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New Zealand's Sam Shergold takes gold medal in Fiji

A victorious Sam Shergold as he crossed the finish line.  Image courtesy of Barbara Newton.
Sam Shergold © Barbara Newton



Team Updates

International Surfing Association
Cloudbreak, Tavarua, Fiji
12 - 20 ​November, 2016 

SherGOLD Takes Title in Prone Distance Race

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 17 November, 2016 - New Zealand paddler Sam Shergold has claimed a second gold medal for the Kiwis competing at the ISA World Stand Up Paddle and Paddleboard Championship being held in Fiji.

Shergold won the 17.5km Men’s Prone Distance Race today, his win coming on the heels of the team’s first gold medal secured by SUP paddler Penelope Armstrong (Auck) in technical races on Wednesday.

A three time competitor at the event, Shergold finally made it to the top of the podium after a fourth place finish in 2015 and a runner up finish in 2014.

“This is pretty surreal, it is still sinking in” said Shergold being interviewed only a few minutes after crossing the finish line of the gruelling 17.5km paddle.

“We had a good battle the whole way between the four of us, anyone could have won it coming off the last buoy” he added of the battle that took place between him, the two Australians and American Jack Bark.

“I just had to dig in and believe in myself, believe in my training programme and believe in my coach” he added.

Shergold described the course as one of the better ones he has raced with paddlers having to paddle in open ocean and between islands.  “It wasn’t a straight paddle, you had to understand the water, the currents and the wind, it was a proper waterman course” said Shergold.

Shergold was joined by the youngest team member, 16 year old Declan Dempster in the race.  Dempster finished his first international race in fifth position, the first paddler behind the much more favoured leading four.

Marcus Hansen (Whangarei) backed up his seventh place in the technical race on Wednesday with another powerful paddle today.  Hansen placed ninth amongst a field of international powerhouses with Australia’s Michael Booth winning the race.

Hansen started the race well holding on to the lead pack for the first quarter of the race.  However, the top seven paddlers edged away from the rest of the field and fought out the major placings.  Hansen maintained his position in the second pack but they never had a chance of reeling in the leaders.

Hansen secured the highest place achieved by a New Zealand paddler in the distance race.  He was joined by Dunedin’s Michael Hastie who finished mid field.

Tomorrow (Friday) will see the 17.5km distance races take place for the Women’s SUP and Prone Disciplines.  The race will start at Cloudbreak before weaving between the islands of Tavarua and Namotu and finishing at Musket Cove on the island of Mololo Lailai with the top races taking just over two hours to complete the course.

New Zealand will be represented by SUP Technical Race Gold Medallist Penelope Armstrong (Auck) and Prone Technical Race Silver Medallist Danielle McKenzie (Auck).

The 2016 event plays host to 26 countries and 244 athletes.  The event includes SUP surfing which is being held at the world renowned left hand reef break of Cloudbreak.  The technical and distance races for both SUP and Prone Paddleboard are also taking place close to Cloudbreak and the surrounding islands.

The remaining schedule for the event is as follows.  Start times are generally 8:00am for the surfing.  Fiji is in the same time zone as New Zealand.  You can follow the event live via the event website.

November 18: Women’s Distance SUP and Paddleboard Races, Cloudbreak to Musket Cove
November 19: SUP Surfing Finals – Men’s and Women’s
November 20: Relay Races and Closing Ceremony, Port Denarau

Please see below for results from the Men’s SUP and Distance Races held on day four of the 2016 ISA World Stand Up Paddle and Paddleboard Championship being held in Fiji from the 12th – 20th November 2016.

Men’s Prone Distance Prone (17.5km)
1st – Sam Shergold (NZL)
2nd – Matt Poole (AUS)
3rd – Lachie Lansdown (AUS)
4th – Jack Bark (USA)
5th – Declan Dempster (Mount Maunganui)

Men’s SUP Distance Race (17.5km)
1st – Michael Booth (Aus)
2nd – Titouan Puyo (FRA)
3rd – Georges Cronstead (TAH)
4th – Arthur Arutkin (FRA)
9th – Marcus Hansen (Whangarei)
TBC – Michael Hastie (Dunedin)

Ben Kennings

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