Surfing champ Kel Wise and National Canoe Marathon medalist Kane Cody hit the water at Encounter Lakes | The temperature

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Encounter Paddling Club has a water royalty among its ranks.

Surf champion Kel Wise and national canoe marathon medalist Kane Cody have made a strong K2 pair and a valued crew on the Encounter Paddling Team.

The pair performed well in pre-COVID long-distance events and are back in training for high-profile events.

Kel, who recently returned from a placement in Sydney, is back on the water at Encounter and training solidly with the team in preparation for the SA long distance series.

Kane will compete in the National Marathon Championships in Coomera on the Gold Coast over the Anzac Day long weekend.

He will participate in the men’s under-18 event which requires him to paddle 22.5 km including portages.

As the only SA entry in this category, he will have to dig deep against big teams from Vic, NSW, Qld and WA.

Kane’s training has been solid though, he is strong and fit and his clear thinking and running courage will stand him in good stead. The championship course will take place on a 3.5 km circuit of Lake Coomera where competitors will have to portage each lap.

A portage requires athletes to reach the beach at racing speed and run to a boarding point where paddling resumes. Portages are very technical requiring a high level of skill. These often play an important role in race strategy. A number of Encounter Paddling athletes will be competing at this year’s Australian National Championships.

COVID has recently prevented the club from participating in national and international events and many of its members are now eager for top-flight success after achieving good levels of training during the enforced break.

While restrictions will still impact the number of athletes willing to make the trip, Encounter will field four athletes in the National Marathon Championships and manage a quality SA State team of national champions and international competitors.

They will be joined by USA’s favorite son, Tim Symonds, who will be paired with Onkaparinga Canoe Club’s Dale Thomson in the men’s Open K2 event.

Competition in all classes and categories will be fierce, with competitors looking to get into the national team to compete in Portugal later this year. Meanwhile, the team will continue training at Encounter Lakes with Juliet Hare honing her skills for the National Sprint Championships to be held at the Sydney International Regatta Center next month.

Encounter Paddling runs five regular on-water workouts per week on Encounter Lakes.

Regular paddlers build a range of skills with all members participating in a support group.

The club holds one handicap competition per month and two state level events per year.

If you are interested in paddling, come see us after practice on a Sunday morning at 9:30 am at Cliff Thorpe Reserve.

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