Former student takes on the big guns and wins

Below is an article from the Dominion Post on the achievements of Kurtis Imrie in the season opener for Canoe Kayaking. Kayla his older sister is also mentioned towards the end of the article:

It was meant to be a gentle initiation into kayaking’s senior ranks for Mana paddler Kurtis Imrie, until he helped knock over two of the sports leading lights.

The 18-year-old paired with Wanganui’s Max Brown, 19, to win the open K2 1000m title at the Blue Lakes regatta in Rotorua, relegating national representatives Scott Bicknell and Marty McDowell into second.

”We thought we’d have a good crack against some of the other boys but then found ourselves alongside Scotty and Marty halfway along, we thought we’d better give them a nudge,” Imrie said.

”We waited for our chance and just got them on the line. We were stoked and that’s given us a lot of confidence.”

While world champions Lisa Carrington and Teneale Hatton were missing from Canoe Racing New Zealand’s traditional season-opener, the men’s ranks were still strong.

Brown, who is at Victoria University, and trainee electrician Imrie train together in the capital, although this was only the fourth time they’ve raced together.

They backed up with another open podium finish, finishing third in the K2 200m, with Bicknell winning with Bay of Plenty teammate Taris Harker and Andrew Roy (BOP) and (Karapiro) finishing second.

Imrie, who finished fifth in the K1 1000m at the junior world championships in August, also picked up two silvers in the under-23 individual events, finishing behind Poverty Bay’s Ben Tinnelly in the longer distance and Roy in the K1 200m.

Bicknell beat Roy in the open men’s K1 200m, while McDowell edged Jasper Bats (North Shore) in the K1 1000m.

Rachael Dodwell (Eastern Bay) dominated the women’s K1 200m, beating Kayla Imrie by 1.13secs, although Imrie cleaned up in the K1 500m, with Rebecca Cole (North Shore) second and Ann Cairns third.