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Ferkins blows open the gates winning open men’s K1 1000m

KAYAKING

Gisborne paddler Zach Ferkins blew down the gates in a feature event of the New Zealand Canoe Sprint Championships at Lake Karapiro today.

The Karapiro-based Poverty Bay Kayak Club member won the open men's K1 1000 metres in a time of 3 minutes 38.31 seconds.

He crossed the finish line 6.51s before runner-up Ben Duffy, of Arawa. Hawke's Bay's Hamish Legarth was third.

Ferkins beat a field that included K1 200m winner Ashton Reiser (fifth) and former world champion Ben Fouhy (seventh).

Absent was 2019 K1 1000m champion Quaid Thompson, also of the Poverty Bay club. He was in Australia chasing a quota spot for the Tokyo Olympics.

He won the race he needed to, as well, but the Olympic qualification system allows each nation to qualify only one men's boat from the Oceania qualifier. At the same regatta, K2 1000m duo Kurtis Imrie and Max Brown got the second placing they needed to book an Olympic berth. It looks as though Canoe Racing New Zealand will have to decide which men's spot to decline from the two earned at the Oceania regatta.

Meanwhile, Gisborne paddlers have had two big days on the water and on the podium at the national sprint championships at Lake Karapiro.

Minutes before Zach Ferkins won gold in the open men's K1 1000m A Final, Sam Ferkins was second in the open men's B Final over the same distance in 3 minutes 47.93 seconds, 0.16s behind the winner.

Zach and Sam Ferkins combined to finish sixth in the open men's K2 1000m A Final later this morning.

Britney Ford and Kim Thompson stormed to gold in the open women's K2 200m

Yesterday, Poverty Bay club members Britney Ford and Kim Thompson stormed to gold in the open women's K2 200m, clocking a time of 40.91 seconds — 0.59s clear of North Shore's Rebecca Cole and Rochelle Austin in second place.

Ford and Thompson later combined with another Poverty Bay paddler, Alex Bermingham, and Brooklyn Saunders (Arawa) to win the open women's K4 200m gold in 38.77s, beating second-placed North Shore by 0.79s.

Other Poverty Bay club highlights on the first day included first-equal placing for Genna Robertson (PB) and Natasha MacGibbon (Arawa), whose time of 45.38s in the under-16 women's K2 200m was the same as that of Arawa pair Madison Garrett and Brieanna Cox.

Sam Ferkins and Bermingham won the open mixed K2 200m in a time of 38.77s, and Angus Baker and Robertson won the u16 mixed K2 200m in 42.87s.

Poverty Bay's Will Pittar and Baker combined with Alex Hickman and Thomas MacGibbon of Arawa to win the u18 men's K4 200m.

In the tyros mixed K4 200m, Poverty Bay's Georgie Beaufoy and Georgia McKendry combined with Isla MacKenzie (Arawa) and Tain Armstrong (Cook Islands) to win gold in a time of 53.38s.

In the open men's K1 200m, Zach Ferkins was fourth in the A Final, 0.21s off a podium place. Sam Ferkins was second in the B Final, in 39.8s.

Carrington blitzed open women's K1 2-metre race

Lisa Carrington blitzed the open women's K1 200-metre title with a typically masterful display yesterday.

The 30-year-old double Olympic champion, who on Thursday night banked a fourth successive Sportswoman of the Year award at the Halberg Awards, was a class apart, stopping the clock in a blistering 38.50 seconds — just over half a second outside her world-best time of 37.898s.

A boat length behind, Aimee Fisher (Hawke's Bay), repeated her silver medal performance from 12 months ago with an eye-catching time of 39.69s. Caitlin Ryan (North Shore), the 2018 K2 500m world champion, was third in 40.03s.

For Carrington, a seven-time world K1 200m champion, victory represented a successful first competitive appearance of the year on the road to the Tokyo Olympics Games.

Ashton Reiser mounted a thrilling defence of his open men's K1 200m title — six months to the day after undergoing surgery on both forearms after being beset by compartment syndrome issues.

The North Shore paddler struggled to find his rhythm during the heats but rediscovered his A game in the final as a strong late surge took him to victory by just 0.03s from Taris Harker (Karapiro).

“I had the surgery after the world under-23s last year and it has been a hard road back,” said Reiser, 21.

“I didn't return to full training until December and it has been the toughest season I've ever had to get back to form.

“Taris made a flying start but I knew the race was always going to be close; it always is.

“It was such a relief to win. I felt so much pressure trying to defend the title and winning it this year feels so much better.”

Reiser stopped the clock at 36.38s. Harker was second and Ben Duffy (Arawa), in a time of 36.53s, was third. Zach Ferkins was fourth in 36.74s.

In Australia, the New Zealand duo of Alicia Hoskin (Poverty Bay) and Danielle Watson missed out on securing an Olympic quota spot in the K2 500m. They needed to finish ahead of the Aussie pairing of Cat McArthur and Brianna Massie but they were 2.64s back in a time of 1:48.88.

New Zealand had already banked four Olympic spots in the women's K1 200m, K1 500m and K4 500m, thanks to the combined efforts of Carrington, Ryan, Kayla Imrie and Fisher at the 2019 World Championships.

Zac Ferkins won the open men's K1 1000meres in a time of 3 minutes 38.31 seconds at the New Zealand Canoe Sprint at Lake Karapiro today.
Lisa Carrington blitzed the open women's K1 200-metre title with a typically masterful display yesterday.