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The New Zealand national championships happened over the last weekend of march at the hawea whitewater park, situated in the central region of the South Island. It is New Zealand newest freestyle location and without a doubt our best. Last years nationals featured as the first event at the park. And this year it was my first competition post shoulder surgery!

Hawea has two features a lower wave and a wave/hole 200m upstream.
This year we decided to take full advantage of this by testing competitors talent on both features with combined results deciding the overall freestyle national champs.

Saturday started off strong with some stunning performances on the lower wave. The water levels was on the low side of medium at 75 cumecs, but this didn’t hold paddlers back with many athletes performing their best rides ever in the competition and it was awesome to see!

Sunday we started all over again in the top hole. Once again many athletes outdid themselves at the tricky level of 75cumecs. And some top results were changed. In the end the whole event went awesome, there was lots of fun and big air!
I was stoked to compete in NZ once again and hold onto my National title!

Overall top 3 results were

Men’s K1
1st Stephen Bartlett
2nd Jason Searle
3rd mike Hoffman

Women’s K1
1st Courtney Kerin
2nd Mary Haig
3rd Anna Eade

Veteran Men
1st Aidan Haig
2nd Grant Norbury
3rd Alan Hoffman

U18 Boys
1st Max Rayner
2nd Jeremy Norbury
3rd Jack Paulin

U15 Biys
1st Otis Rayner
2nd Max Collier
3rd Tim McGimpsy

U18 Girls
1st Lotte Rayner
2nd = Paloma Kelly
Annie Wardle

Cya at the next event!
Courtney Kerin