The second day in the 2019 Paddle Australia Canoe Slalom Senior National Champs saw some excellent technical paddling skills on display in the heats and first rounds of qualifying in the Men’s and Women’s K1 and C1 events.
In today’s men’s kayaking event the Men’s K1, the top three places went to 2018 Australian canoe slalom team paddlers with line honours going to Tim Anderson (NSW) in a time of 94.20 seconds with Rio 2016 Olympian Lucien Delfour (NSW) in close second in 94.71 seconds and local Tasmanian Daniel Watkins taking out third position in 95.26 seconds.
In the Women’s K1 once again last year’s national team paddlers raced in the lead with Tasmanian paddler Kate Eckhardt finishing one second ahead (103.80) of Noemie Fox(104.76) followed by Ros Lawrencejust over one second later at 106.19.
The Men’s canoeing races (C1) were dominated by local paddler Daniel Watkins, who was a clear two seconds ahead of second place-getter Ian Borrows (NSW) with Tristan Carter (VIC) rounding out third place.
The Women’s C1 event saw the tables turned with Noemie Fox taking line honours ahead of Kate Eckhardt and Ros Lawrence in respective times of 105.74, 106.99 and 108.35.
With two more days to go in the National Slalom Champs, it will be interesting to see how local paddlers and Australian team members Daniel Watkins and Kate Eckhardt fare against some stiff competition from interstate challengers.
Watkins was very pleased with his racing and complimentary of the revised Brady’s white- water course, “the changes made to the course over the past few years have really improved things, making it safer while still having a few challenges for paddlers,” he said.
Kate found the challenging course to her liking too, saying “I was pretty happy with my efforts today, and was able to get nice, solid runs,” she said.
Racing continues on Saturday, 12 January 2019 with the Women’s K1 and Men’s C1 semifinals and finals.
Slalom events involve paddler navigating a series of gates down a white-water course with the gates altered for each heat. Paddlers must go upriver through red gates and downriver through the green gates and on the challenging Brady’s course, every paddler requires considerable technical skills as this is one of Australia’s most demanding canoeing venues.
The Champs continue over the next two days (12 and 13 January) at the Brady’s Lake Whitewater Course, Tasmania with almost 60 athletes from across Australia competing for National Championship honours. For the younger paddlers (Under 18), the stakes are much higher as this set of races is part of the selection event series which will determine membership of the national Junior Slalom team and the chance to represent Australia at the World Champs in Poland in July 2019.
You can access information about the Brady’s Lake races including the event guide/schedule, start lists and course guides from the Paddle Australia website at https://slalom.paddle.org.au/.
Results can be accessed here: https://slalom.paddle.org.au/results/