Nuria Vilarrubla, Jess Fox and Rosalyn Lawrence
The fourth ICF canoe slalom World Cup concluded in Spain on Sunday following three days of action down the 1992 Olympic Games course.
NSWIS pair Jessica Fox and Rosalyn Lawrence continued Australia’s stranglehold of the C1W event winning gold and bronze respectively.
It was Fox’s second victory of the series following her triumph in Tacen, while for Lawrence it was her second consecutive podium after winning the gold in Prague last start.
“I knew I had to lay down a good run and improve from the semi because I heard that Ros and then Nuria had put down good times,” Fox said.
“I just tried to focus on using the water well which I managed to do and then hold it together on the bottom section which is the hardest part when the arms are tired. In the end it all went to plan so I am pleased.”
Penrith canoeist Alison Borrows also featured in the C1W final at La Seu d’Urgell finishing 10th.
Although Australia failed to win a medal in the remainder of the events there were a host of season best performances. A strong sign that the squad is building with just one World Cup remaining prior to the World Championships.
Lucien Delfour was a clear standout in the K1M event finishing fifth amongst a highly competitive field. He continued his love affair with the Spanish course after winning silver last year.
Delfour finished two seconds behind Spanish crowd favourite Samuel Hernanz who improved on his bronze medal performance a year earlier to win the gold in 92.18 clean.
“It is my best race so far this year so I am happy with that but there is still a lot of work to do because the racing is so close and it is really competitive,” Delfour said.
In a weekend of season bests Victorian Jaxon Merritt executed a clean run down the 23 gate course in the semifinal to finish 31st. While at just his second World Cup after making his debut in Tacen, Tasmanian teenager Daniel Watkins finished 50th.
The C1M also featured on Saturday with Slovakia producing a trifecta in the final. Alexander Slafkovsky claimed the gold ahead of Matej Benus and Michal Martikan.
Little separated the top two Australians boats of Robin Jeffery and Ian Borrows who finished 19th and 20th respectively in the semifinal. For Jeffery it was his best performance of the series.
Victorian Christian Fabris was unlucky to miss out on a place in the semifinal, finishing 35th in Friday’s heat.
Jeffery built on his C1 performance to produce a second season best in the C2M event alongside Ethan Hodson on Sunday. The Australian pair finished 13th in the semifinal which equals their World Cup best from Augsburg last year.
Slovakian cousins Ladislav and Peter Skantar won the final in 106.70, 0.71 seconds ahead of French pair Pierre Labarelle and Nicolas Peschier.
The K1W event concluded the weekend of racing on Sunday.
Fox was a track to complete the double gold after she recorded the fastest K1W semifinal run of 106.39.
Unfortunately Fox came unstuck on the lower section of the course picking up 52 seconds in penalties for a gate miss on 17 and a touch on 20 relegating her to ninth overall.
The host nation continued their excellent weekend of racing with London Olympic bronze medallist Maialen Chourraut winning the gold in 103.36, 0.66 seconds ahead of Austrian Corinna Kuhnle.
Lawrence and Victorian Sarah Grant featured in the semifinals finishing 16th and 17th respectively.
It was Lawrence’s best K1W performance of the year, while for Grant it was her third top 20 performance to continue her consistent season.
The fifth and final ICF World Cup will take place in Augsburg, Germany from 15 to 17 August.