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Cotter/Robinson vie for line-honours on Hamilton Island

Wednesday, 20 June 2012 14:14 | Written by 
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Jeremy Cotter and Clint Robinson sprint for victory in Saturday's 25km Gatorade Battle Of The Paddles festival. Jeremy Cotter and Clint Robinson sprint for victory in Saturday's 25km Gatorade Battle Of The Paddles festival. Credits: Andrea Francolini, 2012

Jeremy Cotter and Clint Robinson went head-to-head at this weekend's Gatorade Battle of the Paddles, with Jeremy taking out the 25km  surfski race on Saturday, and Clint claiming Friday's 16km thriller.

Sweet Revenge

For Cotter it was sweet revenge following his second-place to Robinson in Friday's 16km event and the 32-year-old was elated to secure victory.

"It was a full-on battle yesterday and much of the same today," said Cotter.

"I had belief in my own ability and was confident that I had the form to take it out."

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Jeremy leads the charge with the pack chasing hard.

"Credit to Clint and Bruce though, they pushed me all the way - but after yesterday it was great to get one over Clint."

Jeremy beat Bruce Taylor home by one minute and 51 seconds with Olympic gold medallist Clint Robinson third a further 42 seconds back.

In the women's category Elin Ashfield Hedstrom narrowly defeated Amanda Rankin by just 51 seconds with 18 year old Jordan Mercer finishing third.

Clint Robinson stole victory on Friday's 16km event ousting Jeremy Cotter by a narrow 5 seconds. Dean Gardener, prefering a stronger following sea, managed a 7th and 8th respectably for Friday and Saturday's races.

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Clint Robinson who would prove victorious on the shorter 16km Friday event.

Primo Conditions

Over 50 paddlers took to the start line at Lindeman Island, greeted by blue skies, 10 knot winds and a small swell. Cotter said the conditions made for a challenging run to the finish-line at Hamilton Island's Catseye Bay.

"It was really fun out there for the most part and there were a lot of good runs.

"The mixed water made it challenging for everyone and when we made the turn to pass Pentecost [Island], we got some tougher conditions," said Cotter.

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Race briefing on paradisciacal Hamilton Island

In its first year, the event has attracted competitors from all over Australia and Cotter believes it has great potential to grow.

"Hamilton Island is the perfect location for an event like this and it provides conditions - like the tidal movements - that other races don't.

"There is enormous potential for this race to grow into something big and I think we'll start to see more international competitors coming over for it in the years to come."

Start Studded Lineup

More than 350 competitors from all over the world have wrapped up competition on Hamilton Island, Australia as the Gatorade Battle of the Paddles event came to a close.

The star-studded competition line up included former Olympians, celebrities, professional athletes and amateurs, with personalities including Tom Williams and Jodhi Meares competing alongside professional athletes Clint Robinson, Jeremy Cotter, Amanda Rankin, Jett Kenny and many more. The event also attracted elite international athletes such as Jenny Kalmbach, Hawaiian SUP champion and the New Zealand women’s outrigger team.

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The star-studded surfski line-up, attracted by the AUD $90,000 prize-pool!

With the race now in it's 29th years, this was the first time that Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) joined the Australian Outrigger Canoe Racing Association (AOCRA) and Hamilton Island for the event, formerly known as the Hamilton Island Cup. SLSA introduced three exciting new disciplines into the event; stand up paddle boarding, board paddling and surf skiing. $90,000 worth of cash and prizes were awarded to competitors over the four days.

Glenn Bourke, Hamilton Island’s CEO said: ‘The combination of AOCRA, SLSA and Hamilton Island for the first time was a great success. There were so many diverse and quality athletes on the Island, and seeing the growth of the new disciplines was exciting. It also helped that the event was blessed with fantastic weather for the entire event. We’re already looking forward to building on the event for 2013.’

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The explosive start of the surfski races with the big guns keen to exert their dominance at the early stages of the race.

Hawaiian SUP champion, Jenny Kalmbach, has already confirmed that she will be returning next year, saying the event far exceeded all of her expectations.

‘It's been an incredible trip to Hamilton Island for the Gatorade Battle of the Paddles. The island is beautiful; it's the perfect place to paddle, have fun and relax. It has something for everyone, from outrigger, surfski, standup paddling and even a trail running race. I have no doubt that this will become one of the top events of the year for stand up paddling’, Jenny said.

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The stunning backdrop of Northern Queensland, Australia, in the heart of winter...

Bigger and Better

2013 marks the 30th anniversary of the event, and the date has already been set as 20 - 24 June 2013. The milestone event is already tipped to attract even more competitors than this year across each and every discipline.

The 2012 Gatorade Battle of the Paddles took place from 14 - 18 June. For more information on the event visit http://www.hamiltonisland.com.au/battle-of-the-paddles/

Video - Day 3 Highlights

 

Summary Results

For full results visit www.aocra.com.au or www.slsa.com.au.

25 Km Ski Race: MEN   
Position Name Time Category
1 Jeremy COTTER 1:41:57 Open Ocean Ski Men
2 Bruce TAYLOR 1:43:48 Open Ocean Ski Men
3 Clint ROBINSON 1:44:30 Open Ocean Ski Men
       
25 Km Ski Race: WOMEN      
1 Elin ASHFIELD HEDSTROM 2:12:17 Open Ocean Ski Female
2 Amanda RANKIN 2:13:09 Open Ocean Ski Female
3 Jordan MERCER 2:14:46 Open Ocean Ski Female
       
16 Km Ski Race: MEN      
1 Clint ROBINSON 1:04:55 Open Ocean Ski Men
2 Jeremy COTTER 1:05:00 Open Ocean Ski Men
3 Paul GREEN 1:08:24 Open Ocean Ski Men
       
16 Km Ski Race: WOMEN      
1 Michael SMEDLEY 1:19:01 Open Ocean Ski Female
2 Amanda RANKIN 1:22:57 Open Ocean Ski Female
3 Sharlene KELLY 1:23:32 Open Ocean Ski Female

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