As certain areas of Australia are experiencing unprecedented levels of bushfire activity, Paddle Australia is monitoring the situation carefully in the lead up to numerous domestic competitions.

Paddle Australia is specifically monitoring the air quality in areas where upcoming competitions will be held. The health and wellbeing of all of our members (athletes, staff, officials and volunteers) is paramount.

The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) recently released a position statement concerning air quality and exercise.

As suggested in the AIS statement, Paddle Australia will be using Air Quality Index (AQI) as a guide in determining whether upcoming competitions should proceed, be modified, or, in extreme circumstances, be cancelled due to potential health risks to those involved. These decisions will be made in conjunction with local competition organisers, recognising that paddling competitions are diverse in nature and that local conditions and circumstances will vary.

Particular caution is required for those individuals who are already susceptible to upper airway irritants (e.g. asthmatics). Similarly, consideration will need to be given to the potential impact of conditions on technical officials and volunteers, who may be engaged in assisting with competitions over lengthy periods of time.

Paddle Australia staff will also be monitoring air quality in determining whether to amend High Performance training programs in the coming weeks.

On behalf of Paddle Australia, we hope that there will be some respite from these bushfires in the very near future and our thoughts are with those who have been impacted by these devastating fires. We would also like to thank the tireless work of all those who are fighting these bushfires.

If you would like to donate to the relief effort, please do so via the Australian Red Cross here

Paddle Australia’s statement: Australian bushfires and air quality

Paddle Australia Seeking EOIs for 2021 and 2022 Canoe Ocean Racing Championships

Paddle Australia (PA) is seeking expressions of interest (EOI) for both the 2021 and 2022 PA Canoe Ocean Racing Championships. PA is seeking EOIs from affiliated Clubs and/or SMAs (either individually or in collaboration), non-affiliated Canoe Ocean Racing Clubs, and/or other third party event organisers. Joint submissions are encouraged.

The tender for the 2021 PA Canoe Ocean Racing Championships is being held at the same time as the tender for the 2022 PA Canoe Ocean Racing Championships. Interested parties are able to submit tenders for both Competition at the same time. PA will accept tenders which are for the 2021 or 2022 Competition.

The successful host venue(s) will be selected by the Board of PA, guided but not obligated by the recommendations of the Bid Assessment Panel. The host of the 2021 Competition will be different to the host of the 2022 Competition.

PA has produced a tender document which sets out the minimum requirements to host either the 2021 or 2022 PA Canoe Ocean Racing Championships, including the information required from interested parties in an EOI:
⎯ Section 1 outlines a brief overview description of the Competition.
⎯ Section 2 outlines a timetable associated with the completion of the Expression of
⎯ Section 3 outlines the venue specifications / requirements for 2021 PA Canoe Ocean
Racing Championships.
⎯ Section 4 outlines the host benefits.

Paddle Australia 2021 and 2022 Canoe Ocean Racing Championships Tender

All submissions are to be submitted by 5pm (AEDT) on Friday 14 February 2020 and sent to Duncan Tweed (Chief Operating Officer)

2020 Canoe Ocean Racing Selection Criteria Supplement – Released!

Paddle Australia (PA) has published the selection criteria for the 2020 PA Canoe Ocean Racing team.

The teams will compete at the 2020 ICF Canoe Ocean Racing World Championships to be held at Viana De Castelo, Portugal from the 1st – 6th September 2020.

Click here to view the selection criteria supplement

If you have any questions in regards to selection please contact PA at

Fox and McGrath Headline Paddle Australia 2019 Annual Awards

Paddle Australia Annual Awards 2019, Saturday, 9 November 2019

World number one and 2019 double World Cup winner Jessica Fox as well as double 2019 world champion Curtis McGrath OAM headline a stellar line-up of athletes, coaches, officials and volunteers, who have been announced as finalists for this week’s Paddle Australia 2019 Annual Awards.

The Annuals Awards recognise and honour the achievements of Paddle Australia’s athletes, coaches and volunteers with award recipients to be announced in 15 categories this year.

The winners will be announced at the Paddle Australia Awards dinner at the Mercure Sydney on Saturday, 9 November 2019 with Seven News Sydney’s sports presenter, journalist and reporter Jim Wilson to MC the night.

Paddle Australia’s greatest individual slalom paddler of all time, Jessica Fox, once again is a hot contender for the Paddler of the Year – Olympic award following her 2019 world cup win in both the women’s C1 and K1.  She also had a successful finish to the season wrapping up  the 2019 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships with C1 team gold and two silver medals in the K1 and C1 and securing Australia the women’s canoe slalom quota spots for Tokyo 2020 in the process.

Olympic canoe sprint paddlers Alyce Burnett and Alyssa Bull both join Jessica Fox amongst the Paddler Of the Year finalists after another successful domestic and international season.  Burnett won world cup silver in the women’s K1 1000, while Bull won two world cup golds in the same event.  Both also took home gold and silver in the women’s K1 5000, secured several A finals throughout the season as well as the Olympic quota spot in the women’s K4 together with Jaime Roberts and Jo Brigden-Jones.  Paddle Australia’s up and coming sprint talent and 2019 double U23 World Champion Thomas Green completes the Paddler of the Year finalist list.

Green took home gold in the U23 men’s K1 1000 as well as the K4 500 together with Riley Fitzsimmons, Jackson Collins and Jean van der Westhuyzen.

The U23 World Champion K4 is also amongst the finalists for the Team of the Year Award and are up against the women’s C1 canoe slalom team of Jessica Fox, Noemie Fox and Rosalyn Lawrence who took home the world champion title at the 2019 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships.  Also in the mix are wildwater paddlers in the men’s C2 Kaylen and Lachlan Bassett as well as the U23 wildwater women’s K1 team of Genie Collin, Madison Wilson and Demi O’Brien, who took out bronze at the 2019 ICF U23 Wildwater World Championships and men’s K2 combination of Rio Olympians Riley Fitzsimmons and Jordan Wood.

Paralympic Champion and the most successful male paracanoeist Curtis McGrath added World Championship titles nine and ten to his long list of accolades this year and is named as a finalist for the Paracanoeist of the Year Award.  Fellow Paralympian and 2019 World Championships silver and bronze medallist Susan Seipel as well as Paralympian Dylan Littlehales are also nominated as finalists with all three paddlers also securing Australia Tokyo 2020 Paralympic quota spots this season.

Ocean racer, canoe sprint paddler and ironwoman Jemma Smith is amongst the finalists for the Paddler of the Year – Non-Olympic and will be up against wildwater U23 team bronze medallist Madison Wilson, who also made her senior world championships debut this year as well ocean racing world championships bronze medallist and accomplished ocean racer Cory Hill.

Paddle Australia’s masters paddlers once again underlined that paddling is a sport for all ages with a strong list of finalists nominated for the Masters Paddler of the Year.  Ocean racing world champion Matthew Rees as well as canoe marathon paddlers Laura Lee and Gavin Cook as well as Terry Bolland all impressed over the last year and posted exceptional results both domestically and internationally.

Paddle Australia’s night of recognition will also celebrate amongst others the Coach of the Year, Instructor and Guide of the Year, Technical Official of the Year, Services to Paddling, the Award of Merit as well as the President’s Award.

The gala dinner will also feature the induction of two new inductees to the Paddle Australia Hall of Fame. The Paddle Australia Hall of Fame was established in 2017 with the aim to celebrate the sport’s history and those who have made significant contributions to the sport of paddling.

See a full list of finalists for the Paddle Australia 2019 Annual Awards here:


  • Alyce Burnett (QLD), Canoe Sprint
  • Alyssa Bull (QLD), Canoe Sprint
  • Jessica Fox (NSW), Canoe Slalom
  • Thomas Green (QLD), Canoe Sprint


  • Cory Hill (WA), Ocean Racing
  • Jemma Smith (NSW), Ocean Racing
  • Madison Wilson (VIC), Wildwater Canoeing


  • Jenaya Massie (QLD), Canoe Sprint
  • Kailey Harlen (NSW), Canoe Sprint


  • Jack Newland (VIC), Freestyle
  • Jazmin Shipway Carr (NSW), Ocean Racing
  • Joe Burton (NSW), Canoe Marathon


  • Dylan Littlehales (NSW)
  • Curtis McGrath (QLD)
  • Susan Seipel (QLD)


  • Gavin Cook, Canoe Marathon
  • Laura Lee (NSW), Canoe Marathon
  • Matthew Rees (NSW), Ocean Racing
  • Terry Bolland (WA), Canoe Marathon & Recreation


  • C1 Women Canoe Slalom (Jessica Fox, Noemie Fox, Rosalyn Lawrence), NSW
  • C2 Men Wildwater (Kaylen Bassett, Lachlan Bassett), VIC
  • K1 Women Under 23 Wildwater (Georgina Collin, WA, Madison Wilson, VIC, Demi O’Brien, VIC)
  • K2 Men Canoe Sprint (Riley Fitzsimmons (NSW), Jordan Wood (QLD))
  • K4 Men Under 23 Canoe Sprint (Riley Fitzsimmons, Thomas Green (QLD), Jackson Collins (QLD), Jean van der Westhuyzen (QLD))


  • Matt Dalziel (TAS)
  • Myriam Fox (NSW)
  • Peter Winton (QLD)
  • Robert Jenkinson (WA)
  • Shaun Caven (QLD)

Other awards that will also be awarded on the night include:

  • Technical Official Of The Year
  • Instructor And Guide Of The Year
  • Award of Merit
  • Services to Paddling
  • The Olegas Truchanas Canoeing Award
  • People’s Choice Award
  • President’s Award

MAKAI Cup to Host 2020 Paddle Australia Canoe Ocean Racing Championships

Paddle Australia, Paddle New South Wales and the MAKAI Paddlers have announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for the hosting of the 2020 Paddle Australia Canoe Ocean Racing Championships.  

The agreement will see the Championships included within the MAKAI Cup, a downwind Ocean Paddling event, to be held in Ulladulla on the South Coast of New South Wales on February 8 and 9 next year.

The event will determine the National Champions for Canoe Ocean Racing for 2020 and will also serve as the selection event for athletes vying to be part of the Australian Team to attend the 2020 ICF Canoe Ocean Racing World Championships in Portugal in September 2020.

Paddle Australia CEO Phil Jones confirmed that the decision to partner with MAKAI Paddlers was one that was borne out of a recent strategic planning process focused on Canoe Ocean Racing.

“It is important that Paddle Australia delivers a high quality experience for paddlers looking to compete for national titles and be selected for ICF competitions,” Phil Jones said.

“We believe that the event run by MAKAI Paddlers is the best fit for 2020, given the track record of delivering an outstanding competition.”

For MAKAI Paddlers the decision to include the National Championships within its event was an easy one.

“We want to provide the best event possible for participants,” the Club’s President Damian ‘Damo’ Staunton said.

“By partnering with Paddle Australia and Paddle NSW we are able to maintain the character and spirit of the MAKAI Cup while bringing people from all over Australia to be a part of the experience and see why the MAKAI Cup is more than just a race.”

The agreement continues the recognition of the MAKAI Cup as one of the premier events of its type in the country.

“The MAKAI Cup has been awarded both the “Best Event” as well as the “People’s Choice” awards by Paddle NSW over recent years”, confirmed Peter Tate, CEO of Paddle NSW.

“It is a great choice to host the Paddle Australia Canoe Ocean Racing Championships”.

The decision to determine the National Champions as well as ICF World Championships selections from a single event is a change in direction from the 2019 process, when a series of races was used to determine overall results.

“This is an opportunity to get all of the best ocean racers in the country participating at the same time” Phil Jones said.

“We hope that this new approach, using a single event and aligning the age groups with those used internationally, will put the event and selection within the reach of more ocean paddlers. Timed as it is to follow other major ocean races, Paddle Australia is excited at the prospect of this event being a focal point for the ocean racing community in 2020”.

As well as the MAKAI Cup, the weekend will include the Mini MAKAI 10k, a shorter distance ‘out and back’ race suitable for community level ocean paddlers as well as all levels of Stand Up Paddleboarders.

Paddle Australia’s ocean racing paddlers brought home five medals in the open, U23 and junior events as well as eleven medals in the master’s events at last week’s 2019 ICF Ocean Racing World Championships in France.

Makai Cup 2020 Facebook 

Makai Paddlers Facebook: