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NZ Kayak Team Heads to Hungary for the First World Cup

NZ Kayak Team Heads to Hungary for the First World Cup

The New Zealand Kayak Team left New Zealand on Saturday the 4th, aiming to dive head first into the European summer and the first of the three World Cup regattas.

The first World Cup for 2013 is in Szeged Hungary and is held from the 10th to 12th May.

The Hungarians are regarded as a kayak-mad nation and the organisers are expecting well over 25,000 spectators each day. On top of this, there will be live broadcasts on Eurosport television throughout the weekend. Being a “home game” the Hungarians have a large team of 64 competitors which will add further excitement to the already enthusiastic crowd.

The event is attended by 40 nations with close to 700 competitors however this is well down on the last time Szeged held an international kayak event (2011 World Championship) where there were 94 nations and over 1000 competitors.

Being the first event in the year after the Olympics, numbers are often down. New Zealand is heading into this event well aware of this. With them only being 4 days off the 32 hour long haul flight they are using this as a more of a familiarisation event and placing stronger emphasis on the 2nd and 3rd World Cups later in the month.

First up for the New Zealand team is our Gold medallist Lisa Carrington, who be racing in a new event to her - the WK1 500m. This heat will start at 9.15am on Friday (European time) and Lisa will go straight up against the Olympic 500m Gold medallist Hungarian Danuta Kozak.

Just 10minutes after Lisa, a new pairing of Olympian Teneale Hatton and Rachael Dodwell will kick off their 2013 campaign in the WK2 500m. Picking the competition the first year after the Olympics can be difficult. As New Zealand has done, we often see new combinations.

Ben Fouhy has a slightly easier ride into the start of the World Cups but will be under no illusions how tough that racing is going to get as he progresses through the event. Ben’s heat is another 20 minutes after the womens K2.

All of these 3 events have semi-finals later that afternoon with their finals starting in the morning of day 2.

Later during day one, we see another new combination of a MK4 1000m. The crew is all under 23 and one of the paddlers is still under 18. New Zealand is forming this and later other crews, with the aim of longer term goals. The Men’s K4 is the fastest boat covering 1000m in under 3minutes with an average speed of 21.5km/h. The crew is capable of towing a water skier.

The crew of Jarrod Fitzgerald, Darryl Fitzgerald, Jasper Bats and Zac Quickenden has a tough heat, facing off against kayaking power houses of Belarus, Russia, Hungary and Slovakia and needing to finish top 3 or they go through the semi-finals to try and progress to the final.

Click here for the preliminary start list for this event.


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