BATTLING THE ELEMENTS: Hamilton Island Master Men in the weekend’s Clash of the Paddles. Photo: Adam Starr
BATTLING THE ELEMENTS: Hamilton Island Master Men in the weekend’s Clash of the Paddles. Photo: Adam Starr Adam Starr

Titan clash on Hamo

HAMITLON Island's Clash of the Paddles has proven a stellar success once again, with competitors coming from as far away as New Caledonia to compete.

Conditions over the weekend proved less than perfect however, with high winds making for messy swell.

On the home front, Outrigger Whitsunday paddlers Henri Mauri and Joe Wilson represented the Whitsundays well, coming away with the gold in the Senior Master Men's outrigger two-man 8km event and netting themselves a healthy $500. The pair also claimed the top spot in the 16km category, and bronze in the 500m sprint.

The local six-person team also upheld the Whitsundays' reputation well, with the Senior Master Men stroking away to silver in the 16km race.

Locals Ashley Kennedy and Peter Chamberlain weren't to be denied either, snatching gold for Whitsunday in the Golden Master Men 8km.

Visiting Ironman royalty Ky Hurst and Matt Poole saw crowds cheering on the beach but proved somewhat underwhelming on the water.

Poole was prevented from competing due to injury, with a moon-boot meaning he was unable to make the final dash up the beach to the finish line.

Hurst took to the water for the 7km paddle, taking out tenth position in the final rundown.

Outside of the competition, Hurst held a kids nipper clinic with many future ironmen turning out despite the inclement weather.

Hamilton Island island activities and sports events manager Stephen Jackson said this was testament to the sportsman's star-power.

"That just shows the drawing power of these sorts of guys," he said.

"It certainly adds to the regular punters experience.

"It's a pretty unique opportunity."

Mr Jackson said he hoped more high-profile athletes would attend next year.

"It's the time they do their board work in preparation for the upcoming season, so hopefully we'll see more and more of those guys," he said.


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