|Fernando Pimenta, Portuguese Champion over 5,000 meters 2013|
In total, twenty races were held in different categories, with a special attraction in the senior category, to see in action the recent Olympic silver medalists Pimenta and Silva, in their first official competition of 2013.
There were no surprises in gold, which went to Fernando Pimenta (Club Nautico Ponte de Lima), who won the race with a time of 20'21''23 and beated in the final sprint David Fernandes (Naval Club Funchal ) and Alfredo Faria (Gemeses). It is already the fifth national title in this speciality for young Pimenta, only 23 years old. His partner in the Olympic K2, Emanuel Silva, was fifth. José Ramalho, another of the big names, withdrew and didn't finished the race.
In C1, Pimenta's teammate Samuel Amorim was the winner in the photo finish, as only 15 cents was the difference with silver medalist, Rui Lacerda, both of Nautico Ponte de Lima.
The winning time was 23'26''91. Helder Silva (Club Nautico de Prado) completed the podium, just behind.
In the Senior Women K1, victory for Joana Vasconcelos (SL Benfica), with a time of 22'53''57, followed about ten seconds away by the other two paddlers on the podium, Marta Pinto (Nautico Ponte de Lima) and Joana Sousa (Naval Funchal), second and third respectively.
For we that we are already entering an age, it's great to see again in the rankings paddlers that were referrals in the '90s, like Rui Cancio, Simon Dark or Joao Gomes paddling in the Masters categories. Rui Cancio took bronze in Masters A in a race won by Joao Neves, but the three medalists coming to a sprint in 21'36''. Rui Cancio, which I personally saw doing awesome demonstrations of hard racing and talent on a kayak many years ago, was always one of our idols and is so nice to know that he is still at a high level. Let's hope he will be at the starting list of the European Marathon Championships in June in Vilha Verde (POR), giving even more brightness to Masters category than it already has.
By teams, and with about 50 clubs in competition, the Club Nautico Ponte de Lima won the championship, adding to the end of the twenty races a total of 3068 points. In second place was the Club Nautico de Prado with 2529 and third Club Nautico Crestuma with 2279.
At this link you can check the full results.