Could some Hawke's Bay sibling rivalry become a distraction for Canoe Racing New Zealand's team at next month's Junior World Kayaking Championship in Belarus?

This question sprung to mind when Elise and Hamish Legarth were selected in the team. They will become the first brother-and-sister combo from the Bay to compete at the same world championship and they will be one of two such combos in the team as Taranaki's Rebecca and Thomas Cole have also been selected.

However, there will be little chance of the Legarths causing a distraction as the pair have such contrasting goals. Hamish's under-18 K4 1000m crew, which also includes Thomas Cole and the Canterbury pair of Ben Duffy and Jake Koekemoer will aim for a berth in the A final of their 30-crew event.

Elise, who will be competing at her second worlds, will aim for a B final in her under-23 K1 500m event and her under-23 K4 500m crew, which is coached by Wellingtonian Mark Watson and also includes Poverty Bay's Britney Ford, Wanganui's Erica Tanner and Wellington's Gemma Woodcock, will be on what Elise, 18, described as an "experience-finding mission."


"We've all got experience individually at this level but we want to see how we combine together when racing on the world stage. We're all 18 so we've got plenty of time in this age group and if things work out we could be a crew for the future," Elise said.

She competed in the under-18 section at last year's world championship in Portugal and was a member of the K4 500m crew which finished 16th. Elise also finished 26th in the K1 500m.

Despite being a first-year Bachelor of Science student at Waikato University Elise is training more this year than she did last year. She has eight sessions on the water each week, one of them for two hours and the rest around the 90-minute mark, and three in the gym.

"During the week I train on the lake in Hamilton and at the weekend at Lake Karapiro ... it's good to have that variety."

Like her brother, Elise, follows training sessions designed by her Hawke's Bay Kayaking Club coach Ben Bennett and strength programmes designed by prominent Hawke's Bay boxing coach Craig McDougall. Elise, who is in her fifth year of paddling, is looking forward to the Kiwis' three-week training camp in Slovenia before they head to Belarus.

"There's lots of lime in the water in Slovenia so while our times will be slower the resistance it provides should prove beneficial."

Havelock North High School year 12 student, Hamish, 16, is the "baby" in his crew which is coached by Canterbury's Paul Fido. He has been paddling for four years but last summer was the first time he took it seriously.

Hamish finished third in the K1 1000 and fifth in the K1 200 at the Lake Karapiro-hosted nationals in February. These placings saw him selected in the New Zealand team for the Oceania championship where his K4 1000 team finished second.

"I like the longer distances ... they're what I'm built for," Hamish said.

There has only been one change to the crew which raced in Australia and with training camps every three weeks since February it won't be short of preparation. Hamish has six training sessions each week on the water and three in the gym.

Like his sister did at a similar stage in her kayaking career Hamish has sacrificed canoe polo to focus on kayaking but is still able to play 1st XI hockey for his school.

Like Elise, Hamish, is adamant he's in kayaking for the long haul.