Senior Master Women
Paddling 14 years. Started in 2003 – when I was in my 40s
2004 won the Silver medal in the Master Women V1 500m in Hilo Hawaii. This was my first international event.
Been the Senior Master Women NZ National Champ six times.
World sprint Champion in 2006 in Aotearoa and again in 2016 in Australia.
Currently world record holder in the SMW V1 500m.
Although I have done quite well in sprints, my passion is long distance – and have crossed the Kaiwi channel from Molokai to Oahu in Na Wahine o Ke Kai (the women’s Molokai race) a total of four times now – once in the OC1 relay – and three times in crews winning Masters 40s in 2009 and 2016.
Have done the Pailolo twice and would rate this race as THE best downwind fun. Would love to do Pailolo in an OC1!
I try to do as many national and international W6 and W1 events as money and leave will allow. I have amazing friends whom I love to paddle with. At home I love to do the Bo Herbert and Bhutty races and this year was able to do the Poor Knights Crossing as well. There are lots of races I love to do here at home – Whaingaroa, Takapuna Cup, LDNs, Kaiteriteri etc.
This year – paddling took me to portland Oregon for two races in ‘The gorge’ (the Columbia river) with over 500 SUP, OC1 and Ski on the start line. It was epic!
BUCKET LIST (not yet done) Liberty Challenge, Womens V3 race in Tahiti, Hawaikinui womens race, Kauai challenge Relay, Dad’s Centre (we never got to finish that race), Gold Coast Cup, Maui Nui (to do again and again) – Pailolo and Na Wahine.
I suppose my mantra would be “be in the moment – each stroke’. When I first started paddling it used to be “Go hard, then go harder!) but these days that mantra has more to do with my mental toughness than paddling strategy!
I have quite a specific mental checklist for V1 sprints to ensure that I am totally prepared as there is not a lot of wriggle room for stuff ups – but mostly I try to stay relaxed. I use visualisation, bungees for warm up and hydrate well in the lead up to events. I also make sure that our family eat well and have a good meal the night before. Usually porridge, berries, yoghurt and coffee the morning of race day – but I also take a bar to nibble if race start is delayed… there is nothing worse than feeling hungry before you get on the water.
I like to have everything ready for race day but sometimes things can get messy when the whole family is trying to use the same resources (i.e.. canoes and water systems). Sometimes you just have to be adaptable and go with what you got!
I’ve had a few but here are two.
I rigged my kit in the wrong way around and had to jump into a bumpy ocean to turn it the right way with my paddling buddy’s (Ngaire and Brennan) unable to assist because of the conditions. Lucky I did rectify it as the ocean was huge and we had to follow the line of the Tutukaka dive boat to get back into the safety of Tutukaka harbour. I don’t think we knew how big it was going to be!
Another mistake – not paddle fit for Bhutty’s one year – even wore two pairs of neoprenes so my butt wouldn’t get sore – fell out twice and cracked my canoe. The thing was – I really wanted to do the race but was underprepared mentally and physically. Lesson learned.
Nyree is one of those paddlers who I have held in awe since I began paddling. She is so strong, focussed and just smashes it out there on the race course. One year I had to fill in for her team as a steerer at a training and was so starstruck!
I am especially pleased to share Nyree’s korero because I have always and will always look up to her. She is just as beautiful off the water as she is on the water. It’s pretty clear to see where Rose and Tupuria get their strength from. Though the whole family paddles and they all do pretty damn good, including husband Dave King and sisters Riana and Hannah.
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