Roaring Ken’s fast river victory

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Queenstown’s Ken McIntyre (main) breaks out of the toughest gate on the Kawarau River to win his category at last Sunday’s National Canoe Slalom Championships. 

“That gate was the must-make move on the course,” McIntyre, 49, says. 

“A lot of people came to grief there.” 

McIntyre, Wakatipu High’s teacher in charge of outdoor education, joined 150 Kiwi and Australian competitors at the river’s Roaring Meg power station. 

Heavy rain the night before meant the 300m course was tougher for kayakers to negotiate their way round 18 gates. 

“The fear factor was more evident”, McIntyre says. 

He won the veteran men’s with a time of 98 seconds – his fourth nationals win since 1992. 

“I’m rapt. I’ve had no race experience for the last year,” he says. 

Queenstown architect Ngaio Hart (inset) finished in 1min 53secs to win the senior women’s.