PEKAN, Nov 4 – Kent Jenkinson continued to dominate the second stage of the Pahang Ocean Paddle International Challenge (POPIC) 2023 championship when he emerged as the SS1 men’s international open category champion at Pantai Lagenda here today.

Kent, from New Zealand who was also the overall runner-up in last year’s edition, finished the 14 kilometer race with a time of one hour 11 minutes 07 seconds to take home a cash prize of RM1,500.

Australian sibling rowers Harry and Charlie Hewitt were second and third, clocking 1 hour 14:40s and 1 hour 16:25s respectively.

Kent admitted that a different challenge was presented at the Legend Beach this time when many rowers faced strong wind resistance in the middle of the ocean, thus affecting their speed.

“The race was quite difficult today, with the weather conditions being quite hot, scorching and strong winds towards the finish line, it gave many challenges and difficulties,” he said.

Kent started the race by leading his rivals heading into the first seven kilometres, and he admitted his strategy was to keep his distance from the Hewit brothers to ensure the advantage of the time deficit he had from the first stage.

Meanwhile, Harry Hewitt still does not want to give up on the challenge ahead of the final stage which will take place in the waters of Teluk Chempedak tomorrow.

Harry, 23, said he would strategise to close ranks with his younger brother Charlie as a last-ditch effort to resist Kent.

“I admit it will be difficult to challenge Kent but I want to try to snatch the title of champion of the last stage (Teluk Chempedak ), so it will be interesting” he added.

In the SS1 women’s international open competition, a trio of rowers from Australia led by Paige Wood emerged as second stage champions after successfully finishing the 14km race with a time of one hour 21 minutes 34s.

It was followed by Amanda Bowman in second place (1 hour 22: 41s) while in third place Selma Jade Alibegovic (1 hour 25: 49s).

The third stage of POPIC 2023 will take place in the waters of Teluk Chempedak, Kuantan with the main category expected to see local and international rowers in the main category rowing as far as 20 kilometers.

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