Masters revive gold medal vessel

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Mark Stoneman and Bruce Baldwin will racing in the boat used by Olympic legend Ian Ferguson when he and his team won gold in the K4 1000m at the 1984 Games. Photo/ Stuart Munro

By Zaryd Wilson

When four veteran kayakers line up in the K4 events at the World Masters Games next week they'll be safe in the knowledge their boat is tried and tested.

Mark Stoneman, Bruce Baldwin, Graham Moore and Max Grant will be racing in the boat used by New Zealand's K4 1000m gold medal winning team at the 1984 Olympics.

"We figured if we took that up to the Masters Games that'd be the oldest boat with the oldest crew in it," Stoneman said.

Grant Bramwell, Ian Ferguson, Paul MacDonald and Alan Thompson raced the boat to gold in Los Angles but for the past 15 years it's been stored at the Whanganui Multisport Club.

"We've had it tied up in the rafters," Stoneman said.

"Ownership's a very loose word in our world of kayaking. We are the custodians of the vessel."

It needed a bit of patchwork and strengthening of the hull but the group say it's good to go.

"We've just sort of rebuilt it over the last month and got it sea-worthy again. It's just gorgeous."

The boat was brought to the club by Whanganui coach Brian Scott who knew Canoe Racing New Zealand were looking for a place for it.

"This is the only time we can remember it being used since the Olympics," Stoneman said.

The K4 1000m and 500m events at the World Masters Games will be held over Wednesday and Thursday next week while the team's members will also be competing in K2 and marathon events.

The 1984 New Zealand K4 crew from left, Alan Thompson, Grant Bramwell, Paul McDonald and Ian Ferguson after their Olympic gold medal win in Los Angeles. Photo/ Ross Land
The 1984 New Zealand K4 crew from left, Alan Thompson, Grant Bramwell, Paul McDonald and Ian Ferguson after their Olympic gold medal win in Los Angeles. Photo/ Ross Land

Stoneman said they'd been training since Christmas and under coaching on Scott for about ten weeks.

They wouldn't been drawn on their chances but "intended to be the best looking boat on the course".

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