Mana kayakers impress
Mana was strongly represented at the national kayak marathon championships, hosted by Mana Kayak Racing Club on Porirua Harbour over the weekend of April 14 and 15.
Marty Mcdowell won the men’s K1 open, in his third national title for 2012 alongside wins at waka ama and surf lifesaving nationals. Second in the same race was Glenn Muirhead, the two locals beating out seven rowers from as far afield as Christchurch, Hawke’s Bay and New Plymouth.
In age grades, Tess Allen was the U14 winner, Trent Shields the U19 and Sandy Winterton took line honours in the 45-54 category.
On the Sunday the southerly winds eased and the sun came out for the K2 team races. Mana did not compete in the men’s open but age groups went to Tess Allen and Danielle Watson in U16, paddling up from U14.
More than 50 paddlers were entered in the competition, which was a talent-spotting ground for world championships, Mana Kayak Racing Club president Greg Adlam said. ‘‘It was really good racing,’’ he said. ‘‘Our big thing is to get more local paddlers. That’s what we’re really aiming to do.’’
Mcdowell’s win came on the back of his victory in the surf ski final at the national champs in Gisborne in March and the open men’s sprint title at the waka ama nationals on Lake Karapiro in January.
The 25 year old will represent his country at the outrigger canoeing world champs in Canada in August and then go to Rome for the Canoe Kayak Marathon World Championship in September.
Mcdowell fits his training around studying marine engineering in Auckland.
‘‘He’s trained really hard in the last year,’’ dad Liam Mcdowell says. ‘‘Marty has a lot more belief in himself than he used to, he goes into all the events with plenty of confidence.’’
Surf’s up: Titahi Bay’s Marty Mcdowell has had a standout few months, with wins on the water leading to travel to Canada and Italy later this year.