Victoria dominate Canoe Marathon & SUP Championships at home

The 2023 Oceania and Paddle Australia (PA) Canoe Marathon Championships and Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP) Flatwater Championships were a resounding success in Geelong over the weekend.

Over 300 athletes competed on Victoria’s Barwon River for the four days of competition, with national titles up for grabs in individual and team boats, across long course, short course and technical events.

Host state Victoria was by far the most successful across all events on the weekend, winning the Frank Whitebrook Trophy that is awarded to the state or territory who amass the most points over every race during the event.

After being pipped for the 2022 trophy by 6 points from NSW, the host state dominated the podiums at this year’s event and secured the trophy with a massive 751.5 points, ahead of Western Australia on 188.5 points and NSW with 169 points.

With 45 points, Victoria also won the Halford Challenge Trophy, awarded to the state with the highest point score across international boat classes in Open, U23, U18 and Masters events. NSW was second on 35 points, followed by WA on 28 points.

Individually, WAIS Paddler Josh Kippin kept his name at the top of the results pages in the Men’s K1 Canoe Marathon events, winning gold in the K1 Short Course and K1 Long Course (29km). He also won gold in the K2 Open Long Course alongside Australian representative teammate Casey Haynes.

After an intense last few months of training, I’m really happy to have won all three national titles but I’ve also taken some key learnings away from the event which I will work on in the lead up to World Championships,” Kippin said.

“The K1 long course is my favourite event, it has all the challenges of a long distance event (endurance, psychological toughness) but there’s a lot more time for your strategy to play out which is what keeps it interesting. The highlight outside of the racing itself is always catching up with friends from across the country.”

Kippin said he enjoyed his time in Geelong, and embraced the unfamiliar conditions of the Barwon River.

The organisers and volunteers did an awesome job, the course was beautiful and the atmosphere was both competitive and supportive, which is why I love this sport so much because the community is amazing,” he said.

“The course was great, it definitely had its challenges from the weather, the portage was very slippery so you couldn’t run flat out but it all plays into the tactics of the race. The weather was freezing for those of us coming from Perth, but it’s all a part of it!”

Victoria’s Rebecca Mann was another familiar name on the podium winning the Women’s K1 Short Course and Long Course, with Tokyo 2020 sprint kayaking Olympian Jamie Roberts placing second in both events and Kate Leverett (VIC) winning two bronze medals. Mann also won gold in the W Open K2 alongside Victorian teammate Hannah Scott.

Gergely Balazs Nagy, who is a World Championships bronze medallist for Hungary, won dual gold in the Men’s Open C1 Short Course and Long Course, as did Reka Abraham (VIC) in the two Women’s Open C1 events.

Dating back to 1991, the Coulthart Trophies are awarded to the best performing under-16 male and female canoe marathon paddlers across both classes. Victoria’s Charlie Cornwell and Sophie Hughes received the awards this year for their impressive results in Geelong.

In the inaugural SUP Oceania and PA Championships, Ke’Ale Dorries (QLD) impressed in the open women’s event, taking out the SUP Sprint event with a 4.05 second buffer on Noni Wells (WA) in silver and Janelle Richter (QLD) in bronze. She also won the SUP Technical event, with Wells and Richert joining her on the podium again.

Dorries is hoping to represent Australia at the SUP World Championships in Thailand at the end of the year, and said that she’s loved the opportunity to compete against athletes from right around Australia, and against international athletes too.

“I have enjoyed watching the other competitors and seeing marathon athletes in action too. It’s been great seeing so many SUP athletes out there giving it a go, and we get to race with friends from around the country so that’s pretty cool,” Dorries said.

Wells won gold in the Women’s SUP long course, with Richter in second and New Zealand’s Tracey Mouque in third.

In the Open Men’s SUP events, Queensland’s Jonathan Hagan was untouchable, clean sweeping gold in the Technical, Short Course and Long Course events. New Caledonia’s David Anewy joined him on the podium twice, winning Technical and Long Course silver. Darren Pratt (WA) also won silver in the M Open SUP Sprint and bronze in the Long Course, while Loz Stephenson (QLD) won Technical and Sprint bronze.

See all results from the 2023 Oceania and PA Canoe Marathon and SUP Flatwater Championships HERE

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