Iron­men’s star power to clash

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

Iron­men stars Ky Hurst and Matt Poole are set to pit them­selves against the cream of the coun­try’s ocean ski pad­dlers at the Hamil­ton Is­land Clash of the Pad­dles this week­end.

Ski events were added to the clash four years ago and the new di­men­sion has given ex­tra spice to an al­ready jam­packed four days of rac­ing, with the pres­ence of house­hold names like Hurst and Poole now sure to draw even more spec­ta­tors down to the beach.

Not that the dis­tin­guished pair will have things all their own way.

There is a vast dif­fer­ence be­tween surf and ocean ski craft.

Surf skis are heav­ier and shorter; mak­ing ne­go­ti­at­ing waves and turn­ing around buoys eas­ier, while the lighter, longer and sleeker ocean skis are per­fect for rid­ing run­ners down­wind.

With events over 3km, 7km and 25km, the ocean skis will cer­tainly have the ad­van­tage but with cat­e­gories for both classes, com­pe­ti­tion might revert to a duel be­tween the star duo.

Spar­ring part­ners in the Nutri-Grain se­ries and cur­rent made-for-TV Deep Wa­ter show, the pair are al­ways on the look­out to get one-up on each other.

Poole is still re­cov­er­ing from a bro­ken leg – his sec­ond in three years – and is still spend­ing ex­tended pe­ri­ods of time in a moon boot.

But last sea­son’s NutriGrain Iron­man se­ries third place-get­ter is tak­ing ev­ery op­por­tu­nity to work on his up­per body and core strength, in­clud­ing rac­ing at the Clash of the Pad­dles.

Hurst too had health is­sues last sea­son and has taken some time to re­gain his strength.

He will use the Clash to con­tinue his build-up to the up­com­ing se­ries – a se­ries he first par­tic­i­pated in as a 15year-old back in 1996.

Rac­ing at the 2015 Clash starts to­day, with an in­ten­sive camp al­ready un­der­way for ocean ski pad­dlers un­der the guid­ance of renowned pad­dler Dean Gar­diner.

Out­rig­ger crews are al­ready in tran­sit and there are plans in place for a bumper week­end both on and off the wa­ter on Hamil­ton Is­land.

En­tries re­main open and lo­cal pad­dlers of all abil­i­ties are en­cour­aged to at­tend, with the op­por­tu­nity to race along­side Olympian Hurst just one of the great as­pects of the week­end’s ac­tion.

For full de­tails visit www.hamil­ton­is­ sports-events/clash-of-thep­ad­dles.

IRON­MAN: Matt Poole will com­pete in the Clash of the Pad­dles.

STAR POWER: Surf Iron­man star Ky Hurst.

WHEN PAD­DLES CLASH: The 2015 Clash of the Pad­dles be­gins on Hamil­ton Is­land to­day. Photo An­drea Fran­col­ini

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