more local fans on the finish line than just about any other team today and it was great to hear the Krakenz name being shouted at the end of the race. 

Leftovers for dinner at Allenby Road tonight with baked potatoes and ace crooner Shane’s remaining chilli rounded off by Apple Snow from Helen Bywater. Can’t believe there’s just one day left of this epic adventure. Plans are already underway for a future trip. Watch this space !

Its never too early or too late to start paddling waka ama

We always welcome new members to the Maitahi Outrigger Canoe Club.
We have social and racing waka ama crews catering for a wide variety of ages and abilities.