Having paddled together since they met as teenagers at Cottesloe Surf Life Saving Club in Perth, Natasha and Peter Leaversuch are thrilled that the 2023 ICF Canoe Ocean Racing World Championships are less than a month away from taking place in their own backyard.
Both established paddlers in their own right, the Western Australian couple are looking forward to enjoying their time on the water together and competing with friends and new acquaintances alike.
“We’re so excited about the fact that the World Championships are here in Perth. For us, with the event in Perth, the question was less so ‘why should we do it?’ and more so ‘why shouldn’t we?’,” said former Australian Surf Ski Champion, Natasha.
“To have everyone over here will be fantastic, and I’m very hopeful we’ll have a nice seabreeze so that everyone will be able to experience that because it really is pretty impressive and just so much fun.”
“The whole event has been well planned and well organised, and we have a huge paddling community in Perth, so the exposure this event brings will be great,” she said.
Ocean paddling is something Peter has been passionate about for as long as he can remember, having started in surf life saving as a nipper.
Now the CEO of Royal Life Saving Western Australia, Peter races for the love of the sport and is hopeful the Fremantle Doctor will make an appearance the day he and Natasha take to the water in the doubles event.
“It has been fantastic to see doubles grow in popularity in Australia over the years, especially as a way in which older people can stay involved in the sport,” he said.
“Over here in Western Australia there’s so many great events we’ve been able to take part in, so we’ve competed in doubles a fair few times between paddle and surf life saving events. In saying that, we’ve never competed together at a World Championships, so we’re both quite excited.
“For us, this event is very much about enjoyment and welcoming everyone to Perth, we’ve got people coming from all around the world and we can’t wait to be on that start line with them.
“The Ocean Racing World Championships are very unique because in most paddle disciplines the fields are a bit more split and you don’t have the opportunity to be on the start line with the top paddlers and still feel a part of it, but at these World Championships, you do.
The pair of passionate Ocean Ski-ers are undoubtedly excited for the upcoming World Championships, noting there’s still time to enter and enjoy the event, even if someone is just planning on racing for fun.
“If you’re thinking of coming to Perth, just sign up and do it, it’ll be fun,” said Natasha.
“The great thing about the Western Australian coast is that it’s very sandy. I think there’s only one groin, so it’s a very safe coast for Ocean Racing.
“If you’re like us and always feel better after a paddle, come on over and join us, it’ll be a great showing of the Ocean Racing community,” she finished.
Join Natasha and Peter at the 2023 ICF Canoe Ocean Racing World Championships in Perth from November 27-December 3. There is still time to enter, with registration for the landmark event open until November 20.
For more information or to enter, visit the event website here.