Mitch Olds puts in the hard yards during a training session at Boyne Island.
Mitch Olds puts in the hard yards during a training session at Boyne Island. Derrick Den Hollander

Outrigger wins international race

OUTRIGGING is a family affair for the Olds.

Mitch and his dad Grant are in the Cook Islands for Vaka Eiva - an international competition that attracts some of the world's best paddlers.

When The Observer spoke to Canoe Point Outriggers head coach Grant yesterday morning he gushed about his son's performance.

Mitch took out Saturday's under-19 event, finishing the 12km course in just over one hour and 12 minutes.

His nearest competitor was nearly a minute behind.

"He's just done so well," Grant said.

He said Mitch was also part of the successful Australian six-man team that put in a commanding display on yet another 12km course.

"They beat the nearest team by over 10 minutes."

Grant is also getting in on the action.

He was part of a crew that came second in a 36km race that saw the paddlers circumnavigate the island.

Sadly, a 49-year-old paddler from Aitutaki suffered a heart attack during the race and died.

"It's very sad. It certainly lowered the tone of the event."



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