Jameson, Matehaere take titles

Will Jameson and Lucy Matehaere emerged as the king and queen of the beach on Saturday.

The pair claimed the fastest male and female titles in the White Island race at St Clair Beach.

Fastest woman Matehaere showed she can still mix it in the waves.

Surf life-saving was her avenue into canoe racing, which has led to her joining the national canoe racing squad in Auckland.

When a trip back to Dunedin coincided with this year’s lockdown, she became stuck in the South.

It enabled her to show her class at her former home beach, though.

Ruby Heath (St Clair) exits the water to be the first swimmer home.
Ruby Heath (St Clair) exits the water to be the first swimmer home.
She finished in 29min 7sec in her surf ski, also claiming the overall handicap trophy.

Fastest man Jameson clocked 27min 44sec to win the surf ski race at the event.

They were two of 75 competitors to turn out for the 52nd running of the race.

Sophie Matehaere (St Clair) competes in the White Island race on Saturday. PHOTOS: KIM LLOYD
Sophie Matehaere (St Clair) competes in the White Island race on Saturday. PHOTOS: KIM LLOYD

That included racers as young as 14 and as old as 70, as well as a record 12 canoe crews.

Conditions were reasonably favourable, although there was the odd spectacular spill as the canoes made their way close to shore.

St Clair Surf Life Saving Club chairman Cam Burrows said the event had gone smoothly.

"We couldn’t have asked for a better day.

"We were a bit worried about the forecast — the wind was meant to pick up. We delayed the start because of the tides but turns out there’s plenty of sand at the beach."

A reasonable crowd watched the race, both on the sand and from the esplanade above.

St Kilda club members (from left) Abe MacCormick, Mark Wilson, Nic Brice and Danyon Noakes...
St Kilda club members (from left) Abe MacCormick, Mark Wilson, Nic Brice and Danyon Noakes prepare to set sail.
Burrows had been pleased with the turnout and said it gave the club, which starts patrols next week, good exposure ahead of the summer season.

"I think people always forget, with community clubs, it’s about everyone getting involved," he said.

"People coming down and seeing what we do ... hopefully that might help them come and join our club.

"We’re all volunteers in surf life-saving. We don’t pay anyone. So it’s good to see the community get in behind us. We can showcase our skill sets and it’s the start of a busy summer."

In the board, Liam Chesney and Hannah Williams won the men’s and women’s titles respectively.

Warrington clocked 31min to win the canoe race.

Ruby Heath completed an impressive swim in 1hr 20min to win that title.

Emma Christophers and Charlotte Underwood-Nicol finished in 31min 37sec to claim the double ski crown.

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