The 2013 Oceania Championships will double as the New Zealand Open with London Olympic silver medallists Jessica Fox and Czech star Vavra Hradlilek headlining a classy field of paddlers who will be looking to get off to a good start to 2013.
Fox will be joined by NSWIS paddler Ros Lawrence, Victoria’s Sarah Grant and 2013 Youth Olympic K1 gold medallist, younger sister Noemie Fox in the women’s K1 field.
The Australian women can expect strong challengers to come from local favourite Luuka Jones and top Czech junior Karolina Galuskova.
Australian Lucien Delfour will be out to course an upset in the men’s K1 with victory over Hradlilek, and he is not without a chance after a solid 2012 which saw the 23 year old make his maiden World Cup podium performance after winning bronze in Pau, France.
Former German World Champion Fabian Doerfler and local favourite Aaron Osborne are also ones to watch, with the latter winning national selection at Kawerau last weekend.
London Olympians Kynan Maley and Robin Jeffery, plus NSWIS paddler Ian Borrows will also line up in the men’s canoeing disciplines C1 and C2.
Racing will commence on Saturday from 10:15am local time with the men’s C1 and women’s K1 Qualification runs up first.