The dramatic final at Takapuna for the NZ SUP Slalom proved that in events like this, it really is "anyone's race". 19-year-old dinghy sailor Marcus Hansen and his rival Annabel Anderson battled it out round after round to place 1st and 3rd respectively in the Open Finals, and Armie Armstrong 2nd.
All three paddlers overtook 2011 Champion Jeremy Stephenson from behind when he took a critical fall at the bottom mark that cost him the race, coming in 4th place. In 5th place was Shayne Baxter, the NZ SUP Surfing Champion, 6th Gavin Houghton, 7th Troy Huston, and 8th Greg Barfoot. Big ups to the Starboard NZ Dream Team!
The Takapuna Beach race was a short 'M' course in moderate onshore (Easterly) winds, with half a metre swells providing extra challenging conditions for paddlers, most of whom were racing the dugout canoe or "clog" boards, the Starboard Ace or New. These boards are designed for racing in flat to choppy waters, but surfing down the waves takes a certain level of skill. Turning the board on a wave is difficult, and there were plenty of spills as paddlers tried to round the bottom mark inside the shore break.
Marcus took the Overall Mens 2012 NZ SUP Champion title and trophy home for his performance yesterday when combined with his 2nd placing on Saturday. The results were weighted toward Sunday's racing to avoid any possible first equals.
Annabel took home the Open Womens 2012 Trophy, after placing 1st in the Open Race on Saturday. Stacey Smith placed second in the Open Womens division in the King of the Harbour race on Saturday and the Slalom on Sunday. In the Masters division, Mark Houghton suffered from a fall mid race in the Semi-finals that saw his board blown away, and ending his chances of making it through to the Open Final. Shane Murell placed 1st in Masters, Phil Brown 2nd, and Mark Houghton 3rd.
The Novice race saw a whole bunch of new racers braving the chop. Bruce Miller placed first, Josh Nixon second and James Bradshaw third. In the Novice Womens, Kristin Percy placed first, Emma Comrie-Thompson second, and Rosie Houghton 3rd. Stealing the thunder with awesome performances, promising junior paddlers Oliver Houghton 1st, Jack Evans 2nd and Nadia Murrell 3rd, all charged through the waves, leading the novice heats and giving spectators a glimpse of the sport's bright future.
Congratulations to all those who competed in the NZ SUP Champs Slalom.
Back to the News and Events page
Kicking off with a gruelling 25km downwind challenge, then knockout SUP slalom racing on Sunday, this hardcore endurance event will see New Zealand’s elite paddlers battling it out on the Waitemata next weekend for the coveted double King of the Harbour and NZ SUP Champion crown.Read more