Tokyo bound Olympians Riley Fitzsimmons and Lachlan Tame delivered a golden performance on the opening day of Open competition at the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships on the Sunshine Coast.
Fitzsimmons and Tame teamed up with Peter Mitchell to defend their Open Ski Relay title for the Avoca Beach SLSC, claiming one of the first gold medals on offer.
As Fitzsimmons was tagged for the final leg the team was sitting in third position, but he managed to ski his side into the top spot as he rounded the final can.
“We’ve been with the Avoca club since we were four or five years old and we’ve stuck through and through. So it’s awesome to put the team together to come away with the gold after the year we’ve had,” Fitzsimmons said.
Fitzsimmons and Tame have one final opportunity for race practice before the Tokyo Olympics at the Paddle Australia Sprint Championships in May.
“Next up, we’ll be lining up in the K2 1000m and K4 500m at the Canoe Sprint Championships – it’s going to be our last opportunity to really practice and perform before we go over to Tokyo. So a lot of preparation is going to go into that racing at Nationals, really practicing those one percenters on and off the water,” Fitzsimmons said.
For Tame, he was happy to get some real racing and high pressure stakes.
“There’s nothing quite like the nerves of a team race at Aussies. So to really get those nerves this morning, it’s great to get. This isn’t exactly matching what we do in kayaking, but nerves are a pretty big thing to deal with on the day so we’re stoked we managed to get the win
“A lot of hard work is coming up, but I want to try and win the single first – it’s been 10 years since my first one,” he said.
You can catch Fitzsimmons and Tame in action at the Paddle Australia Sprint Championships from 19-23 May at the Sydney International Regatta Centre in Penrith NSW.