Olympians and Australian Paddle Community Fundraise in Support of Bushfire Appeal

Olympian and firefighter Alyssa Bull, Paramedic Jo Brigden-Jones and Jessica Fox Call for Support of Athlete Commission Fundraiser for Australian Red Cross

In the eye of Australia’s devastating bushfire situation, Paddle Australia’s Athlete Commission and the Australia Paddle Team have thrown their support behind a fundraiser for the Australian Red Cross Bushfire Disaster and Recovery Appeal and have set up a ‘GoFundMe’ fundraising page to raise funds for the affected communities.

Paddle Australia athletes and staff have put in donations with the athletes also using their national and international networks to further fundraise over the next few weeks and leading into Olympic and Paralympic national selection trials. See the GoFundMe page here: http://bit.ly/AusPaddleBushFireAppeal

“We are devastated seeing areas of our beautiful country being destroyed by fires. We all want to support those affected in any way we can and Paddle Australia athletes raising funds for the Australian Redcross Bushfire relief is a small way our paddling community can help those in need right now,” Jaime Roberts, Vice Chair Athlete Commission said about the motivation to launch the fundraiser.

“We will use our upcoming racing to help promote further donations to the Australian Redcross and other charities to help in Bushfire relief and hope we can make a valuable contribution to our towns and communities that need it most,” Roberts added.

The Australian Paddle Team has a close and personal connection to the emergency services involved in battling the blazes around the country and supporting the communities in need with canoe sprint Olympian Alyssa Bull a professional firefighter with the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) and fellow canoe sprint Olympian Jo Brigden-Jones a paramedic at NSW Ambulance, when they are not training for their Tokyo 2020 campaign.

Not only do Bull and Brigden-Jones know first-hand what is involved in all the efforts currently invested by Australian emergency services, but with one out of three Australians affected by the bushfires, they also have their personal experiences that led to the fundraising initiative.

“I believe it’s important for our athlete group to help fundraise for our Australian communities who have been affected by the horrendous bushfires,” Jo Brigden-Jones said.

“For me personally, many of my family members and friends have been impacted by the bushfires so far. My cousin stayed to fight for his family’s home in Batemans Bay, the fire reached their back fence and he managed to put the fire out. My Aunt and Uncle had to evacuate their home in the Kangaroo Valley as the fire got within 2km of their home. My friend was due to get married in the Kangaroo Valley last week, but unfortunately the wedding venue succumbed to the fires and they had to reorganise a wedding in three days. My paramedic friend lost his entire home in Batlow,” Jo Brigden-Jones described her personally connection to the disaster.

“The NSW Ambulance service has played a big role in keeping the community safe during these fires. As a paramedic, I am part of a big family of paramedics who always look out for each other and I am proud of my colleagues who have been working tirelessly in the fire affected areas, caring for the firefighters and public who need our assistance,” Brigden-Jones added about the efforts of her colleagues.

Jo Brigden-Jones with Paramedics Patting Dog last week – photo supplied

Alyssa Bull
graduated from Queensland Combined Emergency Services Academy in 2018 and has been working for QFES ever since and like Brigden-Jones knows exactly what goes into the super human efforts of the emergency services, who have and continue to invest endless hours into saving lives and communities.

“I understand the hot hard work that is involved with fighting bush fires. Those that have been working endless hours since September, when the fire season seemed to start, are doing a tremendous job. Being away from their families and most of them being away from their jobs while volunteering their time, we cannot thank them enough,” Alyssa Bull said.

“The fires have been ruthless causing destruction to everything in their path. However, once they’ve passed the next challenge is to rebuild. These affected communities need our support now but they will also need continued support to get back on their feet once the fires have gone.”

“It is amazing to see the amount of support and donations coming from everybody across Australia and even internationally. As an athlete, I know it’s hard to even just pay bills with what we earn. It’s so heart-warming to still see so many Aussies, even those that haven’t been directly affected, trying to help in any way that they can,” Bull added.

Alyssa Bull with colleague – photo supplied

Australian Paddle Team’s dual Olympian Jessica Fox is also behind the team fundraiser after already fundraising over $3000 for the NSW RFS at the end of last year with handmade Christmas cards.

“It’s a devastating time in Australia and with my cards for charity over Christmas I thought it was a unique way to try do some fundraising. And while it took a lot of time to handprint over 200 cards it was a great cause and I enjoyed it and was so proud of my community for getting behind it and together we raised 3100$ for the RFS. Since then the fires have escalated and more lives, houses and wildlife have been lost and the paddle Australia community and even international paddlers can really come together to make a difference with this fundraiser,” Fox said.

Fox hand-delivered her donation cheque to the Glenbrook/Lapstone Rural Fire Brigade in December and training at the Penrith Whitewater Stadium, which is located at the bottom of the Blue Mountains, Fox and other Australian Paddle Team athletes have been reminded on a daily basis of the fires with smoke a frequent occurrence over the last few weeks.

Jessica Fox handing over her December fundraiser cheque

“I fully support the initiative shown by our Athlete’s Commission in setting up this fundraiser. With fires still burning, the catastrophe is continuing to unfold with devastating effect. The compassion shown by our top athletes is indicative of the sense of community within paddling and I know that the fundraiser will be generously supported,” Paddle Australia President Andrea McQuitty said in support of the fundraising initiative.

Fundraising support is also coming from other parts of the paddling community with Paddle South Australia collecting food donations over the weekend at their Canoe Sprint State Championships for Foodbank South Australia and in support of the Kangaroo Island devastation.

Paddle Australia will also continue to support the local communities along the South Coast with the 2020 Ocean Racing Championships “The 2020 Makai Cup” to take place in Ulladulla and with a lot of paddlers already signed up to travel to the South Coast in the spirit of the #gowithemptyeskies campaign. Event website: http://www.makaipaddlers.com

Donations to the Paddle Australia Athlete Commission Bushfire Appeal can be made here: http://bit.ly/AusPaddleBushFireAppeal

Any donation will help make an impact to those directly affected and who are fighting the Bushfires around our great country with donations 100% tax deductible.

Follow the @auspaddleteam on facebook and Instagram for further activities around this fundraiser: www.facebook.com/auspaddleteam and www.instagram.com/auspaddleteam

Further information about the fundraiser via GoFundMe: http://bit.ly/AusPaddleBushFireAppeal

Paddle Australia’s Athlete Commission and the Australian Paddle Team are organising this fundraising appeal on behalf of Australian Red Cross.  Donations are 100% tax deductible.

Any donation will help make an impact to those directly affected and who are fighting the Bushfires around our great country.

More information about the Australian Red Cross: Your donation to Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery helps our emergency teams to do their work – including the bushfires we’re currently seeing across NSW, Qld and SA, and disasters yet to come. It enables us to give people the support they need in disasters: whether that’s help to prepare, a safe place to take shelter, psychological first aid, information, and practical support through the months and even years it can take to recover. For more: https://bit.ly/332ZtBY

Golden Start for Australia’s Women’s Canoe Team at World Champs

Paddle Australia’s women’s canoe team has kicked off the 2019 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships in style winning the women’s C1 team event in La Seu d’Urgell, Spain on Wednesday (25 September 2019).

Rosalyn Lawrence (NSW) and sisters Jessica (NSW) and Noemie Fox (NSW) were the winning combination to bring home the first women’s C1 team world title for Australia since 2015. The team blitzed the field in a time of 117.97 seconds, finishing 3.75 seconds ahead of Spain, with the Czech Republic third.

This made for a golden wrap of the first day of the world championships which saw the team events take to the waters at “Segre Olympic Park”, home of canoe slalom at the 1992 Barcelona Games, and with Australia finishing outside of the medals in the other three team events.

Both Fox and Lawrence also won gold in the women’s C1 team events in 2013 and 2015, but it was the first time for the Fox-Fox-Lawrence combination to take home the win.

“We have such a strong field, especially now in the pre-Olympic year but I guess we just did our best and it was really fun. We did one practice run and then the race and we held it together really well. It’s been a while since we’ve won gold.

“Jess and Ros last won the event in 2015 so it’s really exciting and I’m so happy to be on the podium with these girls,” an emotional Noemie Fox said after the race.

The win marked the tenth world championship title for her sister Jessica Fox, who now holds three C1 team world titles as well as four individual C1 and three K1 world champion titles to her name.

Emotions were running high when the team crossed the finish line but had to wait for five other teams to finish before knowing that they had won a medal. It took a couple more teams before they knew it was gold.

“It was really special. We crossed the finish line and even though I touched a gate and Noemie had a touch, we felt really good. We worked really well together and were all really proud at the finish line. So to wait to see if we have a medal, the excitement kept building until we finally found out we won the title, so it was really special to group together and hug and I guess that’s where we got a bit emotional,” Jessica Fox said.

Myriam Fox, Noemie Fox, Ros Lawrence, Jess Fox

The gold medal was the second race of the day for the team of Jessica Fox, Noemie Fox and Rosalyn Lawrence, who also contested the women’s K1 team event. A missed gate, resulting in a 50 seconds penalty, saw them drop into 16th place and the team had to regroup quickly to focus on the C1 a couple of hours later.

“We knew we had what it takes in C1, so we just refocussed after the K1. We all double up, so we are kind of used to it whatever the result from the first class is, whether it’s good or disappointing you just refocus on the next run and do your best,” Rosalyn Lawrence said about the challenge.

“It’s really nice to start the World Champs on a positive and it can kind of changes the feeling going into the individual events. It’s a really happy start,” Ros Lawrence added with the remainder of the week in mind.

The gold medal was a welcome to start the world championships with individual events starting on Thursday and with the pressure set to rise over the next four days as world titles and Tokyo 2020 quotas are on the line.

“We were one of the only teams to do both the K1 and the C1 together, so we had two runs today and while the K1 in the morning did not go to plan to finish off this way was really lovely,” Jessica Fox said.

“It’s a good start for the rest of the week. It will be a big and long week, so we have to rest and recover well in between each event. With today’s excitement we have to come back down and refocus for tomorrow,” Jess Fox added about the task ahead.

In other Australian results, the men’s C1 canoe team of Tristan Carter (VIC), Daniel Watkins (TAS) and Ian Borrows (NSW) finished eleventh after four gate touches, while the men’s K1 kayak team of Tim Anderson (NSW), Lucien Delfour (NSW) and Daniel Watkins (TAS) finished eighth.

“Teams are always exciting and bit more fun, a bit more challenging and it gets pretty tight in certain places but it was good fun and good to be out there with the boys,” Tristan Carter said.

“If we had put down a clean, solid run we certainly would have had a shot to be up there with the big boys so it was a good warm up,” Tristan Carter said, who will be up first in Thursday’s men’s C1 heats.

“I’m just trying to get my feeling, to be comfortable in my boat, feel it and paddle the way I feel and that’s really it. I want to come into this super relaxed, know I’m ready and happy with where I am at and trust into my ability and just do my best,” Carter added about his goals for the next few days.

Racing at the world championships continues on Thursday with the men’s C1 and women’s K1 take to the water in the heats, while the heats for the women’s C1 and men’s K1 events are scheduled for Friday.

The men’s C1 and women’s K1 semi-finals and finals will take place on Saturday with the world championships wrapping up on Sunday with the women’s C1 and men’s semi-finals and finals.

About the 2019 ICF Canoe Slalom and Wildwater World Championships

The biggest field of athletes in more than 15 years are taking to the waters of La Seu in Spain this week, with the double goal of becoming 2019 ICF canoe slalom world champion, and also earning their country a place at next year’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

450 athletes from 63 countries are competing in La Seu. The top 18 countries in both men’s and women’s K1, and the top 11 countries in men’s and women’s C1, will qualify a place at Tokyo 2020.

No country will be allowed to qualify more than one athlete per event for Tokyo, meaning in some disciplines athletes who finish outside the top 20 could still earn their country a ticket to the 2020 Olympics.

Every world champion from 2018 is back to defend their title in La Seu, including Australia’s Jessica Fox, who last year won the K1/C1 world title double for a second time.

This weekend will also see the ICF Wildwater World Championships contested in La Seu. The slalom and wildwater world titles were successfully combined in Pau, France, in 2017, and will come together again in Spain.

35 countries will compete in wildwater with Australia represented in La Seu with four paddlers.

Follow racing live here: www.canoeicf.com
or on youtube here: https://www.youtube.com/user/CanoeKayakTV/

Follow results here: https://www.canoeicf.com/canoe-slalom-world-championships/la-seu-d-urgell-2019/results

Race Schedule, Thursday, 26 September 2019

Men’s C1

9:43:00 (17:43 AEST) Tristan Carter

9:49:00 (17:49 AEST) Daniel Watkins

9:52:00 (17:52 AEST) Ian Borrows

Women’s K1

11:17:00 (19:17) Noemie Fox

11:31:00 (19:31) Rosalyn Lawrence

11:49:00 (19:49) Jessica Fox

AUS Results Team Events (Wednesday, 25 September 2019)

Women’s C1 Team
1          AUS    117.97    0.00
2          ESP     121.72 +3.75
3          CZE     124.48  +6.51

3X WC1 – Jessica Fox, Rosalyn Lawrence, Noemie Fox: 1st
3x WK1 – Jessica Fox, Rosalyn Lawrence, Noemie Fox: 16th
3 X MC1 – Tristan Carter, Daniel Watkins, Ian Borrows: 11th
3 X MK1 – Tim Anderson, Lucien Delfourn, Daniel Watkins: 8th

Team Australia Canoe Slalom 
Women’s K1 & C1
Jessica Fox (NSW)
Noemie Fox (NSW)
Rosalyn Lawrence (NSW)

Men’s K1
Daniel Watkins (TAS)
Lucien Delfour (NSW)
Tim Anderson (NSW)

Men’s C1
Daniel Watkins (TAS)
Ian Borrows (NSW)
Tristan Carter (VIC)

See athlete profiles here: https://paddle.org.au/canoe-slalom-athlete-profiles/

Hill Ready to Defend Ocean Racing World Title

Australian Cory Hill (WA) will be looking for his third consecutive world title when the ICF ocean racing world championships begin in France today.

Hill has dominated ocean racing since the inaugural world titles in Portugal in 2013, when he won silver. He took gold in Tahiti in 2015, and then backed up with an impressive win in Hong Kong in 2017.

He will be challenged in the 22 kilometre race at Saint-Pierre de Quiberon in France’s Brittany region, amongst others by a powerful South African contingent headed by 2017 silver medallist and seven-time K1 canoe marathon world champion Hank McGregor.

Since his victory in 2017 Hill has been clocking up wins in ocean racing events around the world, and will be keeping his fingers crossed for strong winds on Wednesday.

Australia will also have two-time stand up paddling world champion, Michael Booth(WA), fresh off a win at the SUP World Cup in Germany on the weekend, the U23 silver medallist from Hong Kong, Mackenzie Hynard (NSW) and 2013 overall bronze medalist, Sam Norton, and his brother Tom.

In the women’s, Australian Georgia Laird (QLD) will be racing in her first senior world championships this week and will be watched closely. Laird finished second in the tough 53-kilometre Molokai Challenge in Hawaii earlier this year.

U23 paddler Brianna Massie(QLD), who made her senior canoe sprint team debut this year, will also take to the waters in France.

The men’s and women’s open, U23 and junior world championships will be raced on Wednesday. For the first time ever, a paracanoe race will also be part of the world championships. The masters categories will follow on Thursday.
Find out more about the World Championships on the local event website: https://www.ocr2019wc.bzh
See event schedule here: https://www.ocr2019wc.bzh/schedule/

ICF website: https://www.canoeicf.com/canoe-ocean-racing-world-championships/saint-pierre-de-quiberon-2019

Schedule (times CET, AEST = +8hrs)

11/09/2019 WEDNESDAY
14h :30m – 15h – Race start
First start : W senior U18 U23 (77)
Second start : M senior U18 U23 (187)

12/09/2019 – THURSDAY
12h 30m – Shuttle Arrival Gâvres beach
14h :30m – 15h – Race start
First start: Para canoe (7)
Second start : W Masters (32)
Third start : M Masters M5/M8 (73)
Fourth start : M Masters M1/M4 (102)

Team Australia at the 2019 ICF Ocean Racing World Championships

Age Category First Name Surname State
OPEN Michael Booth WA
OPEN Samuel Djodan NSW
OPEN Bonnie Hancock QLD
Open Cory Hill WA
OPEN Mackenzie Hynard NSW
OPEN Georgia Laird QLD
OPEN Sam Norton TAS
OPEN Tom Norton TAS
OPEN Elizabeth Wise NSW
U23 Sari Bone NSW
U23 Devon Caren WA
U23 James Ekins NSW
U23 Noah Havard NSW
U23 Kent Jenkinson WA
U23 Oscar Jones NSW
U23 Brianna Massie QLD
U23 Montannah Murray NSW
U23 Nathan Neale NSW
U23 Georgia Sinclair NSW
U23 Jemma Smith NSW
U23 Brianna Tier NSW
U23 Ben Walker NSW
U18 Patrick Eley WA
U18 Josh Murphy NSW
U18 Ben Rees NSW
U18 India-Rose Sheppard WA
U18 Jazmin Shipway WA
U18 Hayden Smart NSW
U18 Nicci Vesely NSW
35-39 Mitchell Coffey NSW
35-39 Guy Gilchrist NSW
40-44 Kate Atkinson WA
40-44 Kylie Hirst QLD
40-44 Daniel Jenkin NSW
40-44 William Lee WA
40-44 Alexandra Lloyd QLD
40-44 Ben Lloyd QLD
40-44 Rozetta Payne NSW
40-44 Fi Tschaut NSW
45-49 Robert Bird NSW
45-49 David Jepsen NSW
45-49 Matthew Rees NSW
45-49 Sally Trestrail QLD
45-49 Jimmy Walker NSW
50-54 Madeline Baxter WA
50-54 Todd Boreland NSW
50-54 David Knight QLD
50-54 Michael McKeogh NSW
50-54 Vanessa Mercer QLD
50-54 Mich O’Connor VIC
50-54 Quona Ross Atkinson QLD
50-54 Jamie Stubbs TAS
50-54 Gareth Wright WA
55-59 Kathleen Allen NSW
55-59 Brian Burgess WA
55-59 Tim Cornish WA
55-59 Jannion Di Tommaso NSW
55-59 Jules Hall NSW
55-59 Julie Jenkinson WA
55-59 Robert Jenkinson WA
55-59 Mike Mills-Thom NSW
55-59 Jeremy Norton TAS
55-59 Laurelle Stalker VIC
60-64 Kim Bingham WA
60-64 Sandra Gadsby TAS
60-64 Leanne Lewis WA
60-64 Steve Steward NSW
60-64 Mike Woodborne WA
65-69 Ron Clarke WA
65-69 Garry Gilchrist NSW
65-69 Mark Gillett NSW
65-69 Peter Kennett NSW
65-69 Stuart Tennant WA
70+ David Norton WA