World title secured on borrowed board

Annabel Anderson, of Queenstown, wins the distance event at the World Stand-up and Paddleboard...
Annabel Anderson, of Queenstown, wins the distance event at the World Stand-up and Paddleboard Championships in Denmark yesterday.PHOTO: BEN REED
Queenstown Lakes paddleboarder Annabel Anderson has won the distance event at the World Stand-up and Paddleboard Championships in Denmark, and she did it in borrowed gear.

Anderson, who is in her mid-30s, is ranked No 1 in the world in the event and she had a dominant victory in Copenhagen.

It is the first year she has competed as part of the New Zealand team. She has previously focused on her own individual performances and chosen not to compete at this event.

She is based in Queenstown and Wanaka but spends most of the year competing overseas.

As well as paddleboarding, she also dabbles in adventure racing.

In the 18km race, Anderson took her time but eventually pulled clear and won easily by more than two minutes.

She had to compete on a borrowed board after all of her equipment was lost in transit. Her paddles turned up just hours before the race.

She shrugged off the drama, then went out and won the event.

``I've been in a lot of competition and pressure situations where things have gone really wrong and are far from ideal.

``I knew that if I could rally gear, I had some bullets to fire if I could make the start.

``So that is all I worried about, the stuff I could control and getting the job done regardless of the situation,'' she said.

Anderson used the first of four laps to get used to the course, her borrowed board and the competition.

She then made a couple of surges and found some boat wake to extend her lead.

``From that point on, I took it up a gear and extended every lap, winning by about two minutes.''

She will not have a long wait before refocusing on the sprint races scheduled for day two, as well as repairing her race boards that had arrived late and in a poor state.

More than 280 athletes from 42 countries are at the world championships.

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