Teenagers upstaged the grown-ups on the last day of the Wellington Dragon Boat festival with a crew from St Pat's Silverstream winning the boys’ division with the fastest time of the weekend.
The St Pat’s crew clocked the quickest time – across all divisions – with a ripping final paddled in 1m 10s 03ms today.
St Oran’s College, Lower Hutt took out the girls division and Heretaunga College, Upper Hutt took the mixed.
Close to one thousand secondary school pupils battled it out in the final day of racing and organiser Angela Sargeant said the competition went "fantastically" even as rain started to settle in by early afternoon.
About 22 secondary schools from Wellington and the Wairarapa, and one from Christchurch entered teams in the event.
In the corporate division on Saturday, the Fletcher Sea Lions put together a trio of back-to-back wins, with a hat trick and a new record in a previous heat by completing the 320m course in 1m 13s 84ms.
The Sea Lions won the division final with a race time of 1m 13s 92ms, just milliseconds shy of the record race time they set earlier in the day.
Deloitte Fury and TPL (Taylor Preston) Dragon Boating came in second and third respectively, with 1m 14s 54ms and 1m 15s 46m.
Sea Lions coach-paddler Robert Taggart said the 22-strong crew had been training in ''unheralded'' calm Wellington conditions since January, so when they hit the water in a blustery northerly yesterday, conditions made racing ''more of a lottery.''
''I was always confident we could pull a hat-trick off. It was just a matter of trying to keep the team together. It was a consistent team effort.''
Had the choppy waters in Wellington Harbour been flatter, Mr Taggart said the crew would have won with more time to spare.
Chasing the event's first hat-trick was a ''huge motivation'' for the crew, Sea Lions paddler Paul Fairbrother said.
Crews complete a number of races over a series of heats, and are allocated points which then determine their place in a number of division finals.
About 70 crews have been competing over the two-day event - 38 adult teams in the open and corporate divisions, and the rest school teams.
The open division is split into categories such as juniors (18 to 23 years) and grandmasters (50-plus). There is also a race for breast cancer survivors.
Organisers estimate about 1500 competitors are being watched by about 7500 fans at Frank Kitts Park over the weekend.
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