Paddling kicks-off at the Australian Masters Games
The 16th Australian Masters Games got under way in Tasmania over the weekend with local paddler, Stephen Blizzard of Burnie, setting the pace in the flatwater racing on Lake Barrington. Paddling in the 30 – 35 year age group, Stephen raced into a head wind to achieve times of 43.79 second for 200m and 4 minutes 54 seconds for the 1000m event.
Roz Barber (TAS), Ann Lloyd Green (NSW) and Terri Hynes (VIC), dominated their respective age categories in the women’s events.
Outstanding technique in challenging wind saw Sharon Bourke (VIC) and John Fuglsang (TAS) take out the SUP titles.
Set on the picturesque Lake Barrington course in NW Tasmania, the flatwater events were open to all paddle craft, with SUPs, surf skis and a variety of kayaks taking to the water. In the spirit of the Games, all ages of competitors were recognised for their efforts.
At 89 years of age, Eric Sargent was the elder statesman of the event, competing in a bright yellow canvas and wood frame kayak. His regular six-hour paddling trips ensured that he was in good form for the racing. “I’m usually only 10 minutes behind the rest of the group to the lunch stop,” Eric said. The Masters Games races were his first competitive paddling events and he finished the 200m sprint in a very respectable 2 minutes 25 seconds.
Roz Barber and Brent Machen were the overall winners of the female and male marathon events respectively.
The flatwater events were held over three days (21-23 October) with the marathon events on the last day. The outrigger races are scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday 24th and 25th October with the Ocean Racing out of Wynard Yacht Club concluding the Australian Masters Games on Saturday 28th October.
Monday’s marathon results can be found here.
For photos and more info head to the Masters Games Flatwater and Ocean Paddling Facebook page
About the Australian Masters Games
The Australian Masters Games is a biennial sporting event that is regarded as one of the premier and largest participation sporting events on the Australian sporting landscape. In 2017 the 16th edition of the Games will be hosted in Tasmania fromSaturday 21st to Saturday 28th October.
The Australian Masters Games offer participants a wide range of different sports, from softball to athletics to dragon boat to boxing.
This variety of sports on offer provides the opportunity for participants to try a new sport, compete in multiple sports during the week and register as an individual or in a team.