Olympians Lucien Delfour and Daniel Watkins will lead a competitive field of over 50 athletes taking part in the 2022 Paddle Australia Canoe Slalom Championships from April 21-24 at Brady’s Lake.
The Championships return to the Central Highlands region of Tasmania after last year’s event had to be cancelled due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Brady’s whitewater course last hosted the event in 2019, with hosts Derwent Canoe Club looking forward to welcoming back the Australian Canoe Slalom community for an exciting long weekend of competition.
Seven national titles will be assigned across three disciplines, with men’s, women’s and mixed canoe double events being held alongside individual races for men’s and women’s kayak and canoe.
Local hero Daniel Watkins will be looking to keep his winning streak alive in the Men’s C1, an event he has already won three times in a row. Former medalists Steven Lowther (WA), third in 2020, and Tristan Carter (VIC), second in 2019, will be among those who will challenge the Tokyo Olympian for gold, with Carter having already shown good form this year when he took the 2022 Canoe Slalom Australian Open title back in February.
Watkins will also compete in the MK1, a discipline where two-time Olympian Lucien Delfour is the defending champion from 2020. Watkins already took advantage of the home course to edge Delfour for the title in 2019 and will try to pull the feat for a second time this year, with Tristan Carter again a contender after claiming bronze medals in the discipline in 2019 and 2020.
In the women’s competition, 2019 C1 Team World Champion Noemie Fox will be the one to watch, particularly given the absence of Olympic Champion Jessica Fox and Tasmanian Kate Eckardt, who impressed with two silver medals in the last Australian Open.
Off the back of a successful 2021 C1 season, when she achieved multiple World Cup finals and also qualified for the World Championships final, Noemie Fox will have her sights set on national titles in both individual disciplines, looking to improve on her C1 silver from the 2020 Canoe Slalom National Championships.
With Thursday dedicated to the heat demonstration runs, competition will start on Friday 22 April at 9am when the athletes of individual men’s and women’s kayaking will take to the water for the Group 1 heats. Kayak finals are scheduled for Saturday, while the MC1 and WC1 titles will be assigned on Sunday.
Paddle Australia and Paddle Tasmania would like to thank all the sponsors who support the organisation of the event, including Hydro Tasmania, Tasmanian State Government and the Tasmanian Institute of Sport.
All results, updated start lists, and news coverage of the event will be published on the PA website at www.slalom.paddle.org.au.