There's something in the water and it goes by the name of Mike Dawson.
From an extreme kayak viewpoint, Mike has had a near perfect year. His latest win at the Green Race in the United States is his fourth from five starts and it seems only fitting the lone blip on the radar belongs to three-time world champion and fellow Okere Falls paddler Sam Sutton.
The Green Race was the final event in the AWP World Whitewater Series where four New Zealanders now feature in the top 10 rankings. All train at Rotorua's Okere Falls. Further testament to the competition and culture that exists within the Falls paddling community. Rotorua's "Falls Guys" have described Okere Falls as the centre of the Kayak Universe and given the Falls' results this year, who could argue?
This Friday, November 16, Waiariki Institute of Technology is hosting inspirational guest speaker Rob Hamill in support of Jaarna Hoskin's fight with cancer.
Rob's story is one well worth hearing, and while this sports mad column is not an advertorial I feel the need to give this event a plug.
Whether you're a budding sports person, if you have faced adversity in your life, or simply if you want to come along and see an example of living life to the full where anything is possible - there is something for everyone in Rob's story.
Rob is an ex-Olympian, world championship silver and Commonwealth Games gold medal rower who also held the world lightweight rowing machine record.
He rowed and won the inaugural Trans-Atlantic rowing race with the late Phil Stubbs in record time. He is author of the book - The Naked Rower - and is the brains and organiser of the Gallagher Great Race and Billy Webb Challenge.
Perhaps Rob's most significant achievement is the production of the film Brother Number 1 which describes the events leading to the murder of his eldest brother by the Khmer Rouge - Waiariki will also be showing a screening of the film on Sunday, November 18. The first 100 tickets purchased to hear Rob's motivational presentation will also receive a free ticket to Brother Number 1. I cannot recommend this enough and encourage all of you to attend.
But be quick, tickets will sell fast.
Tickets can be bought for $30 from the main reception cashier's desk at Waiariki Institute of Technology, Mokoia Rd and your ticket will also put you in the draw for a spot prize.