White Island Race - 27th Oct 2013

South Brighton brothers Zac and Ryan Quickenden sizzled to victory on their double surf ski in 24min 26sec in the 45th annual White Island Race on Saturday.

The brothers were able to hold a good line on the 2.5km journey in near-perfect conditions to and from White Island and claimed fastest time by a comfortable margin.

Second home, and first single surf ski paddler, was Sam Shergold (Mount Maunganui) in 26min 54sec. Steven Drabble (South Brighton), also on a single surf ski, was third.

Lucy Johnson (Sumner) was the first woman to finish in 30min 40sec, with fellow single skiers Danielle Currie (South Brighton) and Carla Laughton (St Clair) second and third respectively.

Andrew Newton (Mount Maunganui) was awarded the Jordan Family Trophy for being the fastest board paddler home in 39min 35sec.

The trophy was presented for the first time and is in recognition of St Clair lifeguard Les Jordan, who lost his life in a shark attack nearly 50 years ago at St Clair Beach. It also recognises the courageous efforts of Waimairi lifeguards Ian Graham and Sandy McDowell to save Jordan.

Newton felt honoured to be awarded the trophy for the first time.

''When I heard this trophy was up for grabs, I had to travel home for the race,'' he said.

''Growing up in St Clair, you hear of the shark attack on Les Jordan and how his fellow lifeguards got him back to shore. It really does remind us of why we do surf life-saving.''

Andrew Trembath (St Clair) was the second board paddler to finish, in 44min 20sec, and Bailey Brandham (Brighton) was third in 44min 51sec.

Monique Francois (St Clair) was the leading female paddler in 55min 5sec, followed by Sam Holland (South Brighton) and Eilis Doyle (St Clair).

The upset of the event was in the four-person canoe race. In recent years, the newer twin hull version has left its traditional mono hull version in the distance, but the effort by the St Clair mono hull crew of Michael Crombie, Cam Burrow, Logan Garforth and Luke Munro will have left many an old canoe stalwart with a satisfied smile.

The St Clair crew headed off South Brighton and a second St Clair crew, both in twin hull canoes, to claim the Darcey Christopher Trophy in 33min 13sec.

Crombie said his crew was elated with the result.

''The night before the race, we were struggling to find a full crew due to injury. It would have been a sad day if the home of the mono hull canoe couldn't even front up in its own race, so for the lads to pull together for that hard slog and actually win is very pleasing.''

The St Clair canoe crew also claimed the Handicap Trophy. Single surf skiers Johnson and Currie were second and third respectively.

One swimmer, Michael Gray, completed the swim in 1hr 30min.

The race attracted a record number of entries, with 72 lifeguards - from Otago clubs, Canterbury and Tauranga - turning out on a range of surf craft.

The youngest competitors were 14-year-old recently qualified lifeguards, and the oldest was 74-year-old St Clair veteran Bart Smail.

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