Whanganui kayakers have claimed seven national titles at the NZCT Sprint Kayak Nationals.
Sixteen kayakers from the Whanganui Multisport Club attended the event on Lake Karapiro last weekend, bringing home nine silver and 10 bronze medals in addition to the golds.
The standout race was the Open Men's K1 1000m race in which Whanganui's Max Brown snatched the gold medal with a time of 3:33.96 - just 0.62 of a second ahead of Mana's Kurtis Imrie. Brown's victory was the club's first gold medal in an open men's K1 event.
Brown will be racing at the Tokyo Olympics in the K2 1000m event where he is paired with Imrie.
Brown and Imrie raced together in the national K2 1000m event, as practice for their Olympic debut in August. The pair won the A final by an incredible eight seconds - firmly cementing their position as the fastest men in New Zealand.
In the Open Men's K4 1000m, Brown teamed up with Jack Clifton and Liam Lace, of Whanganui, and Zach Ferkins, of Poverty Bay, where they enjoyed a tight race to finish in third place.
In her first season of racing in the open women's category, Sophie Brooke paired up with Mana's Emma Kemp to win a decisive bronze medal in the 500m K2 event and a silver medal in the 200m K4 race, where Brooke was teamed with paddlers from Mana and Waitara.
Whanganui's up-and-coming duo of Zane Mills-Nossiter and Angus Sewell claimed a string of medals in their Under-16 K1 single and K2 team boats. Fifteen-year-old Mills-Nossiter won gold in his K1 200m race and silver in the K1 500m, while Sewell, 14, claimed fourth and bronze respectively in the same races. In the K2 200m and 500m races the pair were unstoppable, delivering gold medals in both events.
Relative newcomer to the sport 15-year-old Jacob Anderson teamed up with Poverty Bay paddler Angus Baker for the U16 K2 races, coming in comfortably at fourth place in the 200m and 500m events. Anderson, Mills-Nossiter, Sewell and Baker raced together in the U16 K4 200m and 500m events where they won gold in both finals.
Jacob's 13-year-old brother Charlie Anderson also enjoyed successful team boat races paired with Oscar Jarvis, from Hawke's Bay, for the U14 K2 200m and 500m events where they won silver and bronze medals respectively. The pair went on to form a K4 with other Hawke's Bay paddlers to race the U14 K4 200m, where they won silver, and 500m (bronze medal).
U14 paddler Greta Cox (the daughter of former world champion kayaker Aaron Cox) faced some tight racing, coming away with a bronze medal in the U14 woman's K1 200m race.
Novice paddler Rebecca Scott won a bronze medal in her novice woman's K1 500m whilst U18 paddler George Pedley also managed bronze medals in his U18 men's K4 200m and K4 500m races where he was teamed with athletes from Waitara and Poverty Bay.
"It was great to see everyone finally having an opportunity to race against their peers from all around New Zealand and the Pacific," Whanganui Multisport Club junior kayak coach Abby Hurley said.
"With the event being postponed from February due to Covid, it's been a very long season for these athletes who will now enjoy resting for the next couple of weeks before they begin training for the 10km Winter Series races held over the next few months."