Canoe sprint paddlers from across the country flocked to Champion Lakes in Perth for the first day of competition at the 2023 Paddle Australia Canoe Sprint Championships.
More than 250 competitors put it all on the line, with national titles in individual and team boats up for grabs.
On the first day of the regatta, competitors aged 12&U all the way through to members of the Senior National team took to the course to test their skills.
2022 World champion silver medalist, and Perth-born athlete, Yale Steinepreis said it has been great to be back home racing in front of friends and family.
“It’s been alright so far – just the 200s to start it off on day one…one of my favourite events so can’t complain,” Steinepreis said.
“It’s so exciting [to race in Perth] and to see all the juniors here. It’s great to be here, and it’s great to be back in Perth.
“For the rest of the regatta, I’ve got the K1 200 final coming up tomorrow, I’m doing the Mixed K2 with Riley Fitzsimmons which is really exciting.
“And then team boats, with the K2 and K4…it’s a good week and I’m looking forward to more racing,” she said.
“After she was recently announced as a member of the Australian Paracanoe team for 2023, Kathleen O’Kelly-Kennedy said it makes her proud to come home and race in Perth,” O’Kelly-Kennedy said.
“I’m very happy to be back in Perth – I love this community over here.
“They have a lot to do with why I’m so passionate about the sport and I love it so much so it’s great to be back here and representing WA.
“It was also really exciting to have more para women in our race today, seeing the field grow was really cool.
“I’ve got two more races, so once they’re out of the way I’m going to focus on cheering on my teammates,” she said.
Racing will get back underway on Wednesday 22 March at 8am AWST. Livestream via the Paddle Australia Facebook page – click here
For schedules and results – click here