National Wildwater Champions Crowned in Penrith

Georgia Collin - Wildwater National Championships 2023
Georgia Collin - Wildwater National Championships 2023. Credit JGRimages

The Australian wildwater champions were crowned at Penrith Whitewater Stadium last the weekend, as athletes competed in kayaks and canoes across the Sprint and Classic events.

Georgina Collin (WA) dominated the women’s Open events, winning both the K1 Classic and Sprint. Similarly, Robert Janiszewski (VIC) won back-to-back golds in the Men’s C1 Sprint and Classic.

Kaylen Bassett teamed up with his younger brother Lachlan (NSW) to secure both Sprint and Classic Men’s C2 national titles.

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In the Men’s Masters category, Mike Robinson (VIC) had a fantastic weekend, winning the Masters MK1 Classic and Sprint in his first national competition in 15 years.

Robinson was an Australian team member in the 1980s, having won the U18 nationals in 1982 to be selected on the Australian Junior Slalom and Whitewater team that competed in Europe in 1983.

The 61-year-old said he has loved his recent return to the sport, “looking for fitness and community.”

“I started paddling in 1977 when I was 15, I have been on a break for a bit and only just got back into it in the last 6 months with the support of my club; Canoes Plus. This is my first nationals in over 15 years,” Robinson said.

“I’m really just enjoying getting back into the sport. I have made some great mates and it’s great to back out on the water again.

“I love the challenge – different courses bring out the best in different paddlers. I do really love the community, we are supportive of one another and there is a real sense of comradery in the discipline too.”

On the other end of the competition spectrum, Ella Lawson (NSW) won the U18 WK1 Sprint and Classic events, having only taken up the sport two years ago.

Paddling across multiple disciplines, including Canoe Sprint and Ocean Racing, Lawson said she really enjoyed the challenging course in Penrith over the weekend.

“Wildwater paddlers don’t always get the opportunity to paddle at Penrith, it’s pretty cool to paddle where Jess Fox paddles, so I have really enjoyed the challenge and have had a lot of fun catching up with my friends,” she said.

She said the experience in Penrith will be beneficial for her next two major competitions

“In a few weeks, I’m off to WA to compete at Sprint Nationals and Surf Lifesaving Aussies, and I’m really looking forward to those two competitions.”

See all results from the 2023 PA Canoe Wildwater Championships << HERE >>

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