Party time for Ti­tahi Bay pad­dlers

Mc­Dow­ells to the fore

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT -

Two of New Zealand’s most pres­ti­gious surf life­sav­ing tro­phies now sit in the Ti­tahi Bay clu­b­rooms af­ter a grip­ping fin­ish to the na­tional cham­pi­onships in Gis­borne over the week­end.

Na­tional K1 1000m kayak­ing star Marty McDow­ell got things rolling by win­ning the open men’s ski race at Mid­way Beach.

Then the club’s open men’s boat crew pro­vided the crown­ing touch with victory in the long-course fi­nal.

It was the 18th time since 1959 the club has cap­tured the ti­tle, although vic­to­ries in the past few years have been sparse, with arch-ri­vals Piha win­ning four in a row.

The screams of ju­bi­la­tion showed just how much it meant as sweep Wil McDow­ell steered the Ti­tahi Bay boat down a small wave and past Piha on the line.

‘‘It means so much – it’s just been too long be­tween ti­tles for Ti­tahi Ti­tahi Bay’s Mid­dle­ton said.

‘‘It’s just un­real and an in­cred­i­ble feel­ing, es­pe­cially to beat Piha in a close race like that. They’ve had an amaz­ing streak and even though we’re fierce ri­vals, we seem to bring the best out in each other.’’

McDow­ell’s older brother, Marty, mean­while, didn’t leave things to chance, pulling clear in the ski race to col­lect his fourth open ti­tle, ahead of Mairangi Bay pair Kevin Mor­ri­son and Travis Mitchell.

‘‘I knew it was go­ing to be a hard race and I had to work so hard just to get out in front, to turn that first can and get the first run off the apex,’’ McDow­ell said.

‘‘I tried for a long time to win this race, and it took a while, but now I’ve got a taste for it – I’m look­ing for­ward to get­ting back and hav­ing an­other go next year.’’

De­spite

the Bay,’’ Chris

loom­ing threat of the rem­nants of Cy­clone Pam, there was lit­tle in the way of wave as­sis­tance for com­peti­tors on the fi­nal day.

It meant Omanu’s Max Beat­tie had to claim his third New Zealand iron­man ti­tle in familiar style, us­ing a sprint up the beach to de­throne his New Zealand team- mate and de­fend­ing cham­pion Cory Tay­lor, con­tin­u­ing a grow­ing trend of tight fin­ishes be­tween the pair.

Aus­tralian Kristyl Smith took out the iron­woman fi­nal, af­ter a strong swim leg put her out in front of Ki­wis Devon Hal­li­gan and Danielle McKen­zie.

Hal­li­gan claimed the New Zealand ti­tle ahead of McKen­zie.

Mt Maun­ganui’s over­all dom­i­na­tion con­tin­ued, win­ning the open men’s taplin and dom­i­nat­ing the un­der16 boys’ arena, as well as pick­ing up ca­noe ti­tles.

The Bay of Plenty club fin­ished on a mas­sive 213 points, more than dou­ble that of sec­ond-placed Mid­way (104).

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