The late grandfather of champion kayaker Lisa Carrington would have been thrilled with her Olympic campaign, her family say.

The Herald was on hand as family and friends of the 27-year-old gathered at the Bay of Plenty surf club where she started her career to nervously watch her bid for a second medal.

Uncle Nigel Carrington said everyone in Whakatane felt nothing but admiration for his niece's stellar efforts.

"Her grandfather on my side - my dad - would have been very, very happy to see her perform as she's doing. Obviously he's passed away but he'll be up there watching anyway," he said.


Grandma Doreen Carrington said it was a wonderful effort by her granddaughter.

"She's an absolute role model for her generation and the young people in the country."

The large group were on tenterhooks as they gathered at the Whakatane Surf Lifesaving clubrooms to watch their famous club member race live in the final of the K1 500m.

Holding heads in hands they nervously watched, hopping to their feet and clapping urging Carrington on in the final stages as she reached the finish line in third place.

Even though it wasn't quite the golden double grandmother Doreen was pleased with the result.

"She feels great about it, so do we," she said.