Home' The Wellingtonian : April 12th 2012 Contents 24 THE WELLINGTONIAN, APRIL 12, 2012
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Why we shouldn't
forget Serepisos 23
Italy next for kendo quartet
Big fight coming: Rob Challies, left, and Walter McCahon preparing for training in the Victoria University gym.
Photo: ROSS GIBLIN
By LYDIA ANDERSON
Wellington s top kendo fighters
were bruised and battered after
the national championships in
Christchurch last month, but
their biggest fight is just around
The four athletes will compete
at the world kendo championships
in Italy next month.
After winning a handful of
medals between them at the
nationals in Christchurch they
are looking to make a strong
impression at the worlds.
New Zealand fighters who have
previously competed at the trien-
nial event have never progressed
past the second pool round.
Hutt Kendo Club members
Medea Pai and Sue Lytollis and
Rembuden Kendo Club members
Rob Challies and Walter
McCahon are part of a 13-member
national squad that will compete
against 50 other countries over
Kendo, a skill-based martial art
derived from ancient samurai
swordsmanship, has a small but
growing player base. About 400
players are registered with the
New Zealand Kendo Federation.
Lytollis, McCahon and Challies
have been practising kendo for
several years at an international
level and their nationals results
reflect their abilities.
Challies, third dan black belt,
won the overall national men s
division, displacing higher-ranked
fourth dan teammate McCahon
from his position as 2011 men s
Challies and McCahon were
part of the winning Rembuden
Lytollis, fifth dan, won gold in
two women s team events and a
bronze in the veterans division.
Pai, third kyu grade, won gold
in the women s kyu division.
Challies said the level of compe-
tition at the worlds would be a big
It s very competitive, very
physical, very rough, he said.
Fights last about four minutes,
with a total of three points a fight.
Points are earned by landing
blows to the head, neck, wrists or
McCahon said their focus would
be on building speed and fitness.
You can t totally change your
kendo in a few weeks, so it s about
polishing off the rough edges.
All four competitors are jug-
gling fulltime jobs with four to five
training sessions each week. They
are self-funding their trip, at a
cost of about $10,000 each.
Lytollis said the Hutt club had
raised about $3500 towards her
own and Pai s costs.
The team will fly to Italy on
May 15 for two weeks training
before the competition in Novara,
which runs from May 25 to 27.
Lytollis and Challies are New-
town locals and Pai and McCahon
live in Karori.
Smith faces tricky powerboat challenge
Full speed: Mikey Smith, who leads the national 60-mile powerboat championship.
Photo: CATHY VERCOE
Wellingtonian Mikey Smith,
racing in Konica Minolta, faces a
tricky task defending his lead in
the national 60-mile offshore
powerboat championship in Wel-
lington on Saturday.
Smith, 21, began racing in the
Honda class when he was only 15
and has already won the national
He followed in the footsteps of
his father, Grant, and sister,
Kelly, who both won several titles
in the superboat lite class.
This year, Smith has stepped
up into the hotly contested sports
60 class, and leads it by 500 points
with three races remaining.
He is racing an Australian-built
20ft force hull, powered by a 200
Evinrude E-Tec engine.
Drivers face tricky conditions in
Wellington, with choppy water
made even rougher when the
inter-island ferry passes.
The Thunder on the Harbour ,
as round six is being billed, will
involve at least 17 championship
There are several classes, split
by boat and engine size, raced
simultaneously over either 60 or
The race pits area will be
tucked in behind Te Papa by
Chaffers Marina. Boats will be
there for pre-race preparation
from 8am. The pits area is open to
The race, which begins at 1pm,
will be held in the inner harbour.
The best viewing opportunities
are from Oriental Bay, Pt
Jerningham and Evans Bay.
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