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Tauranga canoe athletes to take on the world's best

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Photo: Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Media Services

One's a whitewater surgeon, precise and consistent, while the other is more a paddle-wielding gun-slinger and big-game hunter.

Despite their differences, Callum Gilbert and Finn Butcher's canoe slalom futures are tightly entwined, ascending the same rising line onto the world stage.

The 21-year-old pair have been named once again in a strong New Zealand team for the ICF World Cup series in Europe, sealed with big finishes in last week's Oceania championships in Auckland, having just been given High Performance Sport New Zealand support for the first time.

That funding announcement - which saw Canoe Slalom New Zealand pick up $450,000 for each of the next two years - has been a major confidence booster for both paddlers, joining fellow carded athletes Luuka Jones and Mike Dawson.

"The sport is definitely on an upward trend and it's cool to be an influence on that," Butcher said.

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