The 2014 Canoe Slalom Oceania Championships will be held at Penrith Whitewater Stadium from 21 to 23 February.
Racing will commence on Friday with the qualifications runs for each of the five disciplines.
The event will see athletes represented from 10 countries including European powerhouses France, Germany and Slovakia.
On Tuesday we previewed the C1M/C2M events (link below). Today we will take a look at the K1M event.
2012 K1 World Cup series winner Etienne Daille of France will be the man to beat in Penrith this weekend.
The 24 year old leads a strong international contingent that includes fellow Frenchman Pierre Bourliaud who finished second at last month’s Australian Open.
The German’s have brought a strong team to compete in Penrith.
2008 Olympic champion Alexander Grimm and Sebastian Schubert have a history at the Oceania Championships finishing second and third respectively in 2012.
Schubert in particular seems to enjoy racing in Penrith after he took out the Australian Open title in 2012.
Fellow German kayakers Fabian Doerfler and Paul Boeckelmann each recorded ICF World Cup victories in 2013 and are set to be right in contention for victory come Sunday.
Lucien Delfour will lead the Australian charge after a career best season in 2013. Last year the 25 year old recorded three top ten ICF World Cup finishes including a second place finish in La Seu d’Urgell, Spain.
The NSWIS kayaker was the highest placed finisher amongst the Australian men at last month’s Australian Open in Penrith and is in the box seat to secure one of the three positions on this year’s senior team.
Other athletes in contention include U23 Victorian pair Tim Anderson and Jaxon Merritt who upstaged many of their more fancied rivals at the first selection trial.
Three time Olympian Warwick Draper, 2013 senior team members William Forsythe and Joey Croft, and Tasmanian teenager Daniel Watkins are others in contention for a coveted K1 senior berth.
Australia’s U23 ranks look very strong with Anderson, Merritt, Croft and Watkins all looking to secure a spot in the team to compete at the ICF Junior and U23 World Championships which will be held in Penrith from 23-27 April.
Despite our depth in the U23 ranks American Michael Smolen, Frenchman Antoine Launay and German Tobias Kargl will be the athletes to beat.
Local Penrith kayaker Angus Thompson, Western Australian trio Brodie Crawford, Steven Lowther and Nicholas Rankin, and Callum Gilbert of New Zealand are expected to fight it out for the 2014 Oceania junior title.
Tomorrow we will preview the C1W and K1W events.
Please follow the links below to read the C1M/C2M preview and for important race information.