Billaut & Smith Join Slalom Coaching Ranks


Nick Smith & Julian Billaut
Tom Collings, Thursday, 14 February 2013

Former French canoe slalom World champion Julien Billaut and Great Britain C2 Olympic Coach Nick Smith have joined the Australian coaching setup at the Australian National Centre of Excellence in Penrith, officially starting today.

Billaut replaces former countrymen Yann Le Pennec in the role as Slalom Coach for NSWIS. He joins the joins the Australian coaching setup in Penrith following two successful years working as Canoe Slalom Head Coach at the Guangdong International Rowing and Canoeing Centre in China.

Prior to China, Billaut previously worked as a development coach with the ICF Identification Talent Program and with the Turkish Canoe Federation as a Technical, Strength and Conditioning consultant.

His career as an athlete panned across 11 years from 1998 till 2009 where he excelled as a K1 kayaker finishing his career as a three time World Champion, European Champion and three time French Champion.

Nick Smith joins the team fresh off the back of guiding British C2 pair Tim Baillie and Etienne Stott to Olympic gold last year.

He has worked alongside Baillie and Stott since 2008, before which he was C2 Technical Coach of the Great Britain Canoe Slalom team for four years where he also worked with Olympic silver medallists David Florence and Richard Hounslow.

Prior to working as the GBR C2 Technical Coach, Smith worked as a Coach for the Wales Canoe Slalom Team and also worked coached the U23 Great Britain canoe slalom athletes.

Smith’s career as an athlete spanned across 15 years, winning three World Cup medals and competing in two Olympic Games for Great Britain alongside Stuart Bowman in the men’s C2 with his best result a 4th place finish at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.