Australian Wildwater Paddlers impress at World Champs in Switzerland

Australia’s Wildwater paddlers impressed at the 2018 Wildwater World Championships in Switzerland over the weekend with the K1 men’s team finishing the sprint event in an impressive fourth place. It was the first Australian Wildwater team to compete at a World Championship since 2013 and the best team result for more than ten years.

The team of Rob McIntyre (NSW), Alex McIntyre (NSW) and Kaylen Bassett (VIC) finished fourth in a time of 1:12.19 and +3.46 seconds behind winner Slovenia. France finished second and Germany third.

“The team event is one of those races where you have to work together to create a good outcome, keep the spacing right etc. Everyone is doing their part and bringing it home for the team is really important. This course is very technical and has the part at the bottom where it flattens out for all to paddle together for the line and we did a really good job of that and I’m quite pleased,” Rob McIntyre, who also finished fifth in the individual sprint race, said after the race.

And brother Alex McIntyre added: “We haven’t paddled as a team at a World Championship since 2013. We’ve done races with internationals over the last couple of years, but haven’t had a full Australian team, so it’s been good to have someone like Kaylen coming through. Getting this result today is a motivation for the three of us. It’s something to take home and hopefully the young kids in the sport can see that and will get more motivated to do these types of events.”

It was the first World Championships for Victorian Kaylen Bassett, who was happy about the experience and the event as a whole.

“It’s just the start of the season and I thought this was a pretty good World Championships campaign. We’ve all put down some solid runs and for me it was just cool to see how so many countries interact at this level and there’s been some great local support and a great atmosphere,” Bassett said.

The team also finished ninth in the K1 Men Team Classic race on Friday.

Earlier on Sunday, Rob McIntyre finished fifth in the K1 men’s individual sprint race, his best result at a World Championships and missing out on a medal by just 0.54 second. The podium was in the firm hands of Slovenia’s paddlers, who finished first, second and third with France in fourth. McIntyre qualified for the top-15 final after finishing seventh and second in the heats.

“I was super happy with the run. These finals are pretty intense and you have to deliver your absolute best on the day. I couldn’t really fault my run, it was probably as good as I can do, but the others were just a little bit too strong,” McIntyre said after the race. “It’s my best result at a World Championship, so I’m really pleased with that and it’s pretty excited for the next couple of weeks of World Cups ahead.”

Alex McIntyre and Kaylen Bassett missed the individual sprint finals after placing 25th and 19th as well as 31st and 26th in the heats respectively.

In the K1 women’s individual sprint races Georgina Collin (WA) finished 16th and 13th in the heats, while Dita Pahl (VIC) placed 29th and 20th.

Already on Thursday, the K1 Classic race took place with Rob McIntyre finishing 32nd, Alex McIntyre 36th and Kaylen Bassett 41st in the K1 men’s. In the K1 women’s, Georgina Collin finished 25th, while Dita Pahl placed 29th.

Next stop will be the ICF Wildwater World Cup in Bosnia with some different conditions expected as Rob McIntyre explains.

“I have been to the venue in Bosnia before and it’s a bit different the Muota Valley. The Muota River is quite rocky with quite cold water, while in Bosnia next week we will have some thick volume and nice warm water and weather. They are quite contrasting rivers, but that’s what I like about the sport, we get to experience different rivers, different locations around Europe. It’s exciting times ahead and I couldn’t be happier after my results here.”

Paddle Australia was represented with five athletes at the 2018 ICF Wildwater World Championships, which took place on the Muota River in Muotathal in central Switzerland in the canton Schwyz from May 31 to June 3, 2018. More than 300 athletes from over 30 countries contested the first World Canoeing Championships to be staged in Switzerland since 1973.

The 2018 Worldcup series follows the ICF Wildwater World Championships with the ICF Wildwater Canoeing World Cup 1 and 2 taking place in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina from 8-10 June 2018 and the ICF Wildwater Canoeing World Cup Final race 3 and 4 in Celje, Slovenia June 15-16 2018.

About the Wildwater World Championships

Wildwater paddling is a demanding event on fast-flowing water and a course that is set to test athletes’ technique and speed to the limits.

There were two types of race – classic and sprint. Classic courses last between 10-35 minutes and run over approx. 4.4km, the sprint is between 200-600 metres long lasting approximately one minute.

The classic race took place on Thursday, 31 May with team events following on Friday, 1 June 2018. Saturday and Sunday saw the heats and finals for the sprint races.

For more information around the event see here: http://www.wm-muota2018.ch/en/home

All results can be found here: http://www.wm-muota2018.ch/en/results-news/

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