Mount Maunganui surf lifesavers ended a successful campaign at the ISA World StandUp Paddle and Paddleboard championships in Nicaragua today, with two more medals. Andrew Newton (Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service) picked up silver in the technical paddleboard race on the final day, matching the efforts of clubmate Sam Shergold who was second in yesterday’s long-distance race. Omanu’s Ashley Cochrane also added another copper medal (awarded to fourth-place) in the technical final, emulating her long-distance finish on Friday.
It was a sweet ending for the seven-strong New Zealand team, elevating them to fifth overall against 26 other nationals, with Newton delighted to do his bit.
“We were immersed in a fantastic team, who really supported us over the event,” Newton told Dscribe Media. “This is the first year Surfing New Zealand has selected prone paddlers and we’ve definitely learnt a few lessons for the next world championships on how to prepare ourselves better.”
The main priority will be acclimatising properly, after the 27-year-old withered in the Nicaraguan heat in today’s final.
Australian Rhys Burrows sealed the double, winning both the long-distance and technical races, outsprinting Shergold yesterday up the beach and pulling away from Newton today on the second of five legs, with the Sunshine Coast-based surf lifesaver finding conditions far easier than his Kiwi rivals.
“The heat was so zapping and intense, it just made it really hard to hold a good pace or kick up a gear,” Newton said. “We definitely need to do some heat training next time around.”
Newton and Shergold will now focus on their next big international championship, the Rescue 2014 surf lifesaving worlds in France in September.