Rochelle Austin has been selected to represent New Zealand at the World Kayak Marathon Championships in Denmark.
Rochelle and her partner Jessica Polo (from St Mary’s College) will compete in the Under 18 K2 race between September 20 and 22, which consists of a course of about 18km. After each lap (about every 4km), they have to get out of their 12 kg kayak and carry it 100m before starting the next lap.
The duo train between 5 and 8 times a week, with a regime that involves paddling, running and lifting weights. They were selected to compete at this championships after placing second at the nationals in April. That was a remarkable achievement considering the two girls only decided to paddle together the day before and had only one training session before competing.
At 14 years old, Rochelle is the minimum age to participate in this event. She has been sea kayaking with her family for her whole life, but only started competing in sprint racing for the past two years.
Good luck to Rochelle and Jessica!