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Tutaki-George improves at canoe sprint champs

Thursday 6 March 2014 | Published in Regional


A busy racing schedule against some of Oceania’s best canoe sprinters has seen local K1 paddler Andre Tutaka-George improved his times and held his own.

Now based on the Sunshine Coast in Australia, Tutaka-George competed for the Cook Islands at the 2014 Canoe Sprint Oceania Championships.

The regatta has concluded following three days of intense racing at the Sydney International Regatta Centre.

Each division was run in four heats of nine lanes with paddlers from Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Tahiti and the Cook Islands.

The races started on Friday, February 28.

Tutaka-George began racing in the under 23 category of the regatta in race 8 of the program and in heat three for the 1000m race, he was able to place sixth with a time of 4:08.81.

Tutaka-George next lined up in race 24 in the under 23 200m heat two where he came in third with a time of 0:41.00.

He was back in the water for race 36 which was back in the 1000m distance for the third semi-final.

He improved his time by two seconds with 4:05.34 but finished eighth, one place in front of his Tahitian mate Hiromana Flores.

Race 49 saw Tutaka-George back on the 200m track for semi-final three where again he bettered his time but not his placing and finished fourth with a time of 0:40.46.

His final race for the day was race 67 which was the B-final for the under 23 200m, after a photo-finish call Andre came away in first place with a time of 0:40.19.

That brought the end of the local athlete’s first day at the regatta and the 200m, as his B-final time was just shy of the top nine and a place in the main final.

Day two of the regatta and race 83 was heat three of the 500m under 23, were Tutaka George was only able to place seventh with a time 1:56.73. His final race of the regatta came in race 118, semi-final three where he was able to improve his time by four seconds but not his placing and finished still in seven with a time of 1:52.88.

The competition has given the young athlete a good indication of where he needs to improve his technique as he continues to grow in the K1 canoeing discipline.