Tough Bratislava Course Challenges Canoe Slalom Paddlers

Delfour, Watkins, Anderson, Jessica and Noemie Fox Advance Through To Next Round of Racing.

Rio 2016 Olympian Lucien Delfour reminded everyone what he is capable of with a whirlwind K1 run on a tough Bratislava canoe slalom course at the ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup 2 on Friday.

Delfour raced down the challenging course in the second fastest time of the day on a day many of the world’s best paddlers, including members of the Australian team, struggled.

Daniel WatkinsTimothy Anderson, and Jessica Fox and Noemie Fox will also all see weekend action at the second ICF canoe slalom world cup after moving through to the semi-finals in hot conditions on Friday.

It was Delfour who led the way, posting a faultless first run in the men’s K1. But the 30-year-old said he didn’t feel great during his time on the water.

“I was a bit surprised, because I thought my run was a bit of a dog,” he said.

“I had such a bad feeling on the top section. I just had a horrible feeling in my boat, felt like I was sliding in all the time, I guess until the middle section when I found my bearings.

“I don’t really have that much experience on this course. It’s a bit frustrating, a bit shallow. I actually broke my paddle two days ago. But it’s lots of fun, the water is super fast.”

Watkinswill join him in the semis of the K1, after qualifying on his second run, and will also contest the semis of the C1 after finishing fifth fastest. He said he appreciated having to do one less run on Friday then he did one week earlier in London.

“In the long run it’s definitely going to make me fitter, physically and mentally,” he said.

“Being able to have a good race in the morning, and then turning around and resetting in the afternoon.

Watkins - Photo Bence Vekassy

Daniel Watkins – Photo Bence Vekassy

Tim Anderson will make it three Australians in the semi-finals of the K1 after an impressive 18th in the first round of qualifying.

“It was pretty challenging, especially for a heats course, so I just wanted to get down there and get in the flow,” he said.

“I just let the run happen, I didn’t try and force it, so it was good to come down there with a Q at the bottom.

“It’s two times in a row that I’m through after the first run so its nice that I’m getting into that sort of pattern.”

Anderson - Photo Bence Vekassy

Tim Anderson – Photo Bence Vekassy

Jessica Fox qualified third fastest in both the K1 and the C1.

“I got the job done on quite a tricky course,” Fox said.

“The first six gates were very difficult and technically challenging. I’m happy to get through on first runs and go home and rest tonight and come out tomorrow and attack a new course for the semis.

“I’m happy with those qualifications, better than last week, now I’m looking forward to the weekend.”

It was a mixed day for Noemie Fox, a late 50-second penalty keeping her out of the C1 semi-finals. She also needed two runs to get through to the semis of the K1.

Jessica Fox - Bence VekassyJessica Fox – Photo Bence Vekassy

“I was a little bit shaky,” Noemie Foxsaid after her K1 qualification.

“The water is so fast, you just have to really grip. It’s a fast course and it’s a lot of fun.”
Ros Lawrence, Ian Borrows and Steven Lowther were unable to progress past their qualifying rounds. Lowther and Borrows both ran into trouble on both of their C1 runs, while Lawrence also struck difficulties in both her K1 and C1 events.

Racing continues on Saturday with the men’s C1 and women’s K1 semi-finals and finals. The women’s C1 and men’s K1 semi-finals and finals are scheduled for Sunday.

Noemie Fox - Photo Bence Vekassy

Noemie Fox – Photo Bence Vekassy

See the race schedule HERE.
Racing can be followed live on canoeicf.com
Live results can be followed HERE

Bratislava is the second of four World Cups, followed by a World Cup final. The circuit continues in Ljubljana, Slovenia next weekend.

All of the finals from the World Cup series and World Championships will also be available on the Olympic Channel

2019 ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup 1 – Team
C1M: Daniel Watkins (TAS), Ian Borrows (NSW), Steven Lowther (WA)
K1M: Lucien Delfour (NSW), Daniel Watkins (TAS), Tim Anderson(NSW)
K1W: Jessica Fox (NSW), Rosalyn Lawrence (NSW), Noemie Fox (NSW)
C1W: Jessica Fox, Noemie Fox, Rosalyn Lawrence

AUS Race Schedule, Semi-finals, Saturday, 22 June

Bib # Semi-finals Local Start Time AEST Start Time
Men’s C1 
21 Daniel Watkins 9:50 17:50
Finals from 12:03 20:03
Women’s K1
28 Noemie Fox 10:13 18:13
1 Jessica Fox 10:59 18:59
Finals from  12:40 20:40

2019 ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup Season 
– World Cup 1: Lee Valley, UK, June 14-16 June.
– World Cup 2: Bratislava, Slovakia, June 21-23.
– World Cup 3: Tacen, Slovenia, June 28-20.
– World Cup 4: Markkleeberg, Germany, 30 August-1 September.
– World Cup final: Prague, Czech Republic, 6-8 September.
– ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships, La Seu, Spain, 25-29 September 2019
– Tokyo 2020 Canoe Slalom Olympic Test Event, Tokyo, Japan, 25-27 October 2019

See the 2019 Paddle Australian Canoe Slalom World Cup Team here: https://paddle.org.au/canoe-slalom-athlete-profiles/