Update on 2021 Paddle Australia Canoe Slalom Championships

The Paddle Australia Canoe Slalom Technical Committee (PACSLTC) met on 9 November 2020 to discuss the 2021 Paddle Australia Canoe Slalom Age Championships and the 2021 Paddle Australia Canoe Slalom Championships scheduled for January 2021.

The primary focus of this meeting was to determine whether these two competitions should proceed given the challenges brought in 2020 and when measured against the objectives of each as described in the PACSLTC’s position statement.

Following extended consultations with host organising committees and discussions in the committee, Paddle Australia followed the recommendations of the PACSLTC and decided

  1. to cancel the 2021 PA Canoe Slalom Championships, originally planned for 8th – 10th January, Brady’s, Tasmania
  2. to go ahead with the 2021 PA Canoe Slalom Age Championships as scheduled from 15th – 17th January at Eildon, Victoria. This decision will need to be reassessed if travel restrictions or State border situations change/do not change as expected.

Other PA Canoe Slalom events February and March

The following races are currently still scheduled to go ahead in 2021 (subject to any COVID-19 restrictions):

  1. Australian Open, Penrith, NSW, 12th – 14th February 2021
  2. Australian Teams Selection Event, Penrith, NSW, 26th – 28th February 2021
  3. 2021 Oceania Championships,  Auckland, NZL, 12th – 14th March 2021

For further information on the decision process see HERE or below:

2021 Paddle Australia (PA) Canoe Slalom Championships, 8th – 10th January, Brady’s, Tasmania

As stated in the position statement the purpose for holding the Paddle Australia Canoe Slalom Championships is to provide an international standard event for Australian canoe slalom athletes.

With this in mind the PACSLTC, in consultation with the host organising committee, discussed the limited access to training that canoe slalom paddlers have had leading up to the event as well as the difficulty and uncertainty of travelling interstate, particularly to Tasmania.

With the previous communication from Paddle Australia’s Canoe Slalom High Performance program confirming that the 2021 PA Canoe Slalom Championships will not be a 2021 Canoe Slalom Team selection event, the PACSLTC carefully considered whether the Canoe Slalom Championships should go ahead on the scheduled date in January or at another time later in the year.

After a lengthy discussion it was recommended by the PACSLTC that, for the best interests of athletes and in order to ensure that any Canoe Slalom Championships delivered is fair and purposeful, the 2021 PA Canoe Slalom Championships be cancelled, with the running of the competition to recommence in 2022.

Paddle Australia has accordingly decided to cancel the 2021 PA Canoe Slalom Championships.

PA thanks the PACSLTC for its time and dedication in working through the relevant issues and in reaching a recommendation which, while disappointing for potential participants, recognises what the Canoe Slalom Championships stand for.

The local organising committee in Brady’s, Tasmania will be running a local competition on these dates, so it is encouraged that those paddlers who can attend do take part in the event. There will also be an additional opportunity to train at Brady’s in April 2021.

The date and location of the 2022 PA Canoe Slalom Championships is yet to be determined.

2021 PA Canoe Slalom Age Championships, 15th – 17th January, Eildon, Victoria

As per the position statement, the purpose of the Paddle Australia Canoe Slalom Age Championships is to develop the sport of Canoe Slalom, and to facilitate the gathering of the Canoe Slalom community.

With the purpose of the event in mind, the local competition organisers had confirmed to the PACSLTC that they are able to deliver the 2021 PA Canoe Slalom Age Championships in January 2021 and are on track to host the event as scheduled. Recent upgrades to the facilities at Eildon were noted and the support of local services was confirmed.

Taking all considerations into account, the PACSLTC recommended that the event go ahead as scheduled from 15th – 17th January at Eildon, Victoria. Paddle Australia has accepted this recommendation.

This decision will need to be reassessed if travel restrictions or State border situations change/do not change as expected.

2021 Paddle Australia Canoe Slalom Championships

The PACSLTC would like to thank both local organising committees for their commitment to assessing the viability of the respective competitions given the challenges brought in 2020.