2011 King of the Harbour (NZ)

Tuesday, 07 June 2011 06:57 | Written by  Steve Knowles, Sportzhub
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Mike Walker leads Ben Fouhy during the 2011 King of the Harbour Mike Walker leads Ben Fouhy during the 2011 King of the Harbour Credits: www.sportzhub.co.nz

[Editor: apologies for the late posting of this report.  The race actually took place on 2 April] Olympic silver medallist Ben Fouhy celebrated his return to competitive kayaking with a win today in New Zealand's premier surf ski race the Contegro King of the Harbour. Under the clear blue sky's and glassy Hauraki Gulf, Fouhy and defending champion.

Mike Walker paddled away from the field of 80 paddlers minutes after leaving Waiheke Island on route to the finish at the Viaduct Auckland City.

As Fouhy and Walker headed right towards the channel another breakaway group including Trans Taupo winner Travis Mitchell took a more inshore route closer to Browns Island.

As the leaders passed Rangitoto Island it was Walker and Fouhy who lead by several hundred meters on Mitchells group, with a large bunch headed by Paul Wilford, Simon Longdill, Simon McLarin a few hundred meters further back.

Ben Fouhy Sportzhub

Ben Fouhy and Mike Walker

In amongst the long line up of paddlers that streamed out of Waiheke was a world class women's field lead by former world champion and undefeated King of the Harbour champion Katie Pocock, chased by Trans Taupo winner Dene Simpson, with surf lifesaving champion Bailey Elliot , then Speight's Coast to Coast champion Sophie Hart .

As the race moved to the inner harbour passing North Head - Devonport the race for the lead heated up with Fouhy surging forward off a runner as he and Walker had for the last hour.  This time the former sprint world champion lifted the intensity with a k1 style burst and was off stretching to a 20, 30, 40 meter lead which he extended to several hundred meters by the finish under the Hilton Hotel on the downtown wharf, to win the 2011 Contegro King of the Harbour.

At the peak of his sprint career Fouhy's best result was a second at the King of the Harbour, today a few years on he's proven he's in top form leading home an international field.

Once again it was Katie Pocock who won another King of the Harbour title, with Simpson second, Elliott third and Hart forth.

King of the Harbour

Results Summary


Katie Pocock 01:49:49 1st
Dene Simpson 01:50:59 2nd
Bailey Elliott 01:54:55 3rd
Sophie Hart 01:55:35 4th
Jackie Dring 02:18:30 5th


Ben Fouhy 01:34:41 1st
Mike Walker 01:36:00 2nd
Tim McLaren 01:39:25 3rd
Simon McLarin 01:39:32 4th
Matt Sutton 01:40:09 5th
Travis Mitchell 01:40:18 6th
Tim Grammer 01:40:22 7th
Oskar Stielau 01:40:25 8th
Leopold Tepa 01:40:28 9th
Paul Wilford 01:40:37 10th

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