2021 PA Canoe Sprint Championships – Newsletter 1


Tuesday 30 March 2021

Dear Canoe Sprint Community,

I would like to introduce myself. My name is Lucy Warhurst and Paddle Australia (PA) has recently engaged my services as the Event Director for the re-scheduled 2021 PA Canoe Sprint Championships to be held in May at the Sydney International Regatta Centre (SIRC) in Penrith NSW. With only 8 weeks to go I would like to introduce a weekly newsletter to give everyone regular updates regarding the Championships as details become available.

Given the postponement of the Canoe Sprint Championships from March to May the PA Canoe Sprint Technical Committee has taken the opportunity to review the event and plan some new initiatives. When entries open, some of the changes to the program from previous years include:

  • The Long-Distance races (2500m and 5000m) as well as the 1000m for female athletes have been removed from the program.  The feedback from both the PA Canoe Sprint Technical Committee as well as the High Performance Pathways team is that these races are better held at GP1 rather than at Sprint Championships.  Having the longer distance races at the beginning of the summer season better aligns with athlete training programs and allows athletes to concentrate their training later in the season on races which are more likely to be the focus of international competitions.  Accordingly, the National Champions for these races will, in future, be crowned at GP1; and
  • The decision has been made to add the Mixed K2 500m to the program.  This decision reflects the fact that this race is already a part of the program for Senior ICF World Cup events and is likely to be a race of increasing significance for sprint paddling looking forward; and
  • We are looking at introducing some racing for ski and sup over the weekend. All welcome. Watch this space.

IMPORTANT update on the event schedule.


For all Junior paddlers, your Championships will commence as published on Thursday 20 May to Sunday 23 May. This is a 4-day program. This is one day shorter than previous years due to feedback received about time away from school and home.

The update is for Senior/U23 and Master paddlers, your Championships will now commence a day earlier than the Juniors starting on Wednesday 19 May to Sunday 23 May on the regular 5-day program.

All racing will be finished on Sunday with the last race at 3pm latest. This should give everyone enough time to pack-up and to get on the road to drive home or to the airport for Sunday evening flights.

*The draft race program will be out in the coming days.


Many of you will recall filling out a survey at the end of the 2020 competition season aimed at gathering feedback to improve athlete’s competition experience. PA has listened to the sprint community regarding the event entry fees not being suitable. A review has taken place and it has been decided for the 2021 Championships there will be a base entry fee of $50 for Juniors, and $100 for Senior/U23 and Master paddlers. In addition, there will be a seat fee of $25 for each event a paddler enters. From modelling this should reduce most if not all paddlers entry fees to the Championships.

*The race registration and entries will be open in the coming days.


As mentioned previously if travel restrictions in some states, or between states, mean that some athletes are unable to attend, the competition may not have the status of a National Championships but it will go ahead. This decision will be taken closer to the date of the competition.


See a list of accommodation on the PA event webpage


As you may have read, the Junior and U23 Canoe Sprint World Championships to be held in Montemor-o-Velho, Portugal have been delayed until 9 – 12 September 2021. Obviously, there remains considerable uncertainty as to whether the Event will take place in 2021 and indeed if if does go ahead, whether Australians will be able to travel.

Notwithstanding this, PA considers it is important that Australian Teams are selected, particularly for the Junior and U23 categories. Selection Criteria has been published for the teams concerned and, at this stage, it is the intention that the 2021 PA Canoe Sprint Championships will be the basis for selection of these teams.

Paddle Australia looks forward to welcoming athletes and their families to a celebration of Sprint paddling at the 2021 PA Canoe Sprint Championships from 19/20 – 23 May 2021.

Updates on the status of all Paddle Australia National Level Competitions can be found here.

If you have any ideas on how we can do the PA Canoe Sprint Championships event better now or in future years please let me know. All feedback can be emailed to sprint@paddle.org.au


Lucy Warhurst

Event Director
2021 PA Canoe Sprint Championships

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