The Paddle Australia Board, management, staff and the entire paddling community congratulate Helen Brownlee, who has been has been awarded a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours announced today (Monday, 11 June 2018). This honour follows the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) Helen was awarded in 1985 for services to canoeing.
Helen Brownlee, AM, OAM, has been devoted to canoeing for more than 50 years as a competitor, judge and administrator. Helen, who is vice-president of the Australian Olympic Committee, is a life member of Paddle Australia and was an inaugural inductee into Paddle Australia’s Hall of Fame in November last year and was inducted into the Australian Sports Hall of Fame in 2015.
“Congratulations to Helen on this wonderful and much deserved recognition for her extraordinary achievements and contributions to paddle sports and sport in general in Australia and internationally,” Andrea McQuitty, President of Paddle Australia’s said.
President of the Australian Olympic Committee, John Coates congratulated Brownlee “for her remarkable contribution to sport” in an AOC media release, saying that “To this date Helen continues to devote herself to sport as an administrator at every level. She holds multiple significant posts within the world of canoeing, a sport to which she has devoted herself over a lifetime.”
“But Helen’s achievements go so much further as President of the NSW Olympic Council, a Member of the IOC Commission for Olympic Education, the Executive of the Australian Olympic Committee, a Director of the Australian Olympic Foundation and of course she is Vice President of the AOC and an AOC Life Member.
“Right now, she is in Samoa where she continues to work tirelessly for the Oceania National Olympic Committee furthering women’s sport in our region. We are delighted that on top of the OAM she was awarded in 1985 she has been further recognised for her commitment to sport and particularly to athlete wellbeing.”
Helen says the honour was unexpected given she loves what she does.
“It’s been such a great pleasure to have worked with so many wonderful people over the years, you don’t think about receiving this type of recognition,” she said.
“There have been so many highlights, but getting the funding for the canoe slalom course so we could hold this event in Sydney 2000 was certainly one of the great challenges. If the money didn’t come through, it wouldn’t have been on the programme.”
Brownlee started in competitive canoeing as a teenager under the guidance of her father Os Brownlee, who was one of the founding members of Australian Canoeing. Her paddling took her from river touring to sprint competition and to slalom and wildwater disciplines. She won medals at state, national and international events, including Australia’s first international slalom medal.
Brownlee was a judge at the 1972 Munich and 1988 Seoul Olympic Games and a member of the competition jury at the 1992, 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games. A ground breaker for women in sports administration, she worked her way up to become President of the Australian Canoe Federation, a position she held for 14 years, and was given Life Membership. She has recently retired as the President of the Oceania Canoe Association and a Director of the International Canoe Federation but continues her work as Chair of the Oceania National Olympic Committee’s Women and Sport Commission.
Brownlee is the first woman to be awarded Life Membership of the Australian Olympic Committee. She is also the first woman elected to the Australian Olympic Committee executive board and in 2013 became the Vice President.
Shortly before being inducted into The Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 2015 Brownlee was awarded the Olympic Order for her significant contribution to world sport and her dedication to upholding the Olympic ideals. The President of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, presented it to her during the Oceania National Olympic Committee’s general assembly in Fiji. A strong advocate for the involvement of more women in sport, in 2002 she was awarded the IOC Women and Sport Trophy of Oceania in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the promotion of women in sport.
“It is just amazing to see our athletes go beyond themselves to achieve success and I think that is what we are all working for and we are hoping that they will get there. Sometimes we have to share disappointments as well but to see them rise up as we have seen them do and then overcome that with determination makes me feel very proud of what we are doing for our young people and for the sport,” Brownlee said in her Paddle Australia Hall of Fame induction speech.
Helen Brownlee Hall of Fame: http://canoe.org.au/about-us/hall-of-fame/helen-brownlee-oam/
Following a stunning Australian record-breaking silver medal at the Canoe Sprint World Cup in Szeged, Hungary (20 May 2018), the women’s K4 500m of Rio Olympians Alyce Burnett (QLD), Alyssa Bull (QLD), London Olympian Jo Brigden-Jones (NSW) and Jaime Roberts (WA) have been selected to represent Australia at the 2018 ICF Sprint World Championships in Montemor o Velho, Portugal from 23-26 August 2018.
The K4 spearheads a strong Australian women’s team that also includes South Australians Cat McArthur and Josephine Bulmer. Cat McArthur won her first Senior international medal at the ICF Sprint World Cup in Duisburg (26 May) in the K1 1000m, while 21-year old Josie Bulmer made her first ever Senior final in C1 200 with the boat class to premier at the Olympic program in Tokyo 2020.
The Australian sprint men’s team will see dual Olympian and London 2012 gold medallist Murray Stewart (NSW), Rio Olympians Jordan Wood (QLD) and Riley Fitzsimmons (NSW), returning Olympian Steve Bird (WA) as well as 18-year old new-comer Tom Green contest the Sprint World Championships.
The 2018 Sprint team selection followed a strong Australian performance at the 2018 ICF Sprint World Cups 1 and 2 in Szeged, Hungary (18-20 May 2018) and Duisburg, Germany (25-27 May 2018) over the last couple of weeks.
The Australian women’s K4 500 crew only came together just over two months ago and surprised themselves with a stunning silver medal at the ICF World Cup in Szeged, Hungary. In the process they also set the fastest ever time for an Australian women’s K4 500 crew (1:30.472).
Alyce Burnett, Alyssa Bull and Jaime Roberts all paddled together in 2017, and for this year’s World Cup season they added experienced Olympian Jo Brigden-Jones with the team adding a fifth place at the World Cup in Duisburg.
“We’ve been focussing on the K4 this World Cup season and it has paid off. We decided after nationals to give the K4 a red hot crack, but to be honest it first didn’t gel as well together quite the way we expected and we had to go right back to the basics, but we couldn’t be happier how it all penned out. To come away with a silver in Szeged was more than we expected and the 1:30 topped it off,” Alyce Burnett said.
“We are still a new crew and still have things to work on, but we proved to ourselves that we have the ability and it’s a great building block for next year (Olympic qualification) and then hopefully the year after (Tokyo 2020). We want to qualify the K4 for Tokyo and to be part of that would be awesome,“ Burnett added about the confidence boosting World Cups.
Brigden-Jones, who was a member of the 2011 crew that set the previous fastest time for an Australian K4, said the World Cup results were a great start for the new crew. “The boat feels really good,” she said. “We were kind of struggling when we first got in the boat, but we knew we just had to break it down to build it back up again. The race we did in Szeged was the fastest time we’ve ever done in an Australian K4 team. It’s been awesome to paddle with the girls. I have been around for a long time (15 yrs) and I have been wondering these last few years if I have got another good international performance in me. But to come to the World Cups and step it up with these girls and to have a good building block is really exciting.”
Final boat classes for the World Championships will yet be decided for the women’s kayaking squad, who are coached by dual Olympic medallist Anna Wood and are back in Australia for a training block at the Gold Coast. The team will head back over to Europe mid-July which will mark two years to go until the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
And Tokyo 2020 is what it’s all about Alyce Burnett explains, “as the female Australian team, our main goal collectively is to have the best possible result come Tokyo 2020. If that means we are needed in one boat or three boats. And personally, I rather do one boat really well than two boats medium well. At this point in time, we don’t know what boats we will finally be racing in and that’s why we were trialling a few things at the World Cups and testing the waters. But a lot of things can still change over the two years until Tokyo 2020.”
Tokyo 2020 is also on the mind of Josie Bulmer, who impressed in the women’s C1 200 and will join the World Championships kayaking team, finishing seventh in her first ever A-final on the Senior sprint circuit.
The women’s canoe classes will premier on the Olympic program in Tokyo 2020 and in her second year of international competition, 21-year old Bulmer has shown an impressive improvement in her performance.
“I’m still fairly new to this and I hopefully will keep going up and up, but everytime I get a PB it’s pretty exciting,” Bulmer said after her first Senior A-final. “I’ve knocked a few seconds off on last year and am excited to see where I’m at this year and I’m definitely feeling more confident after the two World Cups. It’s a massive learning experience and it’s good to have a lot of the older athletes around to get advice from.
And about the international women’s canoe field as a whole she added, “It’s good to see the women’s C1 squad developing so strongly and it only puts the pressure on me to get better as well. It’s exciting to be part of something new and growing. The Olympics are definitely on my mind and my goal.”
Bulmer will first race the ICF U23 Sprint World Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria (26-29 July), before re-joining the Senior A team.
In the men’s sprint team, Riley Fitzsimmons and Jordan Wood impressed selectors after winning two bronze medals in both the K2 1000 and K2 500 at the World Cup in Duisburg. They will be joined on the team by veteran Murray Stewart, Steve Bird, who is back after a one-year break post the Rio 2016 Olympic Games as well as team youngster Tom Green.
“Winning a couple of medals in the A finals has been great and a good stepping stone towards the World Champs in August. The main goal at the World Cups was to race everyone we can, get a lot of race practice under the belt and find consistency in our racing. The more races and pressure we can put ourselves under, the better it will be come August when it really counts at Worlds and we hope we can keep improving until then,” Riley Fitzsimmons said.
The men’s team will finish their training camp in Munich this week and head back to Australia as well. “We’re still mixing around boats and trying a few things. Once we are back home we will have a week off before getting some kms in at the Gold Coast before August.”
“I’m really optimistic in regard to the ability of our program, and where the boys are at to be able to build a strong K4 over the next two years and also over the next 12 months as we run into Olympic qualification come next year,” National Sprint Coach Jimmy Owens said.
“We’ve got a great squad and the likes of Kenny (Ken Wallace) and Lachie (Lachlan Tame) will also come back next season. They are quality athletes and Olympic medallists and everyone knows they are sitting on the backburner getting ready and getting set for a big campaign moving forward towards 2020.”
And focussing on Tokyo 2020 Owens added, “The journey to Tokyo has properly started now and we’ve come away from the World Cups with some good racing. We had a good kick-start in the men’s K4 500 with the boys doing well, Riley (Fitzsimmons) and Jordan (Wood) did a really good job in the K2 and Muzza (Murray Stewart) has been underlining his credentials by being at the front in the A-finals. Where the program for the men sits is really good and we’ve also seen some strong results in the women’s races.”
“I think the team has really stepped up over the last twelve months in terms of its positioning on the podium and the A finals. Coming away from the World Cups we will now reset and reboot in terms of where we need to get to for Worlds and that’s very important for our direction towards Tokyo 2020,” Owens added about the plans ahead.
The Australian Olympic sprint paddlers will train in Australia until mid-July before heading back over to Europe for a training block and the Sprint World Championships. In Europe, they will be joined by the Paracanoe team at the end of July with both Olympic and Paralympic teams contesting the 2018 ICF Sprint World Championships.
2018 Sprint World Championships Team
Montemor o Velho, Portugal from 23-26 August 2018: https://www.canoeicf.com/canoe-sprint-world-championships/montemor-o-velho-2018
Men’s Sprint Team
Jordan Wood (QLD)
Riley Fitzsimmons (NSW)
Murray Stewart (NSW)
Steve Bird (WA)
Tom Green (QLD)
Women’s Sprint Team
Alyce Burnett (QLD)
Alyssa Bull (QLD)
Jaime Roberts (WA)
Jo Brigden-Jones (NSW)
Cat McArthur (SA)
Josephine Bulmer (SA)
Follow the team
Australia’s Wildwater paddlers impressed at the 2018 Wildwater World Championships in Switzerland over the weekend with the K1 men’s team finishing the sprint event in an impressive fourth place. It was the first Australian Wildwater team to compete at a World Championship since 2013 and the best team result for over ten years.
The team of Rob McIntyre (NSW), Alex McIntyre (NSW) and Kaylen Bassett (VIC) finished fourth in a time of 1:12.19 and +3.46 seconds behind winner Slovenia. France finished second and Germany third.
“The team event is one of those races where you have to work together to create a good outcome, keep the spacing right etc. Everyone is doing their part and bringing it home for the team is really important. This course is very technical and has the part at the bottom where it flattens out for all to paddle together for the line and we did a really good job of that and I’m quite pleased,” Rob McIntyre, who also finished fifth in the individual sprint race, said after the race.
And brother Alex McIntyre added: “We haven’t paddled as a team at a World Championship since 2013. We’ve done races with internationals over the last couple of years, but haven’t had a full Australian team, so it’s been good to have someone like Kaylen coming through. Getting this result today is a motivation for the three of us. It’s something to take home and hopefully the young kids in the sport can see that and will get more motivated to do these types of events.”
It was the first World Championships for Victorian Kaylen Bassett, who was happy about the experience and the event as a whole.
“It’s just the start of the season and I thought this was a pretty good World Championships campaign. We’ve all put down some solid runs and for me it was just cool to see how so many countries interact at this level and there’s been some great local support and a great atmosphere,” Bassett said.
The team also finished ninth in the K1 Men Team Classic race on Friday.
Earlier on Sunday, Rob McIntyre finished fifth in the K1 men’s individual sprint race, his best result at a World Championships and missing out on a medal by just 0.54 second. The podium was in the firm hands of Slovenia’s paddlers, who finished first, second and third with France in fourth. McIntyre qualified for the top-15 final after finishing seventh and second in the heats.
“I was super happy with the run. These finals are pretty intense and you have to deliver your absolute best on the day. I couldn’t really fault my run, it was probably as good as I can do, but the others were just a little bit too strong,” McIntyre said after the race. “It’s my best result at a World Championship, so I’m really pleased with that and it’s pretty excited for the next couple of weeks of World Cups ahead.”
Alex McIntyre and Kaylen Bassett missed the individual sprint finals after placing 25th and 19th as well as 31st and 26th in the heats respectively.
In the K1 women’s individual sprint races Georgina Collin (WA) finished 16th and 13th in the heats, while Dita Pahl (VIC) placed 29th and 20th.
Already on Thursday, the K1 Classic race took place with Rob McIntyre finishing 32nd, Alex McIntyre 36th and Kaylen Bassett 41st in the K1 men’s. In the K1 women’s, Georgina Collin finished 25th, while Dita Pahl placed 29th.
Next stop will be the ICF Wildwater World Cup in Bosnia with some different conditions expected as Rob McIntyre explains.
“I have been to the venue in Bosnia before and it’s a bit different the Muota Valley. The Muota River is quite rocky with quite cold water, while in Bosnia next week we will have some thick volume and nice warm water and weather. They are quite contrasting rivers, but that’s what I like about the sport, we get to experience different rivers, different locations around Europe. It’s exciting times ahead and I couldn’t be happier after my results here.”
Australian Canoeing was represented with five athletes at the 2018 ICF Wildwater World Championships, which took place on the Muota River in Muotathal in central Switzerland in the canton Schwyz from May 31 to June 3, 2018. More than 300 athletes from over 30 countries contested the first World Canoeing Championships to be staged in Switzerland since 1973.
The 2018 Worldcup series follows the ICF Wildwater World Championships with the ICF Wildwater Canoeing World Cup 1 and 2 taking place in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina from 8-10 June 2018 and the ICF Wildwater Canoeing World Cup Final race 3 and 4 in Celje, Slovenia June 15-16 2018.
About the Wildwater World Championships
Wildwater paddling is a demanding event on fast-flowing water and a course that is set to test athletes’ technique and speed to the limits.
There were two types of race – classic and sprint. Classic courses last between 10-35 minutes and run over approx. 4.4km, the sprint is between 200-600 metres long lasting approximately one minute.
The classic race took place on Thursday, 31 May with team events following on Friday, 1 June 2018. Saturday and Sunday saw the heats and finals for the sprint races.
For more information around the event see here: http://www.wm-muota2018.ch/en/home
All results can be found here: http://www.wm-muota2018.ch/en/results-news/
Follow the Australian team here:
The 2018 ICF Wildwater World Championships kick off in Switzerland tonight with Australian Canoeing represented with a team of five athletes. The World Championships will take place on the Muota river at Muotathal in the Canton Schwyz in central Switzerland from May 31 to June 3, 2018.
More than 300 athletes from over 30 countries will be contesting the first World Canoeing Championships to be staged in Switzerland since 1973.
Australia’s Alex McIntyre (NSW) and Rob McIntyre (NSW), Kaylen Bassett (VIC), Genie Collin (WA) and Dita Phal (VIC) have been preparing on the Muota River in the Swiss Alps near Lake Lucerne over the last few days with racing starting today from 11:00 a.m. local time, i.e. 19:00 AEST.
The competition promises to be a physically demanding event on high levels of fast-flowing water and a course that is set to test athletes’ technique and speed to the limits.
“The river has been somewhat lower and variable requiring technical paddling. We also had some overnight rain over the last couple days and a sunny morning producing good snow melt so the team experienced a great challenging high level of 70 cubic metres as they went through their paces during training a couple of days ago. The water in the river is changing every day, which makes it challenging,” Team Manager Peter McIntyre said about the conditions.
There will be two types of races, classic and sprint. Classic course races last between 10-15 minutes and run over approx. 4.4km, the sprint distance of 400 metres can be completed in less than a minute.
Racing will kick-off with the classic individual race on Thursday, 31 May with team events following on Friday, 1 June 2018. Saturday and Sunday will see the heats and finals for the sprint races.
Racing will be live streamed on http://www.canoeicf.com
For more information around the event see here: http://www.wm-muota2018.ch/en/home
Results can be followed here: http://www.wm-muota2018.ch/en/results-news/
Australian Canoeing 2018 Wildwater Team
Kaylen Bassett (VIC)
Alex McIntyre (NSW)
Robert McIntyre (NSW)
Georgina Collin (WA)
Dita Pahl (VIC)
Race Times on day 1 of competition (Thursday, 31 May 2018)
Live streaming commences at 11:00 Swiss time, i.e. 19:00 AEST
Athlete start times
- Dita Pahl. 7.13pm AEST Bib No. 13
- Georgina Collin 7.14pm AEST Bib No. 14.
- Kaylen Bassett 8.17pm AEST Bib No. 73
- Alex McIntyre 8.41pm AEST Bib No 97
- Robert McIntyre 8.55pm AEST Bib No. 111
Follow the event on social media:
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/wmmuota2018/
Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/Muotakanuwm (@muotakanuwm)
Follow the Australian team here: