Canoeing: Rough conditions a dry run

By Ben Guild

Team Aotearoa has had a valuable day of training in rough seas ahead of taking on some of the world's best paddlers in a race around Tahiti next week.

The team, boasting paddlers Paul Roozendaal and Troy Dolman from Tauranga, had a wet run from Maketu to Mount Maunganui on Saturday in conditions not too dissimilar to those they will face during one of the world's toughest races.

"It was the perfect day's training - we couldn't have asked for better," said Roozendaal.

Rough conditions are expected at times during the race, and with New Zealand's traditional strength in the sport lying in sprints, the group comprised of paddlers form all over the North Island were happy to see a decent swell on the weekend.

"Tahiti is going to have some rough conditions where we will be able to use the wind and swell to go faster. In the flat we can get a maximum speed of around 14km/h, whereas we had a maximum speed of 22km/h on Saturday while riding a wave.

"The skill is hard to learn but very beneficial."

Roozendaal said the leg on day three of the race around Tahiti is likely to be down wind - meaning the leg, which is 10km longer than that of the previous day, will be about 30 minutes faster.

"It will be a wild ride and the less paddling the better."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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