With plenty of big names on show, the National Slalom Championships at Eildon over the weekend produced several shock results in a showcase of exciting paddling.
Starting the run of upsets was Warwick Draper; the K1 specialist stunning the field to take the men’s C1 title by more than ten seconds over Ethan Hodson and Robin Jeffery in a suprise result.
A three-time Olympian, Draper followed his C1 heroics with a win in his preferred K1 category, edging out Lucien Delfour and Jaxon Merritt in a tight finish, with less than half a second separating the top three.
The women’s K1 racing also produced an upset as Rosalyn Lawrence won her first national K1 title, relegating Olympic silver medallist Jessica Fox to third place behind Sarah Grant.
Fox however bounced back soon after to comfortably take out the women’s C1 title over Alison Borrows and younger sister Noemie Fox.
At just 15 years old, Noemie Fox was one of the best performed juniors at Eildon, following her third placing in the open C1 category with fourth overall in the K1.
Brodie Crawford and Daniel Watkins were the standouts among the junior boys, each grabbing a fourth place overall finish (in C1 and K1 respectively) and impressing with very quick times.
In the women’s C2 race, under 16’s Isabella Choate and Demelza Wall teamed up to take victory over the much more experienced pairs of Rosalyn Lawrence and Sarah Grant, and Jessica Fox and Alison Borrows.
In the men’s C2 category, Ethan Hodson and Robin Jeffery combined to overcome the upset C1 result, finishing first ahead of the pairings of Ian Borrows and Lucien Delfour, and Warwick Draper and Lewis Wylie.
It was a sibling affair in the mixed C2 race as Alison Borrows combined with her brother Ian to take the title over West Australian juniors Georgia Rankin and Brodie Crawford, with Warwick Draper and Sally Wright coming in third.
With so many upsets and close finishes over the weekend, the selection races in February and March now appear to be wide open.
With so many paddlers a genuine chance to win races and claim a spot on the senior team, stay tuned for some exciting races and hot competition over the next couple of months.