The 2013 Western Australian Canoe Sprint Championships were held in ideal conditions over the weekend. With 6 senior athletes from SASI, one athlete from NSW and one from Victoria the standard of competition was very high and providing these athletes with a great hit out prior to GP3 at SIRC next week.
In the K1 200m event Steve Bird (Doubleview) was very impressive showing that he is well on track following post Olympic surgery to his elbow by recording a personal best of 35.82 sec finishing ahead of Brodie Holmes (Sorrento) who also PB’d in 36.22 with Callum Dunn from SASI third just edging out up and coming WAIS 200m athlete Todd Brewer (Doubleview).
The K2 200m event saw Holmes and Brewer combine impressively to win in a fast time of 33.5 to comfortably beat SASI’s 200m specialist crew of Petho and Dunn with Daniel Bowker (Doubleview) and Reece Baker (Mosman Park) closely following in third.
The K1 1000m events saw an aggressive Reece Baker take it out hard and open up a race winning lead early in the piece to record his quickest time in 4 years in a smart 3.32 holding off by just over half a length promising SASI U23 paddler Zac Ryan and Luke Haniford SASI in third.
The K2 1000m event was a very high standard race with Bowker and Baker prevailing in a new PB of 3.14.58 showing that they will be one of the crews to watch at the National Championships at the same course in early April. In second place was the impressive SASI combination of Haniford and Ryan in 3.15.26 with Brendan Rice (Carine) and David Graham also PBing in 3.20.01.
In the non Olympic 500m events Steve Bird carried over his 200m form to also record a PB in 1.41.78 holding off an impressive and fast finishing Daniel Bowker in 1.42.41 with Callum Dunn SASI in third.
The K2 500m perhaps saw a mini upset with Bowker and Rice combining beautifully to beat Brodie Holmes and Steve Bird in 1.32.23 and 1.33.31 respectively with Todd Brewer and Callum Dunn coming home in third.
In the women’s events Alana Nicholls (Doubleview) put behind her post Olympic injury woes to show she is well on track to return to her best winning comfortably in 42.38 with U23 athlete Jaymee Lee Martin (Willetton), promising Junior athlete Shannon Reynolds (Wembley) and surf iron woman Phoebe George crossing the line in a blanket finish in 44.47, 44.87 And 44.90 respectively.
The 500m event saw Nicholls carry on her winning ways to record an emphatic victory in 1.53.3 with George underlying her potential to come home second in 1.58.4 with Shannon Reynolds having a strong paddle for 3rd in 2.00.85
In the K2 500m Nicholls and Reynolds combined for the first time in competition to record a comfortable in 1.46.34 with George and Martin 2nd in 1.49.58.
Nicholls said, “I’m really happy with how things have been progressing on the water since I returned to paddling. The State Titles were a good indication of how things are tracking and I’m positive we’re heading in the right direction”.
In the U18 events Alexander Graham was the standout competitor winning the K1 200m and K1000m. He won the K1 1000m in 3.49.21 from Nick Pond and Joshua Maurice both in 3.51. In the U18 women’s events Karla Whinray prevailed winning all her events.
The event attracted about 120 competitors making it the biggest WA Championships to date by a significant margin and showing that things are on the up in WA. A big thank you to the volunteers and officials who without their tremendous help this event would not be possible.