Two world titles for Tapanui riverboarder

Tapanui's Anna Eade in action at the Hawea Whitewater Park during the Riverboarding World...
Tapanui's Anna Eade in action at the Hawea Whitewater Park during the Riverboarding World Championships freestyle final. Eade won the women's freestyle title, as well as the women's slalom title during the week. PHOTO: MEGAN EADE
Blue Mountain College teacher Anna Eade can now add world champion riverboarder to her CV.

The 26-year-old, who also works for Serious Fun as a riverboarding guide in Queenstown, won the slalom title during last week's Riverboarding World Championships, held at the Roaring Meg on the Kawarau River, and finished the week by winning the freestyle title at the Hawea Whitewater Park on Friday.

Eade also finished second in the endurocross and third in the boardercross.

Friday also had Hawea 12-year-old Nat Warburton in his element, as he pulled off the trick of the day and came agonisingly close to a podium finish.

Championship organiser Huw Miles, of Queenstown, said freestyle was "his event'' after a challenging week racing on the river.

"In the end, I don't think he'll thank me for saying this, but I think his mum was a bit worried.

"We had safety on for him and we offered to give him a guide and semi-escort him and just watch his back with someone specifically there for him, but with the rain we had as well, and the river coming up, the freestyle [was him].

"He slayed it.

"He definitely had the best trick in the competition, for sure - it was just a little bit of consistency and he could have easily won it.''

Mr Miles said if Nat continued to take it seriously, the sky was the limit in terms of his future.

Overall, Mr Miles said the championship, which officially began on Tuesday, had been ``amazing''.

"It's been great to showcase Queenstown and our local rivers and to bring some of the best talent from around the world here.

"The athletes have been incredible; they've really raised the bar.''

While the French domination, evident at the last two world championships in Indonesia (2013) and Guatemala (2015), continued, Mr Miles said the rest of the world was on their heels.

"We've had Australians in the top three, Nat Warburton in fourth, Anna in the ladies, but in the men we have a local guide here, Dallas Kane, he's from the United States but he's a long-term local in Queenstown ... he's finished in the top three.

"We're closing the gap.''


Men's Slalom: Tristan Guyard (France), 1; Grand Thibault (France), 2; Bredy Tanguy (France), 3.

Women's Slalom: Anna Eade (New Zealand), 1; Aude Leonard (France), 2; Fiona Pohu (France), 3.

Men's Boardercross: Tristan Guyard (France), 1; Lionel Franchon (France), 2; Nigel Bolack (Australia), 3.

Women's Boardercross: Aude Leonard (France), 1; Fiona Pohu (France), 2; Anna Eade (New Zealand), 3.

Men's Freestyle: Thibault Grand (France), 1; Hugo Frachon (France), 2; Dallas Kane (United States), 3.

Women's Freestyle: Anna Eade (New Zealand) 1; Aude Leonard (France), 2; Rochelle Parry (United States), 3.


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