McDowell sets a hot pace
Titahi Bay’s Marty McDowell won the K1 1000m national title at the New Zealand canoe sprint championships in Rotorua recently.
He came third in the final on February 15, behind Australians Ken Wallace and Lachlan Tame. The 27-year-old was pleased to edge out fellow Kiwi and Olympian Darryl Fitzgerald.
‘‘I tried to go out hard off the start and hold the same pace, trying not to die at the end,’’ McDowell said.
‘‘The body pretty much blew with 200 metres to go, so I was just hanging on.
‘‘Having the Aussie guys here definitely picked up the pace – Kenny’s ranked third in the world, so they’re the benchmark of where we need to be.’’
McDowell is enjoying his paddling renaissance and would love another crack on the international stage.
‘‘They say kayakers peak at 30, although it was a 37-year-old who won at the last Olympics.
‘‘It’s just experience, learning how to train and race better. Racing is probably the main one for me – I’ve been pretty hit and miss in the past so I’ve really been working on my consistency and figuring that out.’’
He capped a memorable afternoon by helping a combined K4 – with Darryl and Jarrod Fitzgerald and Zac Quickenden – win the final race of the day, the K4 1000m.
The championships attracted nearly 300 paddlers from around New Zealand, continuing a notable rise in numbers over recent years.