Fox and Delfour Make it Daily Double

Delfour and Watkins (provisionally) join Fox to target Tokyo 2020
Australian Canoe Slalom Paddlers win three Gold, one Bronze at 2020 Australian Open Canoe Slalom 

It was a golden finish for Australia’s Olympic canoe slalom paddlers at the 2020 Australian Open Canoe Slalom with Rio Olympian Lucien Delfour (NSW) and dual Olympic medallist Jessica Fox (NSW) making it a daily double, winning the men’s K1 and women’s C1 respectively.

Lucien Delfour - Caramoda PhotographyIt was the second gold for Fox over the weekend after she also took home the win in the K1 on Saturday. Also on Saturday, Daniel Watkins (TAS) added a bronze medal in the C1 men to Australia’s overall medal tally of three gold and one bronze to wrap up a successful 2020 Australian Open on home waters.

With the event also doubling up as the final Olympic selection event for Australia’s canoe slalom men, Delfour also provisionally secured his Tokyo 2020 spot after qualifying as the only Australian for the top-ten K1 men final following a sixth place in the semi-final earlier in the day and finishing the event as the top-ranked Australian.

Already yesterday, Daniel Watkins provisionally secured his Olympic berth in the C1 men after also finishing as the top-ranked Australian and finishing the final in third place.

Pending official confirmation, nomination by Paddle Australia and selection by the AOC, five months out from Tokyo 2020, Australia’s canoe slalom team of three looks set after Jessica Fox already secured her Tokyo 2020 selection at the World Championships last year to represent Australia in both the women’s K1 and C1.

Jessica Fox - Photo Col Boyd

Jessica Fox – Photo Col Boyd

K1 Men
Two events were counting towards Olympic selection this month, with Lucien Delfour leading the ranks going into the final round at the Australian Open after his win at the first round of selections at the 2020 Oceania Canoe Slalom Championships in Auckland at the start of February (1-3 February 2020).

Ahead of the semi-finals on Sunday, the Olympic door in the K1 men was again wide open though, after Tim Anderson (NSW) threw down a brilliant run in the heats on Friday to finish third, while Delfour finished eighth.

But going into Sunday’s semi-finals, Rio 2016 Delfour made his intentions clear and put down a clean run to progress through to the final in sixth and only +1.08 seconds off the semi-final winner and 2019 World Champion Jiri Prskavec (CZE).

As the only Australian making the top ten, Delfour had already secured the provisional Olympic berth ahead of the final. Watkins just missed out in 12th while Anderson missed a gate that cost him dearly and saw him drop down the ranks, so Delfour had it all locked in.

“It feels great to (provisionally) secure the spot for the Games and I’m really thrilled to go to Tokyo. It is something I have been dreaming about for a quite a while now and obviously it’s such a relief. It is such a high mental pressure, even if I started with the win a couple weeks ago in Auckland (Oceania Champs) it was still quite hard to perform again here in Penrith so I’m really happy with the win today,” Delfour said.

In the final, the pressure was clearly off and Delfour impressed in a time 88.32 seconds to take the win +083 seconds ahead of Italy’s Rio Olympian Giovanni de Gennaro and Czech Republic’s Vit Prindis, 2017 World Cup winner in the K1, following in third.

K1 Men Podium - Photo JGRImages

K1 Men Podium – Photo JGRImages

“The mindset for the final was obviously quite different. I was quite relieved, and didn’t really have the (selection) pressure anymore so I felt like I could really attack, put in more pressure on the boat and take more risks. I am really glad It paid off and I was really happy with the run overall. I didn’t make too many mistakes and had really good speed overall.”
Pending final nomination, Delfour will join Watkins and Fox to target Tokyo 2020 in canoe slalom.

“I am really thrilled to be on the team with those two (Dan and Jess). Funny enough, that was the team that went to the Tokyo test event a few months ago and I don’t know if that is a coincidence. Jess obviously was already pre-qualified, but Dan and myself had to qualify ourselves this week end and I’m really happy to go to the Games with two mates,” Delfour said.

Lucien Delfour - Photo JGR Images

Lucien Delfour – Photo JGR Images

Women’s C1
In the women’s events, Tokyo 2020 selection was already decided last year, when Paddle Australia’s most successful canoe slalom paddler of all time, Jessica Fox secured her spot in both the women’s K1 and C1 after finishing the season with the overall world cup win in both K1 and C1 and wrapped it up with two silver medals at the ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships in September.

But even without her own selection pressure, Fox felt for her Australian and international team mates with the Australian Open Canoe Slalom the final Olympic selection event for several countries, including amongst others New Zealand and Canada.

“It was another nerve wrecking day watching the boys. Dealing with the emotions as well as watching teammates going for one spot and watching other countries battle it out and then having to focus on your run is quite a challenge. But I’m really happy about the way I paddled and the girls put down some really good runs as well,” Fox said after adding a win in the women’s C1 to her K1 win on Saturday.

Jessica Fox - Photo Col Boyd

Jessica Fox – Photo Col Boyd

Fox qualified as the fastest boat in the semi-final and did it all again in the final a couple of hours later. She put down a time of 104.54 seconds, including a two seconds penalty for a gate touch, and was still +5.25 seconds ahead of second placed Nuria Vilarrubla from Spain and Slovakia’s under-18 paddler Emanuela Luknarova in third. Germany’s 2019 world champion in the C1 Andrea Herzog finished fourth.

“Taking the win in C1 was a great way to end the weekend today. The preselection last year freed me up for this race to prepare differently if I wanted to or try different things without the pressure of having to perform for the selections spot. That was freeing and it was nice to approach this race in a different way,” Fox said about being able to race without any added selection pressure.

“But the expectation and the pressure is still there. And seeing the teammates battle it out for the Olympics spot made me feel a bit sick. It is so hard to have only one athlete to be selected but it is always a great fight and I think the Europeans will be up in the next few months with their selections too, so everyone was really in tune with what was happening here,” Fox added.

C1 Women Podium - Photo JGRImages

C1 Women Podium – Photo JGRImages

U23 paddlers Kate Eckhardt (TAS) and Noemie Fox (NSW) also made Sunday’s women’s C1 final with racing counting towards U23 and World Cup team selections.

Eckhardt, who finished ninth in Saturday’s K1 final, wrapped up the weekend with a fifth place in the women’s C1 and was happy with her overall performance.

“I was pretty lucky to scrape through to the final in tenth. I had few penalties in the semi-final which I was hoping to fix up and I manage to put down a clean run with a couple of small errors in the final. But overall, I was really happy with how I paddled. I managed to finish fifth overall, second Australian, first under twenty-three so I was really happy to get in that position and put down a solid run,” Eckhardt said.

Kate Eckhardt - Photo JGR Images

Kate Eckhardt – Photo JGR Images

Noemie Fox missed out on yesterday’s K1 final, but finished sixth in the C1 final after two gate touches and four seconds in penalties. Her raw time, without the gate touches, would have seen her in second place.

“It’s mixed feelings after making the final in C1 but just missing out in K1. Today, in the C1 I had a great raw time, a very fast run but too many penalties (four seconds) so that pushed me back a little bit. It’s hard to finish on a “not very satisfactory run” but there’s lots to take away and I am looking forward to do the world cups and my last under twenty three world champs,” Fox said.

Like everyone else, Olympic selection left its mark with everyone feeling the emotions of those missing out.

“I lived it too much I think and I was with them (the guys) all the way and the emotion was a lot to take. Our Australians, the New Zealanders, they are all such great paddlers and they would all do an incredible job. So many of them could have made it but in the end it is the best that come out on top and I think it is really hard to go through that process . It definitely is a though sport,” Noemie Fox added about the tough selection process in canoe slalom which only allows one athlete per country.

Noemie Fox - Photo Col Boyd

Noemie Fox – Photo Col Boyd

Wrapping up the Australian Open Canoe Slalom meant the end of the domestic racing season for Australia’s canoe slalom paddlers, with athlete now returning to training and preparing for the international season ahead.

“I have got this month at home and then we head to Tokyo at the end of March for our first training camp this year on the Olympic course and then from there, there will be quite a few camps and back and forth between here and Tokyo. Then the world cup races will start in June and we will be in Tokyo before we know it, so it is going to be a busy year,” Jessica Fox explained the season ahead.

The 2020 Australian Open Canoe Slalom as part of the Sydney International Whitewater Festival was the final round of Paddle Australia’s canoe slalom national selection trials and confirmed who will be nominated to the Australian Olympic Committee for selection for Tokyo 2020 in the men’s events this week. The weekend of racing also decided the 2020 Paddle Australia canoe slalom teams, including World Cup, U23 and Junior teams with teams to be expected to be announced at the end of February.

The event also attracted a stellar international line-up with over 300 athletes from 24 countries, including multiple Olympic and World Championships medallists, making the most of the Australian summer and the world class Penrith Whitewater Stadium facilities in order to prepare for Tokyo 2020 as well as for national team and Olympic selection.

See all results here: http://bit.ly/SIWF2020ResultsUpdated

Myriam & Jess Fox - Photo JGR Images

Myriam & Jess Fox – Photo JGR Images

RESULTS, Sunday, 23 February 2020

WC1 Final results 
1 – FOX Jessica – AUS                       2          104.54             0.00
2 – VILARRUBLA Nuria – ESP            2          109.79             +5.25
3 – LUKNAROVA Emmanuela – SVK 0          110.68             +6.14
4 – HERZOG Andrea – GER               2          111.32             +6.78
5 – ECKHARDT Kate – AUS               0          112.50             +7.96
6 – FOX Noémie – AUS                      4          113.44             +8.90

MK1 Final results 
1 – DELFOUR Lucien – AUS               0           88.32              0.00
2 – DE GENNARO Giovanni – ITA      0          89.15               +0.83
3 – PRINDIS Vit – CZE                        0          90.96               +2.64
4 – KAUZER Peter – SLO                   0          91.38               +3.06
5 – IVALDI Zeno – ITA                         0          91.69               +3.37

RESULTS, Saturday, 22 February 2020

Men’s C1 Final
1- Benjamin SAVSEK – SLO              0          94.96   0.00
2- Matyas LHOTA – CZE                    0          97.84   +2.88
3- Daniel WATKINS – AUS                2          98.20   +3.24   
4- Marko MIRGORODSKY – SVK      0          98.31   +3.35
5- Roberto COLAZINGARI – ITA        0          98.70   +3.74

Women’s K1 Final
1- Jessica FOX-  AUS                       0          97.87   0.00     
2- Ricarda FUNK – GER                     4          99.84   +1.97
3- Camille PRIGENT – FRA                0          103.71 +5.84
4- Elena APEL            – GER              2          105.44 +7.57
5- Eliska MINTALOVA – SVK             2          105.63 +7.76

9- Kate ECKHARDT – AUS               2          110.76 +12.89

Watkins Provisionally Secures Tokyo 2020 Ticket 

Gold & Bronze for Fox and Watkins at 2020 Australian Open Canoe Slalom

It was an exciting day for Australia’s Olympic canoe slalom paddlers at Penrith Whitewater Stadium with Tasmanian Daniel Watkins provisionally securing his spot in the C1 men for his first Games and also making his first Australian Open Canoe Slalom podium and taking home the bronze medal. Dual Olympic medallists Jessica Fox, who already secured her Tokyo 2020 ticket at the World Championships last year, wrapped up the first day of finals at the 2020 Australian Open Canoe Slalom with a gold medal in the women’s kayak.

C1 Men
Tokyo 2020 Olympic dreams became reality for Daniel Watkins at the 2000 Sydney Olympic canoe slalom venue on Saturday after the 24-year old finished fifth in the morning’s semi-final and progressed through to the C1 final as the only Australian and securing the top spot on the overall Paddle Australia C1 selection rankings in the process.

With the 2020 Australian Open Canoe Slalom as part of the 2020 Sydney International Whitewater Festival doubling up as the final Olympic canoe slalom selection round, Watkins went into the weekend as the leader in the men’s C1 after winning the first two out of four selection relevant races at the 2020 Oceania Canoe Slalom Championships in Auckland at the start of February.

In Auckland, Watkins was also the one securing Australia the quota spot in the class and now will add his name to the seat.

MC1 – Photo Col Boyd

But on Friday, he missed his chance to already lock it all in and instead threw the Olympic door wide open again after Victorian Tristan Carter overtook him in the heats and with Rio Olympian Ian Borrows and Brodie Crawford progressing through to Saturday’s semi-final as well.

It was a nerve wrecking way to get there, but in the end Watkins was able to celebrate the top position on the selection ranking that will secure him the Tokyo 2020 C1 men spot with formalities expected to be finalised later next week and with Paddle Australia nomination to the Australia Olympic Committee and final selection still pending.

“I had a really quick semi-final run, I had one touch and it felt really good in places. I wasn’t really sure if it would stack up and be as quick as it was, but it held and I moved into the final as the only Aussie. So that gives me two overall wins, one at Oceania, one today and qualifies my spot for the Olympic Games,” Watkins said after the semi-final.

Progressing through to the final and racing on a high after locking in his spot, Watkins backed up his strong performance in the semi with a bronze medal in the world-class final a couple of hours later.

Robin Jeffery (coach + London Olympian) celebrating with Dan Watkins - Photo JGRImagesRobin Jeffery (coach + London Olympian) celebrating with Dan Watkins – Photo JGRImages

“There was a lot of relief and lots of emotions over the last hour leading into the final run, lots of distractions to get back on the water and get back on the course and the run was similar to the semifinal but without the pressure and I had a lot of fun,” Watkins said.

“It was the best one just going out there after having already confirmed the spot. I was able to let loose and focus, I actually almost relaxed and went a little bit easier which worked really well,” Watkins said finishing the final in a time of 98.20 after one gate touch and two seconds penalty.

“I went a little bit easier and used the water a lot better, I had a touch at the top and had quite a bit of time loss at the last gate but other than that I am really happy with the run. It is my first Senior podium at the Australian Open in C1, so I’m really happy with that,” Watkins added.

Slovenia’s Benjamin Savsek took home the win in men’s C1 with Matyas Lhota from Czech Republic coming second.

“This was quite a strong field, not as strong as the World Cup but there are plenty of the top 20 here. So it was really nice to see what kind of times they are lying down and how close I can get to them,” Watkins said about the caliber of the field.

C1 Men Podium - JGR PodiumC1 Men Podium – JGR Podium

K1 Women
Following the C1 men, the women’s kayakers were at the start line, with Paddle Australia’s most successful canoe slalom paddler of all time and world number one Jessica Fox, progressing through to the final with a second place in the semi-final behind Germany’s world number three Ricarda Funk.

In the semi-final, Funk put down a time of 95.14 with Fox almost five seconds behind following a two seconds penalty, but in the final the order was reversed.

Fox finished the day with a clean run and a time of 97.87, while Funk got two touches which saw her +1.97 seconds behind in second. France’s Camille Prigent finished third.

Jessica Fox K1 - Photo JGRImagesJessica Fox K1 – Photo JGRImages 

“I was happy to improve the sections I needed to from my semi-final. I had a solid run in the semis but Ricarda was extremely fast so I knew that I needed to really step up in the final and try to fix the errors I made in the semi. So I was super happy with my top, then I had a couple of little mistakes, but really managed to really hold it together. I was pretty tired at the finish, Ricarda had a few penalties and it was enough to take the win today which I’m stoked with and it was fantastic to have another good battle out on the water,” Fox said.

Fox already secured her Tokyo 2020 Olympic ticket in both the women’s K1 and C1 at the World Championships last year and was thrilled to have her first canoe slalom team mate to join her in Tokyo decided today.

“It was extremely nerve wrecking watching the C1 race, knowing that it was still wide open and any of the boys could take it out. I I still had to focus on my race but I was very much in the race watching them, cheering for them and ducking gates with them. Dan really stepped up to lock it in, and that is fantastic for him and an Olympic berth, a rookie on the team and I’m exciting for him to join the club,” Fox said.

K1 Women Podium - Funk, Fox, Prigent - Photo JGRImages

K1 Women Podium – Funk, Fox, Prigent – Photo JGRImages

Tasmanian Kate Eckhardt was the only other Australian to make the world-class women’s K1 final and finished ninth, which sees her ranked as top U23 women’s kayak paddler.

“I was pretty happy to put down a solid semi-final run. I made a few mistakes in the final and picked up a penalty but happy to be out racing the final,” Eckhardt said.

“This should put me in the (U23) team and I’m really excited to be going to my last U23 championships. I have been the second Australian at all the selection races in K1 and that should put me in a good position for the World Cup team, which again is really exciting because I’ve missed out on that last year and it’s good to be back fighting for that and getting some reasonable results,” Eckhard said about the selection relevance of her racing with the Australian Open also doubling up as the final World Cup and U23 team selection event.

And about the Olympic selection of her fellow Tasmanian team mate Daniel Watkins she added, “I’m super happy for him. He has shown that he was the best paddler over this selection series and his performance has been awesome and I’m so happy for him to be representing Australia in Tokyo. It is always good to represent the “Little Island.”

Eckhardt - K1 Photo JGRImages

Eckhardt – K1 Photo JGRImages 

Both Jessica Fox and Kate Eckhardt will be back in action on Sunday in the women’s C1 semi-finals.

On Sunday, another Olympic ticket will be up for grabs in the K1 men and the battle will be on between current leader and Rio Olympian Lucien Delfour and Friday’s top ranked Australian Tim Anderson. Anderson finished second in Friday’s heats, while Delfour finished eighth.

The 2020 Sydney International Whitwater Festival is the final round of Paddle Australia’s canoe slalom national selection trials to confirm, who will be nominated to the Australian Olympic Committee for selection for Tokyo 2020 in the men’s events. The weekend of racing will also decide the 2020 Paddle Australia canoe slalom teams, including World Cup, U23 and Junior teams, as well as Olympic reserves. Teams are expected to be announced at the end of February.

Sunday will also see the finals of the 2020 Paddle Australia Freestyle Championships.

See all results here: http://bit.ly/SIWF2020ResultsUpdated

Live Stream Finals – Rewatch:  https://youtu.be/HFZtrEP0JwA

RESULTS, Saturday, 22 February 2020

Men’s C1 Final
1- Benjamin SAVSEK – SLO              0          94.96   0.00
2- Matyas LHOTA – CZE                    0          97.84   +2.88
3- Daniel WATKINS – AUS          2          98.20   +3.24   
4- Marko MIRGORODSKY – SVK         0          98.31   +3.35
5- Roberto COLAZINGARI – ITA         0          98.70   +3.74

Women’s K1 Final
1- Jessica FOX-  AUS                0          97.87   0.00     
2- Ricarda FUNK – GER                     4          99.84   +1.97
3- Camille PRIGENT – FRA                0          103.71 +5.84
4- Elena APEL            – GER              2          105.44 +7.57
5- Eliska MINTALOVA – SVK             2          105.63 +7.76

9- Kate ECKHARDT – AUS               2          110.76 +12.89

Olympic Door Remains Open at Canoe Slalom Selection Trials

Australian Open Canoe Slalom – Sydney International Whitewater Festival, Penrith Whitewater Stadium, 21-23 February 2020

Nerves were running high when the Australian Open Canoe Slalom as part of the 2020 Sydney International Whitewater Festival got underway at Penrith Whitewater Stadium on Friday with the event doubling up as the second and final round of Olympic selection trials in the men’s C1 and K1.

Tasmanian Daniel Watkins as well as Rio Olympian Lucien Delfour (NSW) were the leaders going into the final selection round after winning the men’s C1 and K1 at the Oceania Championships respectively at the start of February, but both of them missed the opportunity to lock it all in on Friday.

Two more races count for selection this weekend with the first one in the heats on Friday and when it was not Watkins and Delfour, but Tristan Carter (C1 men) and Tim Anderson (K1 men) who were the leading Australians in those races, the door to the Olympics remained open.

It will now come down to the semi-finals and final in the C1 men on Saturday and in the K1 men on Sunday.

In the men’s C1, Tasmanian Daniel Watkins went into the first day of racing at the 2020 Australian Open Canoe Slalom as the leader on the selection ranks after he won the first two relevant races at the 2020 Oceania Canoe Slalom Championships in Auckland at the start of February.

Daniel Watkins - C1 Photo Scott Moorhen  

Daniel Watkins – C1 – Photo Scott Moorhen Photography

With a win in the heat, he would have locked in his ticket, but a two seconds penalty saw him drop into 23rd place in heat one and he needed a fourth place in the second run to secure his place in Saturday’s men’s C1 semi-final.

Victorian Tristan Carter made the most of his opportunity to keep his Olympic dreams alive and put down an impressive and clean run that saw the Under-23 paddler finish fifth in the world-class field to go straight through Saturday’s final.

“This means everything to me. It came down to me having to win this race to stay in the Tokyo selection. So there was a lot of writing on it, there were a lot of nerves before it, but when I got to the bottom and I did a clean and a solid run, just pure emotions came out. I was so happy and so relieved,” Tristan Carter said after keeping his Olympic dreams alive.

“It is definitely not over yet, I have to do it again in the semis (Saturday), but I’m celebrating the small victories and I have managed to stay in it and that counts for me right now. It’s a bit of a confidence boost and I now have to make sure I stay focused and do it again. It is going to be an exciting race, everything is even, everyone is at the top and basically whoever wins tomorrow goes to the Olympics,” Carter said.

Tristan Carter - C1 JGR Images

Tristan Carter – C1 – Photo Scott Moorhen Photography

Still in the mix are also Rio Olympian Ian Borrows as well as Western Australian Brodie Crawford. Borrows, who finished third at Oceania Champs, also did not have the best start to the day and finished the heat in 39th, but a sixth place in the second run was enough to progress to Saturday’s semi-final.

Brodie Crawford finished 22nd in the first run and seventh in the second run to also keep a slight chance open in the battle for Olympic selection, which will all come down to who will be the top Australian in Saturday’s racing now.

Czech Republic’s Lukas Rohan won the C1 heat ahead of Frenchmen Martin Thomas and 2019 World Champion Cédric Joly.

The men’s K1 was equally exciting with Tim Anderson throwing open the door to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics again after finishing second in the K1 men heat and only +0.75 seconds off 2019 World Champion Jiří Prskavec (CZE), who won the heat in a time of 89.24. USA’s Michal Smolen finished third.

Anderson, who made his first Senior World Championships semi-final last year, did not have a good start to Olympic selection after failing to progress to the final at the 2020 Oceania Championships at the start of February, but impressed in Penrith in the heat on Friday.

“When a run goes to plan like that, you got a good feeling in the end and it’s a mixture of relief, satisfaction and happiness,” Tim Anderson said.

Tim Anderson - Photo Scott Moorhen Photography

Tim Anderson – Photo Scott Moorhen Photography 

Daniel Watkins, who doubles up in both the C1 and K1 finished seventh, while selection leader Lucien Delfour finished eighth with final selection racing in the men’s K1 semi-final and final to be decided on Sunday.

“I had a bit of a shocking start to the selection trials in New Zealand but with this run I can put my name back in the mix for the Olympic spot and we’ll have to race that out on Sunday,” Anderson added.

Paddle Australia’s most successful canoe slalom paddler of all time, Jessica Fox, already secured her Tokyo 2020 Olympic ticket in both the women’s K1 and C1 at the end of last year and had a strong start to the weekend’s racing.

Fox went straight through the women’s K1 and C1 semi-finals with a second place in the heats of the women’s K1 and a win in the women’s C1 heats on Friday.

Fox C1 - Photo JGRImages

Fox C1 – Photo JGRImages 

The women’s K1 heat was won by Germany’s world number 2 ranked Ricarda Funk in a time of 96.01 with Fox following 1.95 seconds behind and Germany’s Elena Apel in third. In the world-class women’s K1 field, Tasmanian Kate Eckhardt was the only other Australian to go straight through to Saturday’s semi-final after finishing the heat in fourth.

Noemie Fox, who is also aiming for under-23 selection, just missed out on the top-20 in the first run after two gate touches and four seconds in penalties but qualified for the semi-final with a third place in the second run.

In the women’s C1, Fox won the heats despite a two-seconds penalty ahead of Slovakia’s Emanuela Luknarova and Germany’s 2019 C1 World Champion Elena Apel.

Under-23 paddlers Noemie Fox (sixth), Kate Eckhardt (14) and Demelza Wall (20) also went straight through to the semi-final in the women’s C1 with Noemie Fox putting herself into a strong position to secure the Olympic reserve spot in Sunday’s C1 racing.

Noemie Fox - Photo JGRImages

Noemie Fox – Photo JGRImages 

The event is also doubling up as an U23 and Junior team selection event and 15-year old Mark Crosbee (VIC) impressed leading the Junior rankings in both the C1 men and K1 men, while Penrith local Sophie Wilson tops the Junior women rankings.

Racing continues at Penrith Whitewater Stadium on Saturday with the semi-finals and finals in the men’s C1 and women’s K1. The women’s C1 and men’s K1 semis and finals are scheduled for Sunday.

Crosbee - Photo JGRImages

Mark Crosbee – Photo JGRImages 

The 2020 Sydney International Whitwater Festival is the final round of Paddle Australia’s canoe slalom national selection trials to confirm, who will be nominated to the Australian Olympic Committee for selection for Tokyo 2020 in the men’s events. The weekend of racing will also decide the 2020 Paddle Australia canoe slalom teams, including World Cup, U23 and Junior teams, as well as Olympic reserves. Teams are expected to be announced at the end of February.

See all results here: http://bit.ly/SIWF2020ResultsUpdated

See canoe slalom finals on both Saturday and Sunday will also be live streamed HERE: https://whitewater.paddle.org.au/slalom/

About the Australian Canoe Slalom Open 
The 2020 Sydney International Whitewater Festival is the largest international whitewater event in the Asia Pacific and celebrates the 20-year anniversary of the Sydney 2020 Olympic Games. The event also includes the 2020 Paddle Australia Freestyle Championships.

20 years after the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, Penrith Whitewater Stadium will once again see Olympic dreams in the making with Australian Open Canoe Slalom as part of the Whitewater Festival the decider for Australia’s two last remaining spots for Tokyo 2020 in the C1 men and K1 men (21-23 February 2020).

Exactly five months out from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games the 2000 Olympic venue is the first major international hit-out of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic season with a stellar international line-up of Olympic champions and medallist at the start line.

Australia’s dual Olympic medallist Jessica Fox spearheads an impressive line-up of Olympic medallists racing in Penrith this weekend including amongst others Olympic bronze medallist Jiří Prskavec (CZE) who is also the reigning men’s kayak world champion, Olympic silver medallist and two times world champion in the men’s kayakPeter Kauzer (SLO), Olympic women’s K1 silver medallist Luuka Jones (NZL) as well as Germany’s London 2012 K1 Olympic bronze medallist  Hannes Aigner (GER) and Japan’s Takuya Haneda, who won bronze at Rio 2016 in the C1 men’s category.

Also at the start line are amongst others 2019 World Champion in the men’s C1 Cedric Joly (FRA), silver medallist Ander Elosegi (ESP), men’s K1 2019 World Championship silver and bronze medallists David Llorente (ESP) and Joan Crespo (ESP) as well as world ranked number 2 in C1 men Alexander Slafkowsky from Slovakia.

In the women’s events, 2019 K1 and C1 world cup winner and world championships silver medallist Jessica Foxhas the chance for a rematch with Germany’s 2019 C1 world champion Andrea Herzog in the C1 as well as with Rio Olympic silver medallist and 2019 world championships bronze medallist in the K1 Luuka Jones from New Zealand. Germany’s world ranked number 2 Ricarda Funk as well as 2019 women’s kayak European Champion Amy Hilgertova from the Czech Republic are also vying for the top spots.

Entry to all days of the competition is free for spectators with the canoe slalom competition to start at 8:15 a.m. on Friday, 21 February with heats. Semi-finals and finals in the men’s C1 and women’s K1 are scheduled for Saturday, before Sunday will see the women’s C1, mixed C2 and men’s K1 semi-finals and finals.

A great selection of Australia’s and the world’s best whitewater paddlers will contest the 2020 Paddle Australia Freestyle Championships with the freestyle events spearheaded by three-time world cup champion and Guinness World record holder Jez Jezz (NSW) as well as Australia’s first ever Junior world championships medallist Jack Newland (VIC). Japan’s World Cup Champion Suematso Yoshiko will also be contesting the event and will be up against Great Britain’s eight-time world champion Clare O’Hara.

The freestyle competition starts Saturday afternoon, 22 February with heats and with finals to follow on Sunday in between the canoe slalom semi-finals and finals.

See event schedule HERE

More information: www.whitewater.paddle.org.au

Paddle Australia Event Entry Waiver Updated

 

Why is there an event entry waiver?

Paddle Australia, our State Paddle Associations and our affiliated Clubs offer a range of fantastic events, competitions and programs to both members and non-members alike.  You can get a feel for many of these great events by checking out the event browser and the calendar on the Paddle Australia website.

As you are aware, organisers of such events and programs require participants to sign an Event Entry Waiver so that they are aware of the terms and conditions under which they are participating.

As we move to housing event registration in GoMembership – the new Paddle Australia Membership and Events Portal – this is one of the documents that all people who have a profile in the system agree to when they

(a) access their existing member profile for the first time in GoMembership or
(b) create a new profile to purchase a membership or enter an event.

By agreeing to the Event Entry Waiver at this time, it becomes binding across all events entered via GoMembership.

How has the event waiver changed?

Paddle Australia has taken the opportunity, off the back of recent air quality issues that threatened the running of events, to revisit and update the wording in our standard Event Entry Waiver that relates to prevailing conditions.  At the same time, the wording relating to insurance was updated to be clear that it is not just members who have insurance but also anyone that has paid the Non-Member Single Event Fee that is required for specified events.  This new Event Entry Waiver comes into effect on 1 March 2020.

How is the event waiver implemented?

It is the responsibility of the event organiser to ensure that the Event Entry Waiver is signed by all participants. This is a simple process for event registrations through GoMembership, as explained above. If your State Paddle Association or Club is yet to migrate their event registration to GoMembership, they will need to manage the provision and signing of the Event Entry Waiver through a locally managed process. Clubs will be required to send completed Event Entry Waivers to their State Paddle Association.

It is important that the Event Entry Waiver is signed (physically or electronically agreed to) and, for non-members, the Non-Member Single Event entry fee paid, otherwise insurances could be void for the individual and/or event organiser.

If you are unsure if you have agreed to the Event Entry Waiver for a particular event, please contact your event organiser.

For more information, please contact your Club, State Paddle Association (click here for contact details) or Paddle Australia on 02 9763 0670.