Australia’s Cory Hill has tamed wild race conditions in Hong Kong to successfully defend his ICF Ocean Racing World title, holding off a late challenge from South Africa’s canoe marathon world champion, Hank McGregor.
Fellow Australian Oscar Jones won gold in the men’s U18, with Noah Havard third, while Mackenzie Hynard won silver in the men’s U23.
Hill took the lead early, and once again proved he is the master of the big swell by holding off a strong South African contingent in 3-metre swell, with Jasper Moche taking third behind McGregor.
The Australian won the 2015 World Championships in similar conditions in Tahiti, after finishing second at the very first World Championships behind another South African, Sean Rice, in Portugal in 2013.
Despite being a previous world champion, Hill had never won in Hong Kong despite several attempts.
“To be honest, I didn’t see anyone for the whole race, until we got around Kissing Whales,” Hill said.
“Then I knew Jaspar and Hank were right there. I saw two black boats in fact, and there were a lot of black boats out there so I got confused with who it was.
“I had nightmares that Hank, we’ve had pretty big duels coming in from Kissing Whales for four or five years, and he’s got me every single one, so I had this nightmare in my head.
“It’s just awesome to finally get it, to finally have a win in Hong Kong and to retain that World Championship. It’s pretty unreal, to be honest. A bit overwhelming.”
McGregor said he thought he had a chance to overhaul the Australian when they turned for the final run to the finish, but found Hill too hard to catch.
“It’s never over until it’s over, but he deserves it,” McGregor said.
“We’ve had a ding-dong battle for the last couple of races, so today it was reversed. He’s a champion, he deserves it.
“We’ll see what happens next weekend when we race again.”
Hill felt confident heading into the race, especially when he saw the windy conditions. He also felt the best physically that he had for a long time.
“I’ve actually dropped a couple of kilos, so I think that’s made a little bit of a difference too,” Hill said.
“I’ve always been a bit of a chubby kid, I’m still pretty chubby, but I think that makes a little bit of a difference.”
NSW teenager Georgia Sinclair has won a silver medal and there were masters gold medals for Katherine Atkinson, Sarah Davis and Julie Jenkinson at the ICF Canoe Ocean Racing World Championships in Hong Kong.
17-year-old Sinclair was involved in a tight tussle with South Africa’s Sabina Lawrie in the women’s U18 event, eventually finishing less than one second behind the 18-year-old in flat and still conditions.
“I got something stuck on my rudder in the first four kilometres, and I had to stop and clear it,” an exhausted Sinclair said.
“She got about 300 metres on me. I got her back again and got a bit on her, but she was so fast.
“She deserved the win. I couldn’t have given it any more. It’s pretty cool, I didn’t expect that to happen.
“It was so hard. The hardest thing I have ever done. Some waves would have made it so much better, but you can’t change that. You just have to go with what you’ve got.”
Elizabeth Wise was the best placed of the Australians, finishing 11th in the open race.
“I’m absolutely stoked, I was aiming for 10th to 12th so to get 11th is fantastic in conditions that are not really suitable for me,” Wise said.
“I’m more of a downwind paddler than a flatwater paddler, so I’m over the moon.
“I felt pretty good. I had a good start, but lost a few people at a few points so I had to do a lot of work by myself.”
Brea Roadley was the best placed of the Australians in the U23 division, finishing sixth, while Katherine Atkinson won the 40-44 age group, Sarah Davis the 45-49 division, and Julie Jenkinson the 50-54 group.
The men’s race will be held on the same course tomorrow, with much rougher weather conditions forecast.
Defending champion Cory Hill heads a strong Australian team contesting this weekend’s 2017 ICF Ocean Racing World Championships in Hong Kong.
The South Australian won gold in Tahiti in 2015, beating the highly-rated South African pair of Jasper Mocke and Sean Rice, which followed on from a silver medal behind Rice in the inaugural World Championships in 2013.
Australia will have athletes competing in every division this weekend, including men’s and women’s senior, U23, junior and masters events.
Along with Hill, Illawarra’s Mackenzie Hynard will be looking to defend his U23 world title from two years ago, in his final race in the under-age division.
Teenagers Georgia Sinclair, Oscar Jones, Noah and Zach Havard, Jeremy Heys and Ben Walker will all contest the junior events, while five other Australians will join Hynard in the men’s U23 event.
In the open race, Hill will be joined by the experienced Gold Coast paddler, Jeremy Cotter, while in the women’s elite race DeArne McWhirter and Elizabeth Wise will represent Australia.
Shepparton’s Brea Roadley and Caitriona O’Leary, who celebrated her 20th birthday this week, will contest the U23 event.
The first edition of the ICF Canoe Ocean Racing World Championships to be held in Asia has drawn more than 400 athletes from 33 countries to Hong Kong, with the powerful South African team already identified as the early favourites.
The third edition of the World Championships will be contested on the picturesque waterways of Hong Kong, with the start line at Clearwater Bay, and the finish line 22.25 kilometres away at picturesque Stanley Beach.
“We are confident the Hong Kong Canoe Union will deliver a great event, which will be reminded as one of the best in years to come,” ICF Ocean Racing Committee Chairman, Mario Santos, said.
“We hope that this event will leave a long-lasting legacy of ocean racing in Hong Kong, in Asia, and across the world. The aim is to increase participation rates in this discipline and to promote canoeing to sea-bound countries.”
The South African team includes 2013 World Champion, Sean Rice, and his younger brother, Kenny, and world marathon champion, Hank McGregor, in the men’s event, while the women’s team includes 2013 silver medallist Michelle Burn and Olympic medallist Bridgitte Hartley.
For the first time the World Championships will include junior, U23 and masters races, as well as the inaugural Asian Championships to be contested on Friday.
“With such an impressive line-up of world-class paddlers, the World Championships will offer global and local canoe enthusiasts with exciting and unforgettable moments,” the President of the Hong Kong Canoe Union, Anthony Chan Wai-lun, said.
“Our mission is to engage the wider public in the event and encourage more people to get involved in the sport, and hopefully one day we will have a canoe ocean racing world champion of our own.”
The women’s title will be contested on Saturday, with 21 athletes from 13 nations entered in the elite race, while 42 men from 17 nations will contest the men’s open event on Sunday.
Six Australian Canoeing members have been recognised for their achievements and investment in paddlesport in Australia by being nominated for the 2017 World Paddle Awards. Congratulation to Ian Beasley, Dean Gardiner, Jessica Fox, Myriam Fox-Jerusalmi, Sue Natoli and Sandy Robson.
The World Paddle Awards (WPA) is held annually, celebrating the most remarkable men and women from the world of paddlesports along with their achievements from the previous calendar year across seven categories.
VOTE for our Australians!
The public can take part in the voting procedures. Head to the World Paddle Awards nominees pages or follow the links below. You can ‘Like’ (Facebook) and ‘Google+’ your selections to win at the bottom of each nominee profile. Public voting closes 19 November 2017.
Lifetime Achievement Award
Australian Ocean racer Dean Gardiner has been at the pinnacle of Australian ocean racing for more than twenty years and is nominated for this year’s World Paddle Awards Lifetime Achievement Award. Dean’s career started with a mix of lifesaving, surf ski and Ironman events, before he decided to focus on the longer distance surf ski races. Since he made the move to ocean racing, Dean has won races all over the word, from the US to Tahiti and has won the revered Molokai title nine times. Dean played a big part in the growth of the sport in Australia, with considerable financial investment as the owner and founder of Ocean Paddler and the Ocean Racing Series, which will comprise of 13 events for the 2017/18 season. More here.
Sports Woman of the Year
With Sandy Robson and Jessica Fox two Australians are nominated for the 2017 Sportswoman of the Year Award.
Sandy Robson just received the Olegas Truchanas Award at our Annual Awards dinner and paddled from Germany to Australia, which makes her go down in history as one of the greatest sea kayakers in the world.
Olympic medallist and 2017 K1 Slalom World Champion Jessica Fox is the most decorated female athlete on the international circuit and has written numerous pages in the history book of Canoe Slalom. After winning the Academy Award in 2017, she is once again nominated for the World Paddle Awards Sportswoman of the year category. Vote for Sandy and Jess via links below.
Another two Australians are nominated for the Foundation Award: Myriam Fox-Jerusalmi and Sue Natoli.
Our Canoe Slalom Coach One Myriam Fox-Jerusalmi is one of the rare female coaches on the Canoe Slalom international circuit and the powerhouse woman behind the reigning K1W World Champion. Her passion for the sport and desire to win has been poured into her athletes and of the four female team events at this year’s U23 and Senior World Championships, Myriam’s athletes won three medals (1 x silver C1W senior, 2 x bronze K1W U23 and Senior). More about Myriam’s nomination here.
Our Life Member Sue Natoli is also nominated for the Foundation Award and has been actively involved in local, national and international Canoe Slalom events for two decades.
Find out more about Sue’s nomination here: http://www.worldpaddleawards.com/nominees/2017-sue-natoli-australia
Media Professional of the Year
Ian Beasley is nominated for the 2017 Media Professional at the World Paddle Awards. Ian’s books, which are read right around the world, give paddlers, coaches and officials a unique insight into the sport and as a result have become a go-to reference tool worldwide. See his World Paddle Awards nomination here.
VOTING: Follow below links to vote – you can vote for multiple people in one category
For more information on the voting procedure see here: http://www.worldpaddleawards.com/news/nomination-and-voting-procedure-for-the-2015-2016-world-paddle-awards
2017 FOUNDATION AWARD
Myriam Fox Jerusalmi: http://www.worldpaddleawards.com/nominees/2017-myriam-fox-jerusalmi-australia
2017 MEDIA PROFESSIONAL
About the World Paddle Awards.
The awards recognise the diversity of people and organisations in our community and honour the hard work they put into our sport. Not only are there awards for the athletes but also for coaches, officials (volunteers), media, event organisers and so on. Here is an overview and explanation of the Awards.
Furthermore the awards also reflect the fact that there are many different paddlesports within our community. Besides the Olympic disciplines, canoe sprint and canoe slalom, the WPA also respects and celebrates non-Olympic paddlesports.
The World Paddle Awards ceremony for the 2017 season will take place in Silkeborg, Denmark on 24 February 2018.
OCEAN RACING WORLD CUP – TAHITI
Confirming that the Ocean Racing World Cup event that had been set down for Tahiti on the opening weekend of September has been cancelled. We apologise for any inconvenience this has caused.
Important entries information for next two Ocean Racing events:
All athletes in junior, U23 and open events must be entered by their respective National Federation through the online entries system, SDP. Please contact your National Federation if you wish to be entered into this event.
A maximum of 2 entries per open class and 5 entries per junior & U23 class will be permitted per National Federation. In addition, the top 30 athletes in each category in the world rankings following the final World Cup in Brest, France, will be permitted to be entered.