J16 and intermediate sections battle it out

By Rahia Timutimu

The first final of the day was the intermediate boys 500m and the two fastest qualifiers Ngā Aukaha from Otaki and Duck Rodgers from Horouta were streaks ahead of the field.

Both teams really wanted the gold but in a photo finish it was Duck Rodgers who claimed the win.

In the girl’s Intermediate final, it was clearer with top qualifier Hinekura from the Mareikura club blitzing the competition and winning by a boat length. The girls say the achievement also honoured their club.

In the J16 section, there were impressive performances across the field which made for the best race of the day.

Just like the intermediate boys, it was an extremely close race between the two Auckland teams, FMB from Akarana in lane one and Push to the Max from Waitākere in lane five.

But Waitākere upset the fastest qualifier to win their first gold.

In the girls' J16 final, the two crews from Gisborne, Karawhiua from Mareikura and Whetumatarau from Horouta were the contenders, fighting all the way to the finish but in the end it was the second fastest qualifier, Whetumatarau in lane two who were victorious.

Despite the successes of today, there's more work tomorrow as all the paddlers will be focused on the W1 races.