The 2014 Canoe Sprint Oceania Championships will be held at the Sydney International Regatta Centre from 28 February to 2 March.
The regatta will incorporate Grand Prix 2 and U23 selection.
The men’s K1 1000 event will open the programme on Friday morning from 8am AEST.
The open men’s event will see fierce rivals Ken Wallace of Currumbin Creek and Manly Warringah paddler Murray Stewart fight it out for glory.
Stewart raced the event at the 2012 Olympics before Wallace reclaimed his mantle in 2013.
Last year Wallace went on to produce one of his finest seasons which was highlighted by a silver medal performance at the World Championships in Germany.
Stewart’s fellow London K4 gold medallists Jacob Clear, Tate Smith and David Smith will be others to follow closely.
The K4 Olympic champions will be in action on Sunday as they begin their 2014 campaign.
Stewart and Clear will also be in action in the K2 1000 event and will be looking to defend their 2013 title.
NSWIS gun Lachlan Tame is expected to dominate the K1 200 event in the absence of Western Australian trio Steve Bird, Brodie Holmes and Jesse Phillips.
Tame enters this event on the back of a successful trip to New Zealand last week where he won the K1 200, and K2 200 and K2 1000 titles alongside Wallace.
Wallace, Brothers kayaker Tim Donkin, Ben Gallard of Encounter and Southside Paddlers’ Nick Dawe appear his strongest competition.
NSWIS duo Jo Brigden-Jones and Naomi Flood, and QAS kayaker Bernadette Wallace are expected to challenge for line honours in the women’s K1 200 and K1 500 events.
Mitta Mitta paddler Amy Peters in another paddler to keep an eye out for as she steps up from U23 to open racing in 2014.
Just three boats will contest the women’s K2 500 event with Flood and U23 Sunshine Coast paddler Alyce Burnett perhaps slight favourites ahead of Wallace and Peters.
Brigden-Jones will team up with fellow Sydney Northern Beaches’ kayaker Hannah Minogue.
U23 Selection battle
Much of the spotlight is expected to shift from the senior to the U23 athletes at the Oceania Championships with positions in the Australian team up for grabs.
32 athletes will contest the U23 K1 1000 event. The field will include athletes from Australia, the Cook Islands and Tahiti.
Queensland housemates Jordan Wood and Bill Bain will be the men to beat after making their senior team debuts in 2013.
South Australian Glenn Rypp, Currumbin Creek pair Michael Booth and Joel McKitterick, Jy Duffy of Kawana Waters and Tasmanian Tom Norton will be others in contention.
The U23 K2 1000 also promises to be an exciting fair with 14 boats set to fight it out for National selection.
The Queensland crew of Bain and McKitterick and the boat containing Rypp and Wood will be the crews to beat.
34 men will contest the U23 K1 200.
South Australian Callum Dunn, Sydney Northern Beaches’ kayaker Ben McLean, and Sunshine Coast pair Charlie Copeland and Kurt McAleenan will be amongst the frontrunners.
In the U23 women’s events expect former Patterson Lakes come SASI kayaker Cat McArthur, Sunshine Coast pair Alyce Burnett and Coco Howcroft, Rebecca Mann of Bendigo and Ironwoman Alyssa Bull to fight it out for the K1 200 and K1 500 titles.
McArthur and Howcroft will be the women to beat in the K2 500.
Paracanoe will also feature at the Oceania Championships this weekend.
11 athlete will contest the various paracanoe disciplines with German Tom Kierey and Kiwi Scott Martlew making the trip for this year’s event.
2011 Australian Canoeing Paracanoeist of the Year Brock Ingram of Western Australia will headline the Australian contingent alongside fellow 2013 senior paddlers Colin Sieders, Glenn Pyne and Amanda Reynolds.
Please refer to links below for more information.
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