The Vaikobi King and Queen of the Harbour were crowned in Auckland on Saturday with Andy Mowlem claiming the Men's title with a commanding performance and Rachel Clarke taking her 6th consecutive New Zealand National Championship title by again winning the Women’s.
ANDY MOWLEM WINNING THE VAIKOBI KING AND QUEEN OF THE HARBOUR
RACHEL CLARKE POWERING PAST DEVONPORT
Saturday morning dawned with nice bright sunny conditions with a gentle westerly blowing over the City of Sails in Auckland.
With the forecast showing a 15-18 knot westerly to build during the day, Race Director Garth Spencer set the “Hobsonville Humdinger” race course, aptly named due to the fantastic running conditions experienced when paddling down the Waitemata Harbour in a westerly.
As we got closer to start time, the wind kept building nicely and the sun made way for some light showers and overcast conditions further increasing the excitement amongst competitors.
This year saw 88 Ocean skis and 11 SUPs take on the 23kilometre long course, whilst there were 6 Ocean ski’s and 1 SUP take on the 11km short loop course out of Takapuna.
The pace out of the start was frenetic with young Kayak Sprinters Jordan Mclarin and Quaid Thomson blasting out of the blocks in an attempt to blow away the more seasoned ocean ski paddlers. They had quite a bit of success in breaking up the field with a clear group of 7 paddlers forming the lead pack after the first ten minutes of racing.
Andy Mowlem managed to survive the fast early pace to then make his first move in the technical conditions and take a 5 boat length lead from Jordan Mclarin and the foxy Race Director, Garth Spencer in a solid 3rd place.
As the field started to enjoy the fast running conditions down the harbour, Andy Mowlem put his head down to stretch his lead out to 50 metres by the Stanley Point mark over Jordan Mclarin, who was paddling a fantastic race in a solid 2nd. Another 80 metres back was Garth Spencer who was working hard to keep himself in touch with the leaders.
Once the field turned left at North Head, they were confronted with a 15-18 knot headwind all the way back to Takapuna Beach. Competitors were faced with the decision of staying closer to shore to get less headwind, or deciding to head offshore into more favourable current.
From North Head, Andy Mowlem extended his lead further whilst behind him, Garth Spencer closed the gap on Jordan Mclarin to eventually pass him in the last 2 kilometres of the race.
RACE DIRECTOR AND 2nd PLACE MENS SKI, GARTH SPENCER
At the beach in Takapuna, Andy powered home to claim an emphatic 2 minute and 7 second victory over the fast finishing Garth Spencer in 2nd. Jordan Mclarin showed his future potential to finish a fantastic 3rd place in the all class Kiwi field.
TOP 3 MENS OCEAN SKI
In the Women’s Ski, Rachel Clarke from the Shaw and Partners Race Team, claimed her 6th NZ National title in style with a big win over the evergreen Dene Simpson and co event director Danika Mowlem in 3rd.
TOP 3 WOMENS- OCEAN SKI
In the Doubles, Oskar Stielau and Robbie Ford scored a big win over Gavin Clark and Glenn Grey in 2nd and Anton Reiman and Len Beer in 3rd.
DOUBLE WINNERS- OSKAR STIELAU AND ROBBIE FORD
Whilst the SUP field was small this year due to a clash with the Carolina Cup, the level at the front was still amazing with James Reeves from Kawau Downwinders claiming a 2 minute and 5 second win over Matt Anderson and Jan Dunlop. 2016 SUP World Champion, Penelope Strickland dominated the womens to finish 4th overall.
TOP 3 MENS SUP- WINNER JAMES REEVES ON FAR LEFT
TOP 3 WOMENS SUP
The Vaikobi King and Queen of the Harbour continues to grow from strength to strength with a strong community of volunteers all combining to put together this great event each year. We are looking forward to welcoming you all to Auckland in 2019!
Full results can be viewed HERE
To view Pre and post race interview and replays of the FB live feed, go to the King and Queen of the Harbour facebook page HERE
2018 VAIKOBI KING AND QUEEN OF THE HARBOUR
TOP 10 MENS- OCEAN SKI
1. ANDY MOWLEM- ROYAL AKARANA PADDLERS- NEW ZEALAND
2. GARTH SPENCER- ROYAL AKARANA PADDLERS- NEW ZEALAND
3. JORDAN MCLARIN- WCMC- NEW ZEALAND
4. SIMON LONGDILL- ROYAL AKARANA PADDLERS- NEW ZEALAND
5. TOBIAS BROOK- WHANGANUI KAYAK CLUB- NEW ZEALAND
6. TODD BORLAND- WOLLONGONG PADDLERS- AUSTRALIA
7. HADYN LOCKIE- TASMAN BAY- NEW ZEALAND
8. LEOPOLD TEPA- HUAHINE SURFSKI- TAIHITI
9. QUAID THOMPSON- POVERTY BAY- NEW ZEALAND
10. JEREMY KUGGELEIJN- ROYAL AKARANA PADDLERS- NEW ZEALAND
TOP 3 WOMENS- OCEAN SKI
1. RACHEL CLARKE- TAKAPUNA BOAT CLUB- NEW ZEALAND
2. DENE SIMPSON- TAKA PUNA BOAT CLUB- NEW ZEALAND
3. DANIKA MOWLEM- NEW ZEALAND
TOP 3 DOUBLES- OCEAN SKI
1. OSKAR STIELAU/ ROBBIE FORD
2. GAVIN CLARK/ GLEN GREY
3. ANTON REIMAN/ LEN BEER
TOP 3 SUP MENS
1. JAMES REEVES
2. MATT ANDERSON
3. JAN DUNLOP
TOP 3 SUP WOMENS
1. PENELOPE STRICKLAND
2. ANGELA MCKEE
3. HEATHER NICCOLLS
SHORT COURSE TOP 3
1. ANDREW STEVENS
2. NENNI DISSE
3. THOMAS FRITZEN