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Michael Booth Untouchable at Gatorade Clash of the Paddles

Friday, 20 June 2014 17:23 | Written by  Stephen Jackson
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Michael Booth (1st) and Jeremy Cotter (2nd) Michael Booth (1st) and Jeremy Cotter (2nd) Credits: Steve Christo

Rising star Michael Booth of the Gold Coast almost pulled off a complete sweep at the 2014 Gatorade Clash of the Paddles on Hamilton Island at the weekend. With ski events held over 3km, 7km, a 25km downwind course and an Eliminator sprint race, a quality field and serious cash on offer; it was expected that the spoils would be shared. But the hungry Booth proved almost untouchable over the course of the weekend, taking the overall honours in all events bar the lucrative Eliminator sprint race – where he still finished second!

Must-do event

The 25km downwind paddle shapes as becoming a must-do event on every paddlers bucket list.

Competitors congregate on the Hamilton Island transport vessel “Sampson” and steam their way south to Lindeman Island and disembark at the presently unoccupied Island resort. Competitors then have an uninterrupted downwind run back to Hamilton Island. Race Director; Phil Clayton of surf ironman fame, has developed the event over the last couple of years and the quality of the race, and the field, continue to grow.

Clash of the Paddles

Star-studded field

Four-time Olympian Clint Robinson and ocean racing guru Dean Gardiner headlined the field that also included ski stars Booth, Jonathon Crowe, Jeremy Cotter, Nathan Meyer and Peter Scott.

Robinson went past and away from early leader Cotter 6km into the race with Booth also scooting through at that point; but he was unable to hold Robinsons wake.

Cotter then chose to sit on Booth who opted for a tighter line than Robinson who bore slightly east in the hope of picking up longer runs on the decent swell. 

As the time came for the left hand turn past Perseverance Island and homeward, it became apparent that the assistance gained by Robinson wasn’t enough to cover the distance saved by Booth and Cotter on the more westerly line and the chase for Robinson began anew.  

But the top end speed of Booth, proven over the 3km and 7km events earlier in the regatta, saw him hold off the challenge of both Cotter and Robinson to take the title.

Booth powering to another win at Hamilton Island

Boothy - powering to take the win

Women's Division

The 66-strong field came in all within a 70minute time frame, with Natasha Leaversuch leading home the Open Women’s division  from Wendy Reyntjes and Amanda Rankin.

The downwind marathon bought to an end the 4-day regatta which also included a novel Dash-for-Cash event which saw all the participants from the opening 3km ski race drafted into teams captained by the first six placegetters.

Dash-for-Cash and Eliminator

The following morning, the selected teams then competed over a spectator-friendly, lung-busting 500m course right off the Hamilton Island resort’s Catseye Beach. In a relay format each team member completed their leg before racing up the beach to tag the next teammate.

The concept proved a winner with fans and paddlers alike; with fans witnessing some fast-paced and tight racing whilst the everyday warriors got to rub shoulders with some of paddling royalty.

Clash of the Paddles

Another unique aspect of the event was the invite-only Eliminator. Following the opening days of competition, a select field was chosen for an elimination format sprint series.

Starting with seven competitors, most of whom were in a heavy endurance training block, a 200m sprint was held into the beach.

The slowest 2 competitors were eliminated and following a short five minute break, a second race was staged; this time the field was further whittled down to three remaining competitors. Jeremy Cotter inflicted the only defeat for Booth over the weekend; jumping him at the start and holding Booth and veteran Novacastrian Peter Scott off over the sand to take home the major cash prize.

With exciting racing and assistance from event organisers including free transportation of craft to the Island courtesy of the freight service running up the Eastern seaboard, the Gatorade Clash of the Paddles on Hamilton Island should be your winter escape next June.

 

2014 RESULT SUMMARY 

ELIMINATOR

Male

Cat

Name (#)

1

Open

Jeremy Cotter (Gold Coast)

2

Open

Michael Booth (Gold Coast)

3

Open

Peter Scott (Newcastle)

25km Ski

Male

Cat

Name (#)

Time

1

Open

Michael BOOTH (81)

01:28:08

2

Open

Jeremy COTTER (36)

01:30:09

3

Open

Clint ROBINSON (69)

01:31:12

Female

     

1

Open

Natasha LEAVERSUCH (56)

01:52:34

2

Open

Wendy REYNTJES (67)

01:57:10

3

Open

Amanda RANKIN (8)

02:00:47

7km SKI

Male

Cat

Name (#)

Time

1

Open

Michael BOOTH (81)

00:23:23

2

Open

Jeremy COTTER (36)

00:23:32

3

Open

Cory HILL (52)

00:24:08

Female

Cat

Name (#)

Time

1

Open

Wendy REYNTJES (67)

00:28:38

2

Open

Natasha LEAVERSUCH (56)

00:28:50

3

Open

Amanda RANKIN (8)

00:29:02

3km SKI

Male

Cat

Name (#)

Time

1

Open

Michael BOOTH (30)

00:13:30

2

Open

Gregory TOBIN (75)

00:14:12

3

30-39

Dean LITTLE (15)

00:14:18

Female

Cat

Name (#)

Time

1

Open

Amanda RANKIN (8)

00:17:57

2

Open

Sharlene KELLY (3)

00:18:35

3

Open

Danielle MCMAHON (13)

00:18:38

 

Event information

Hamilton Island, Queensland, Australia

12-15 June 2014

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Stephen Jackson

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