Kiwis set for Ocean Racing World Champs challenge
A nine-strong team of paddlers will look to proudly fly the New Zealand flag at the ICF Canoe Ocean Racing World Championships in Saint-Pierre De Quiberon in France this week.
Of the 2015 World Ocean Racing bronze medallist Rachel Clarke
The competition, which is set to take place over a three-day window from September 11-13 (Wednesday to Friday), is set in the stunning north west French region of Brittany. Conditions are likely variable, with good potential for downwind and a number of course options.
Leading the Kiwi challenge in the women’s open event will be Auckland duo Teneale Hatton and Rachel Clarke, who have both previously tasted Ocean Racing World Championship success.
Teneale claimed a stunning open women’s gold medal at the 2015 edition in Tahiti before returning to take the bronze medal at the 2017 event in Hong Kong. Rachel picked up a bronze behind Teneale in Tahiti and placed fifth two years ago.
Also competing for New Zealand in the open women’s category is Australia-based surf ironwoman specialist Danielle McKenzie, who originally hails from Auckland’s North Shore.
Gisborne’s Cory Taylor, who like Danielle is based in Australia and specialises in surf ironman, leads the Kiwi entrants in the open men’s category. Auckland’s Sam Mayhew, the fiancé to Rachel Clarke, also competes in the open men’s division.
Promising Kiwi duo Toby Brooke (Whanganui) and Tim Waller (BOP) will take to the water in the men’s under-23 race while Samalulu Clifton (North Shore) paddles in the women’s under-23 event.
Completing the New Zealand assault is Australian-based Ben Regan, who competes in the men’s under-18 race.
Andrew Mowlem has withdrawn from the open men’s race due to a bout of tendinitis in his wrist, but the CRNZ Distance Paddling Committee chair is looking forward to watching the Kiwi paddlers perform in France.
“New Zealand has a strong tradition in the event and we have potential for a prominent showing,” he says. “The location provides an exciting backdrop to the action and all the Kiwis will be seeking to deliver their very best on the global stage.”