Australian Canoeing’s Slalom Paddlers kicked-off the international ICF slalom season in style by finishing in the top ranks in the heats on day one of the Oceania Canoe Slalom Championships in Auckland, New Zealand (27 January to 29 January 2018). Held at the Vector Wero Whitewater Park in Auckland, the Canoe Slalom Oceania Championships is the first major international hit-out of the 2018 season and a selection relevant event for the Australian team.
On the first day of racing at the Vector Wero Whitewater Park, especially Australia’s women impressed with Rosalyn Lawrence (95.63) finishing the heats ranked first in the K1, with World champion Jess Fox following in fourth after picking up a penalty but breaking the minute-barrier with a 99.o00sec effort. Tasmanian Kate Eckhardt (6) and Noemi Fox (8) also made the top ten in the heats.
In the women’s C1, Fox showed why she’s won three world championships in the single-bladed discipline by posting a time more than 7secs faster than second ranked New Zealander Luuka Jones. Fox’s younger sister Noemie Fox was third-fastest, with Kate Eckhardt following in fourth. Australians Alexandra Broome and Alison Borrows finished ninth and tenth respectively.
Olympian Lucien Delfour was the top Australian qualifier in the men’s K1 after finishing 0.56secs behind Kiwi Callum Gilbert. Mathieu Biazizzo (France) was third in 85.48, Kiwi Olympian Mike Dawson fourth in 85.62 while reigning world champion Ondrej Tunka (Czech Republic) was fifth. Australian’s Benjamin Pope (9) and Warwick Draper (10) also finished the heats in the top ten.
International paddlers dominated the men’s C1 qualifying, with Casey Eichfeld (United States) recording 92.76secs, a second quicker than Frenchman Kilian Foulon, with Australians Ian Borrows and Brodie Crawford following in third and fourth respectively.
Sunday’s (28 January 2018) schedule sees semifinals and finals for both the women’s K1 and the men’s C1, with the men’s K1 and the women’s C1 finishing on Monday (29 January 2018), alongside the first Oceania boatercross (extreme slalom) championships, which features four boats racing down the course at once.
See all results, semi-final line-ups as well as Sunday’s and Monday’s schedule here: http://www.slalomnz.org.nz/events-1/oceania-champs