Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE -

HAMIT­LON Is­land’s Clash of the Pad­dles has proven a stel­lar suc­cess once again, with com­peti­tors com­ing from as far away as New Cale­do­nia to com­pete.

Con­di­tions over the week­end proved less than per­fect how­ever, with high winds mak­ing for messy swell.

On the home front, Outrigger Whit­sun­day pad­dlers Henri Mauri and Joe Wil­son rep­re­sented the Whit­sun­days well, com­ing away with the gold in the Se­nior Master Men’s outrigger two-man 8km event and net­ting them­selves a healthy $500. The pair also claimed the top spot in the 16km cat­e­gory, and bronze in the 500m sprint.

The lo­cal six-per­son team also up­held the Whit­sun­days’ rep­u­ta­tion well, with the Se­nior Master Men stroking away to sil­ver in the 16km race.

Lo­cals Ash­ley Kennedy and Peter Cham­ber­lain weren’t to be de­nied ei­ther, snatch­ing gold for Whit­sun­day in the Golden Master Men 8km.

Vis­it­ing Iron­man roy­alty Ky Hurst and Matt Poole saw crowds cheer­ing on the beach but proved some­what un­der­whelm­ing on the wa­ter.

Poole was pre­vented from com­pet­ing due to in­jury, with a moon-boot mean­ing he was un­able to make the fi­nal dash up the beach to the fin­ish line.

Hurst took to the wa­ter for the 7km pad­dle, tak­ing out tenth po­si­tion in the fi­nal run­down.

Out­side of the com­pe­ti­tion, Hurst held a kids nip­per clinic with many fu­ture iron­men turn­ing out de­spite the in­clement weather.

Hamil­ton Is­land is­land ac­tiv­i­ties and sports events man­ager Stephen Jack­son said this was tes­ta­ment to the sports­man’s star-power.

“That just shows the draw­ing power of these sorts of guys,” he said.

“It cer­tainly adds to the reg­u­lar pun­ters ex­pe­ri­ence.

“It’s a pretty unique op­por­tu­nity.”

Mr Jack­son said he hoped more high-pro­file ath­letes would at­tend next year.

“It’s the time they do their board work in prepa­ra­tion for the up­com­ing sea­son, so hope­fully we’ll see more and more of those guys,” he said.

Photo: Adam Starr

BAT­TLING THE EL­E­MENTS: Hamil­ton Is­land Master Men in the week­end's Clash of the Pad­dles.

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