Caine tames Bay

A THRILLING finish with a stunning backdrop highlighted the second Byron Bay Ocean Paddle at the weekend.

On Saturday, three-time Coolangatta Gold winner Caine Eckstein added the Bay 10km ocean paddle to his resume, with Ben Allen trailing 30 seconds behind and Zane Holmes finishing third.

More than 350 paddlers churned through the glassy water in perfect conditions for the two-day meet in an event that is growing in stature.

Of the vast field, only a chosen few would return to shore victorious.

The thrilling finish came in the 18km paddle yesterday from South Golden Beach to the Byron Bay Surf Club.

It came down to centimetres as Allen and fellow Queenslander Jeremy Cotter surgedto the line locked together.

Allen, from the Sunshine Coast, grabbed the spoils with a time of 1 hour 21 minutes 11 seconds, just a second clear of Cotter, the 2009 winner.

London Olympic hopeful Kate McGrath dominated the women’s races by winning the 10km and 18km on successive days.

And 2004 Olympic paddler David Rhodes was the winner of the 500m sprint event.



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