First National Champions Decided at 2019 Canoe Slalom Senior National Championships

Day three of the 2019 Paddle Australia Canoe Slalom Senior National Championships saw the first national champions decided with semi-finals and finals wrapping up the Women’s K1 and Men’s C1 events and 2018 national team paddlers Ros Lawrence (NSW) and Daniel Watkins (TAS) taking home the respective national titles.

In the women’s kayaking event (WK1) Paddle Australia’s 2018 national team paddlers took the podium with line honours and the national title going to Ros Lawrence (NSW) in a time of 106.05 seconds.

Local Tasmanian Kate Eckhardt (TAS) finished second with a time of 108.02 and with the 21-year old also taking out the win in the U23 age category. Noemie Fox (NSW) finished third in a time of 108.65, which meant second place for her in the U23 age group.

Today’s times in the WK1 were a bit slower than those recorded in yesterday’s heats, which some attributed to a slightly more challenging course as winner Ros Lawrence explained.

“I wasn’t entirely happy with my run in the final today and made a couple of mistakes in some of the chunky sections of the course. But I’m feeling relaxed now after a very exciting final and although I love the course at Bradys, the pressure was really on today,” Lawrence said after her winning run.

Following his win in yesterday’s heats, the men’s canoeing final was again dominated by local Tasmanian paddler and Australian team member Daniel Watkins. Watkins managed to better his overall time in the tightly-contested final of the MC1 race and with a time of 98.31 finished almost a second faster than Tristan Carter (99.07 | VIC) and with Ian Borrows (NSW) taking third spot in a time of 101.51.

“I managed to fix a few errors from the heats and had a clean run which helped today. One crucial down in the eddy made the course a little bit longer with a few more challenges but overall, I kept ta similar race strategy which helped,” Watkins said.

The Senior Championships are also a welcome opportunity for the younger paddlers (Under 18) to compete against the national team paddlers with the event part of the 2019 Paddle Australia Junior Slalom team selection series.

The finals today also saw three juniors with Sophie Wilson, Jack Choate and Hobart paddler, Claire Hodgman put in strong bids for National selection but each will need to compete at Penrith next month to secure a place in the final squad.

Racing at the 2019 Paddle Australia 2019 Canoe Slalom Senior Championships concludes on Sunday, 13 January with the Women’s C1 and Men’s K1 semifinals and finals.

The Champions run at Tasmania’s Brady’s Lake Whitewater Course with almost 60 athletes from across Australia competing for National Championship honours.

For the younger paddlers (Under 18) this set of racing forms 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 with today’s results to be uploaded later today: https://slalom.paddle.org.au/results/