The 2023 Paddle Australia Canoe Slalom Championships have come to a stunning finish in Penrith, with the Teams and Kayak Cross events held today.
Kayak Cross is the new Olympic discipline of Canoe Slalom that sees four competitors go head to head in a race to the finish.
Jessica Fox (NSW) and Angus Thompson (NSW) were crowned Kayak Cross national champions after their impressive performances on the Penrith Whitewater Stadium course today.
Reigning world champion Fox was the fastest woman down the course, finishing first ahead of Noemie Fox (NSW) in second and Georgie O’Callaghan (VIC).
“It’s been a good few seasons of building up knowledge and skills, I’m always learning each race,” Fox said.
I’m enjoying it, but it is really heavy to add to the program so just trying to manage my load is what’s tough,” she said.
Fox will now head overseas with the Australian Canoe Slalom team for the 2023 International Canoe Federation World Cup and World Championships season, with the first event to be held in Augsburg (Germany) from 2-4 June.
“It’s been good to get a hit out, and some more racing practice before we go,” Fox said.
“In training we’ve been doing race simulations, but it’s only when you’re on the start line and pull on the bib that you get that race feeling.
“So it’s been good to do that again before heading off, and looking forward to the international season and seeing what we can put together,” she said.
After winning his first national title yesterday in the men’s kayak, Thompson backed up his impressive performance, beating Dominic Curtin (NSW) and Lachlan Bassett (NSW) to take out the men’s Kayak Cross title.
Thompson said he’s enjoying the new challenges that Kayak Cross presents, and is proud to have won the national championship.
“Kayak Cross is certainly interesting, it keeps you on your toes, it’s a different dynamic” Thompson said.
“We’re used to competing against ourselves and the poles, but when you add three other people it changes everything. It’s a challenge, but it’s good fun,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Thompson teamed up with his NSW team mates in the men’s kayak teams to claim his third gold medal of the weekend.
“We managed to get the men’s kayak teams in there as well, so three wins across the board for me this weekend…I’m pretty happy.
“Racing this weekend has been awesome, especially here on my home course.
“We’ve got everyone from across Australia here in Penrith this weekend, it’s really something special. Especially being the Olympic course (from Sydney 2000), it’s definitely my favourite place to race in the world,” he said.
For full results from the 2023 PA Canoe Slalom Championships – click here