2024 ICF Australian Freestyle National Championships a huge success

The 2024 ICF Australian Freestyle National Championships have come to a close in Elidon, Victoria. 

For the first time in many, many years a natural hole, wave on the Goulburn River in Eildon was the location for this years championships. A combination of the heat of summer and the cool temperate waters of the Goulburn river providing a unique experience for many competitors with one of the largest contingents of competitors seen in years.

A very competitive field included a record 7 competitors in the MK1 Freestyle Mens Juniors with competitors from NSW, Tasmania and Victoria. 

“It was fantastic to see a great number of junior paddlers giving this challenging natural feature a go” explained Australian Freestyle chair and competition host Peter Newland.

“Furthermore, we saw a good number of MK1 mens senior paddlers and MK1 women paddlers in this years competition. More importantly, and the real key of this sport is having fun while feeling the adrenaline of throwing some powerful moves. There were plenty of smiles shared with all competitors”.

Defending MK1 Australian mens champion, Jack Newland returned to defend his title. 

“This was a tough competition with some new entrants which changed the playing field and added some new challenges. The feature was challenging but that’s part of the sport, adapting to changing water levels and the specifics of the feature is always a challenge. This year a lot of the competitors changed their throw down tricks between rides which added some more excitement to the comp.”

Jack Newland did take the gold in a very close competition needing to pull through a championship ride in his final run.

In the MK1 Australian women’s category, Ally Cork took out this years competition with 3 solid rides maintaining the feature in each ride. This was a deserving result for Ally after her Australian team selection for the 2023 world championships where Ally unfortunately needed to pull out days before the competition due to a fractured knee.

All participants, organisers, volunteers and supporters would like to thank an absolute legend and visionary of the sport Jez Jezz for his time, guidance and judging of the competition and Paddle Australia for the continuing contribution to the exciting sport of Freestyle Kayaking.

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