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Paddler digs deep in marathon effort

Date

Lee Gaskin

Locker Room

Brad Smith does it the hard way.

Brad Smith does it the hard way. Photo: Mark Dadswell

DON'T feel like putting your feet up and relaxing these holidays? Then, follow the lead of Canberra's Brad Smith, who is part of a three-person team completing the 404 kilometre Murray Marathon on a paddle board. The team averaged 10km/h for Thursday's opening 96km leg from Yarrawonga to Tocumwal, which had them middle of the pack up against a variety of craft including surf skis, canoes and racing kayaks.

Flanagan and third baseman hit it off

MOVE over Rory McIlroy and Caroline Wozniacki, a new super sporting couple is emerging to take your place. Rumours are circulating the world's No. 1 golfer and former No. 1 tennis player are engaged - due to Wozniacki's sporting a new rock on her finger on arrival Down Under. But Locker Room has discovered Canberra hockey star Anna Flanagan has a romantic interest in Toronto Blue Jays and Perth Heat third baseman Luke Hughes. Canberra's bachelors will be understandably gutted by the news and hoping the Aussie hockey program is relocated from Perth to the Australian Institute of Sport in the ACT. It'll be interesting to see where Flanno's allegiances lie. The Cavalry are now in Perth for a four-game series before the Heat travel here next week for another four matches at Narrabundah Ballpark from Thursday night.

Anna Flanagan and Luke Hughes.

Anna Flanagan and Luke Hughes. Photo: Instagram

A Capital idea

NEW Year's Eve is all about parties and celebrations. But the Canberra Capitals will be wasting little time getting back to business in a bid to keep alive their WNBL play-off hopes. After taking a week off over Christmas, the Capitals (5-10) will break out of their festive slumber with a gruelling mid-afternoon training session at the Belconnen Basketball Stadium on Monday. It could have been worse - they would have been submitted to a New Year's Day session had not all of the courts been fully booked. The Capitals will look to get their season back on track and break their seven-match losing streak when they host the Dandenong Rangers at the AIS Arena on Friday night.

Pitcher on the move

BRIAN GRENING has been tearing it up for the Canberra Cavalry, and the red-hot pitcher is tapping into his Cavalry connections for his next US stint. Grening is in talks to join veteran manager and former Major Leaguer Butch Hobson in the Atlantic League. Cavalry fans will recognise the surname - Hobson is the father of slugger KC Hobson, who belted bombs to all parts of Narrabundah Ballpark this season before leaving to rejoin the Toronto Blue Jays organisation. If that move doesn't come off, Mexico or Taiwan - which is the third biggest league in Asia behind Japan and South Korea - could also be options for 27-year-old Grening, who is 3-0 for the season and is the No. 1 starting pitcher for the top-of-the-table Cavalry.

Cavs overcome rough ride

NOT everything is running smoothly for the Canberra Cavalry. When the Cavs arrived at Perth Airport for their top-of-the-table series against the Perth Heat the hire cars hadn't been booked. Trying to find enough cars for his 22-man team plus support staff during the holiday season was the last thing the Canberra manager needed after a 4am wake-up and a long flight across the Nullarbor. Luckily for the person at the Australian Baseball League responsible for booking cars, the Cavalry capped off a marathon day with a marathon win over the reigning champions.

Sickening experience

SPARE a thought for Canberra sailor Shane Gaddes, who was part of the crew of super maxi Wild Thing before it was disqualified from the Sydney to Hobart. The 36-year-old was due to embark on his fourth edition of the great ocean classic, only for his crew to be excluded just hours before the start for failing to provide mandatory documentation detailing recent modifications on the boat. But that's not the only mishap Gaddes has had on the water - he also endured a brutal initiation in his first Sydney to Hobart, copping vomit in his face. Twice. From the same culprit.

Winners off to the golf

CONGRATULATIONS to four lucky readers who have won season passes to the ISPS Handa Women's Australia Open of golf valued at $336. Leigh Blyton, Peter Poke, Brian Jeffery and Rachelle Stannard will be walking the Royal Canberra fairways following some of the world's best female golfers, including former world No. 1 Karrie Webb and defending champion Jessica Korda, the daughter of former professional tennis player Petr. Judging by the amazing response we received, the tournament is sure to be a hit.

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