Open titles won by Nelson paddlers

18:09, Nov 05 2012

Nelson paddlers dominated the annual Wairau Express race on Sunday.

Both open titles headed back over the hill. As expected Dan Busch made light work of the cool conditions and the other competitors to finish just outside last year's record time in 1hr 26min.

Ian Huntsman, of Christchurch, and Andrew Martin, of Nelson, rounded out the minor placings.

Sophie Hart, of Nelson, claimed the women's open title in 1hr 36min.

Olivia Spencer-Bower provided some stiff competition early on but Hart's experience and recent good form, including winning the adventure racing world championship, allowed her to take complete control.

Sia Svendsen, who won the Queen Charlotte Classic on Saturday, backed that up with an impressive third placing.


The veteran men's title was won by Marlborough's John Blackmore from John Hart, of Nelson, by just 15sec. Neil Taylor, of Nelson, was third.

Last year's open winner, Wendy Riach, claimed the veteran women's title in a time of 1hr 38min, ahead of Susie Le Cren and Sarah Helmore. The event was run by the Marlborough Triathlon and Multisport Club.

Wairau Express results:

Open men: Dan Busch 1:26 1; Ian Huntsman 1:30 2; Andrew Martin 1:32 3; Sam Dillon 01:32.1 4; Paul Bourgeios 1:33 5; Craig Jones 1:34 6; Brent Edwards 01:35.2 7.

Veteran men: John Blackmore 01:40.2 1; John Hart 01:40.3 2; Neil Taylor 1:43 3; James Perry 1:47 4; Geoff Spark 1:52 5.

Open women: Sophie Hart 1:36 1; Olivia Spencer-Bower 1:39 2; Sia Svendsen 1:46 3; Lisa Morrison 1:55 4.

Veteran women: Wendy Riach 1:38 1; Susie Le Cren 1:42 2; Sarah Helmore 01:46.3 3; Angela Grigg 1:49 4; Mandy McFarlane 01:52.3 5.

The Marlborough Express