In perfect and safe conditions, the canoes raced from Trader Jack’s race headquarters up to the turn Matavera Point and return.
The warm temperatures were tempered by a nice south westerly breeze which certainly helped keep the paddlers feeling good and racing hard.
As the green start flag was raised the paddles exploded the water and old rivalries reignited.
Bolting from the line, the powerful open men’s local crews from Te Tupu O Te Manava and Ngakau Toa Vaka (NTV) made an early break from the field and the head-to-head battle began with NTV maintaining a small lead to the Matavera turn.
The return trip to the finish line was a classic conflict, but Te Tupu just did not have the firepower to match it with the NTV boys, who won in a time of 51 minutes 32 seconds. Te Tupu finished 57 seconds behind. Third home were US team Hanohano Outrigger, nearly a kilometre behind the local legends.
The open women’s race was a near identical race to the men but fortunes were reversed and the Te Tupu ladies claimed gold over island rivals NTV with the final difference 2 minutes 30s. Te Tupu clocked 1 hour 1:57 minutes.
The finish line saw both teams come together for hugs and congratulations and the score was even.
Third place saw the strong Hanohano ladies take bronze nearly 500 metres behind the winners.
Mixed racing started at 12 noon with several paddlers backing up after a short race and of course hydration to support their teams with a second assault on the course.
A good straight start line and they were off, with racing much closer between all crews and as with the morning event, Te Tupu and NTV showed the way with the rest of the field in hot pursuit.
At the finish line it was Te Tupu, steered by local legend Reuben Dearlove, claiming gold in a hard-fought rush to the line with only seconds separating the crews. As with the iron races Hanohano claimed bronze just over one minute in arrears.
- Harvie Allison
V6 Iron Races: Open Men – Ngakau Toa Vaka (51:32 minutes), Te Tupu o Te Manava (52:29), Hanohano Outrigger (57:30); Open Women – Te Tupu 1 Te Tupu O Te Manava (1:01:57), Ngakau Toa Vaka (1:03:27), Hanohano Outrigger (1:04:32); Senior Masters Men –Tupu Te Tupu O Te Manava (1 hour), Brisbane River Dragons (1:08:24); Senior Master Women – Hinemalas Ruamata (1:08:55); Master Women – NTV (1:10:46), Vaka Alo (1:11:08), Maki Nga Tai Whakarongo (1:12:13)
Open Mixed - Te Tupu (56:18 minutes), NTV (58:45), Hanohano (1:00:56); Master Mixed - Te Tupu O Te Manava (1:04:44), All In (Mix Raro) (1:06:01), Kaimana (1:07:02); Senior Master Mixed - Mahi Kotahi (1:08:33), Sam and Friends (1:10:29), Bob and the Girls (1:12:55)