Australian canoe marathon champions crowned on the Gold Coast

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The highly anticipated Paddle Australia 2022 Canoe Marathon Championships took place on the Gold Coast this weekend.

It was the first canoe marathon national championships since 2019, after the last two editions were canceled at the height of the COVID pandemic.

In windy and rainy conditions, the event saw athletes from the under 10 to the 70+ category converge on Lake Coomera for the three-day event.

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While many athletes won national titles over the weekend, one name that consistently popped up in the top spot was Josh Kippin.

Paddler WAIS won both the shortest 3.4km Open K1 event and the longest 29.6km K1 event of the weekend.

“It was great to win gold in both events after being out of competition for the past two years,” Kippin said.

“I think the break has done my body and soul a lot of good and I’m delighted to be back in the race and to remain national champions.”

Kippin also took the top step of the podium with Brendan Rice in the men’s 29.6 km K2 event on Sunday.

“All three wins were special for their own reasons, but in K2 with Brendan we work so well together that moving the boat quickly feels easy, which was especially helpful in the rough side conditions on the choppy side.”

Kippin said the tough weekend conditions made some racing interesting, but couldn’t deter the Marathon community who were happy to get back to racing after a three-year hiatus.

“The hardest part of the weekend was definitely the wind which resulted in side chop conditions for all the K1 and K2 long course races which makes you choppy and it can be hard to relax and put on. all the power,” he said.

“The harder the better for me, it’s fun in its own way, it’s the marathon!”

“It was great to reunite with the community and catch up with old friends on the water, see the progress of the next generation and have the vibe that you only get at big competitions.”

Tokyo 2020 sprint canoe Olympian Jaime Roberts also made the podium twice, winning gold in the women’s K1 short course on Sunday and silver with Jane Pankhurst in the 25.9m K2 Sunday.

Tokyo 2020 Paralympic silver medalist Susan Seipel won gold in the 11.1km standard KL2 course without selection.

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At each Paddle Australia Canoe Marathon Championship a number of trophies are awarded.

the Frank Whitebrook Trophy, since 1984, is awarded to the state or territory that accumulates the most points on each race during the event.

It was the very last race on the program for the trophy to be decided, with NSW the winning state for 2022 on 308 points. Victoria was second with 302, followed by Queensland with 208.

the Halford Challenge Trophy is also awarded at each Paddle Australia Canoe Marathon Championship. Graham Halford first presented the Interstate Challenge Trophy in 1998, and in 2013 the then Australian Canoe Marathon Racing Technical Committee renamed the trophy the Halford Challenge Trophy in recognition of Graham’s contributions to the sport of canoeing, in particular the canoe marathon.

The trophy is awarded in all international boat classes Open Men and Women, Under 23 Men and Women, Under 18 Men and Women and Masters 35 Men and Women.

Western Australia won the trophy this year with 46 points. Victoria finished second with 28 points, ahead of New South Wales with 22 points.

Dating from 1991, the Coulthart Trophies are awarded to the best male and female paddlers under the age of 16 in both classes. Thomas Kerkow-Hill and Sarah McDonald from Queensland received the awards this year for their impressive results on the Gold Coast.

See all results HERE.

Special thanks to Paddle Queensland, in particular Scott Sharples and Andrea Wood, for organizing and hosting the Championships.

A huge thank you to all the volunteers and officials who sat through the wind and rain to judge the athletes as they paddled the course.

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