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Paddlers confident before marathon

Wednesday 31 August 2011 | Published in Regional


Oe vaka paddler and coach Fletcher Melvin has nothing but praise for the national squad whove competed outstandingly at the Pacific Games in New Caledonia.

I think crew have done extremely well considering that for 90 percent of them its their first games. For the boys over 95 percent of them are paddling at this level for the first time, says Melvin.

Some of these young paddlers are paddling beyond their years and even better than when we first starting competing at this level.

Melvin says that come the next games the current national squad will be raking in the medals.

Even at these games theyve come close to medals and the girls were close to the gold medal.

The womens V6 500m and V12 500m have won the Cooks only two medals, both bronze, so far at these games.

The team have a day off before the final marathon races.

Veteran paddler Vaea Melvin will race in the V1 10km division while Tupuna Amo will race in the mens V1 15km.

The womens V6 squad will tackle the 20km course and the men will race over 30km all to be held on Thursday (NC time).

The only concern for the team is the six-hour bus ride to the marathon venue where only those paddling will be able to travel.

Im pretty confident ahead of our next event but my only concern is the travel time and if we will have enough time to rig our canoes in time for the races.

But with a great management team and supporters they are planning every move to ensure a relaxed and prepared team on the day of the marathon.