Kayaking: Regatta opportunity for top talent

By Greg Taipari

Lake Tikitapu (Blue Lake) will be alive with the sound of kayaking blades hitting the water as some of the best in the country take part in the National Canoe Sprint Regatta tomorrow.

Although World and Olympic champion Lisa Carrington won't be attending her home event after taking a well deserved rest. Also resting will be Steven Ferguson and Erin Taylor.

However, the regatta will see other Olympians - Ben Fouhy, Teneale Hatton and Darryl Fitzgerald all taking part in the quest for national glory.

The event attracts paddlers from all over the country and is a great showcase of the talent of New Zealand's developing paddlers who use the race as preparation for the national champs in February.

Racing includes age groups from intermediate school up to masters. Distances include the 200m, 500m, 1000m and 5km events.

The event will be selection event for Grand Prix III in Australia in March and the juniors selected for the Australian Youth Olympic Festival in January. Racing starts at 8.30am tomorrow and Sunday.

The first race of the day is the under-23, MK1 1000m heat race which will see Bay of Plenty paddlers Andrew Roy and Sam Newlands taking on Fitzgerald in what is expected to be a race rich in raw power and talent.

However, there will be plenty of Eastern Bay interest in the Open WK1 500m final with Jamie Lovett and Danielle Currie flying the flag for their club, although they will be up against strong competition with Hawke's Bay paddler Aimee Fisher and Hatton from the North Shore.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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