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The New Zealand Team has made a clean sweep of the qualifying rounds in the technical races at the 2017 ISA World Stand Up Paddle and Paddleboard Championship held at Vorupor, Denmark overnight (5th September local time).

New Zealand advanced all six competing athletes through to the finals of their respective races which will potentially be held on Saturday or Sunday.

Overnight results see the New Zealand Team maintain their number one team ranking at the event with five days remaining.

The technical races for the prone disciplines were held first thing in the morning with both Jasmine Smith (Gis) and Sam Shergold (Mnt) winning their heats to advance through to the final of the Women’s and Men’s.  Neither athlete ever looked in danger of missing the final, both leading from the outset.

Smith put a healthy two minute lead on her opponents pushing herself as a test run in the lead up to the final.

“It was a good opportunity to get familiar with the race course and have a good little hit out to shake out the cobwebs. The course is pretty fun and I can’t wait till the final” said Smith post-race.

She will now match up against superstar Australian, Jordan Mercer in the final, Mercer having already pipped Kiwi Jessica Miller for gold in the distance race by less than a metre.  Smith will want to get one back over the Australian in the Technical Race.

Shergold completed his heat alongside Frenchman Julien Lalanne the two athletes extending a sizeable lead over their opponents before Shergold broke away for a comfortable win.  Shergold is a late replacement in the discipline but will challenge for a medal to go with his silver he secured in the distance race earlier at the event.

Penelope Strickland (Auck) is on track to defend her title in the Women’s SUP Technical Race after advancing through her heat and into the final.

“Today’s heats were really fun” commented a jovial Strickland.  “Given my illness in the last week and losing a toenail in my practice start just before the race, I wasn’t confident about getting a walk through in the top four.  However, as soon as we had completed the first lap it was just a matter of paddling strong but not overdoing it. I felt strong and had plenty in reserve” she added.

Strickland was joined by Annabel Anderson (Queenstown) who won her heat to advance.  Anderson will go head-to-head with Strickland in the final in search of her second gold medal at the event, the two athletes being touted as potential medallists.

And, with weather and swell forecasts changing daily, both athletes are confident they will be ready for whatever conditions they are faced with.

In the Men’s Prone Technical Races, both Ollie Houghton Auck) and Marcus Hansen (Whangarei) advanced through to the finals.

Houghton placed second in his heat behind Daniel Hasulyo (HUN).  Hasulyo took the copper medal in the distance race while his brother took gold.  If the ocean remains flat for final races, the Hungarians will again be a force while Houghton is wishing for a few waves to make it more interesting.

“Apparently it’s supposed to get up to 6 foot and 30 knots onshore which will be absolutely awesome, I’d love to see it like that” said Houghton.

Houghton was happy with his performance and sticking with the heat winner Hasulyo.

“I had to push really hard to get into that front pack behind Daniel, my goal was to get top three to the first buoy and I got second so I just snuck onto Daniel’s draft for a while and tried to just hold my pace for the rest of the race” said Houghton.

Marcus Hansen placed third in his heat behind Bruno Hasulyo (HUN) and Casper Steinfath (DEN), two gold medallists from the distance and sprint races held at start of the event.

The men’s final will include 30 athletes which will have a significant impact on the start and also the traffic around buoys making it more difficult for athletes and vital that the Kiwi’s get good starts to avoid congestion.

The SUP Surf discipline is expected start on Wednesday (local time) and carry on through to Thursday before a potential lay day on Friday due to lack of waves.  Kiwis in action will include Trevor Tunnington (Gold Coast based), Sean Hovell (Gis), Stella Smith (Gis) and Lucy Te Moananui (Kaikoura).

Please see below for results from day 3 (Tuesday 5th September local time) of the 2017 ISA World Stand Up Paddle and Paddleboard Championships being held in Denmark from the 1st – 10th September.

Men’s SUP Technical Race Heats
Heat 1 (top four advance)
1, Bruno Hasulyo (HUN)
2, Casper Steinfath (DEN)
3, Marcus Hansen (NZL)
4, Arthur Arutkin (FRA)

Heat 2 (top four advance)
1, Dániel Hasulyo (HUN)
2, Oliver Houghton (NZL)
3, Titouan Puyo (FRA)
4, Aaron Rowe (CIS)

Women’s SUP Technical Race Heats
Heat 1
1, Annabel Anderson (NZL)
2, Laura Quetglas (ESP)
3, Nicoline Elisavetha (DEN)
4, Amandine Chazot (FRA)

Heat 2
1, Olivia Piana (FRA)
2, Penelope Armstrong (NZL)
3, Manca Notar (SLO)
4, Susak Molinero (ESP)

Further Information
For further information on the New Zealand Stand Up Paddle and Paddleboard Team please contact Surfing New Zealand’s Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email benkennings@surfingnz.co.nz.

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