Two-time Olympian Ken Wallace has gotten off to a great start to 2013 after taking out the men’s K1 1000 final at the Queensland Sprint Championships on Sunday.
The 29 year old Currumbin Creek paddler powered out of the gates and was never headed finishing in a time of 3:35.92, 4.49 seconds ahead of dual AYOF gold medallist Bill Bain of the Sunshine Coast, with Currumbin Creek’s Michael Booth rounding off the podium.
It was a powerful performance by Wallace who will resume his rivalry with Manly paddler Murray Stewart in the battle for the coveted K1 senior team berth at the selection races next month.
18 year old Bain then combined with South Australian Glenn Rypp to win the men’s K2 1000 final in a fast time of 3:36.58, 1.76 seconds ahead of impressive Gold Coast teenager Jordan Wood and Indooroopilly’s Timothy Stenlake, with U18 paddlers Joel McKitterick and Jy Duffy showing good signs for the future finishing third.
The Sunshine Coast paddler then won a second event, this time edging Olympic K4 gold medallist Tate Smith for victory in the K1 500 final, with Rypp finishing in third.
In the absence of the nation’s top K1 200 paddlers Murray Stewart and Joel Simpson, 27 year old Direct Members paddler Matthew Urquhart claimed victory in an exciting men’s K1 200 final on Saturday in a time of 38.91. Urquhart finished 0.59 seconds ahead of Indooroopilly’s Tim Donkin, with Sunshine Coast’s Kurt McAleenan half a second further back.
After finishing one-two in the K1, Urquhart and Donkin combined for victory in the K2 200 final in 34.77, 1.09 seconds ahead of Sunshine Coast duo Charlie Copeland and McAleenan.
After making their Olympic debuts in 2012, exciting Brothers canoeists Alex Haas and Jake Donaghey returned to racing claiming the men’s C2 500 and C2 200 titles.
The Brothers club produced a clean sweep of the medals in the men’s C1 200 final with Donaghey pipping Haas for the win, with Michael Beaver finished a boat length further back in third.
Nerang River’s Frank Lambert took out the C1 1000 title in 4:50.88, 1.03 seconds ahead of Direct Members paddler Rain Metsoja, with Brian King a distant third.
Not to be outdone by older brother Ken, Bernadette Wallace had a fantastic weekend recording victories in the women’s K1 500 and K1 1000 finals ahead of Sunshine Coast paddler Alyce Burnett and Stacey Higgins.
Wallace then combined with Burnett to win the K2 1000 and K2 500 finals.
Saturday was a successful day of racing for Currumbin Creek teenager Alexander MacKenzie-Templer after he claimed victory in the U23 K1 200 and K1 500 finals, with Direct Members Mac Stafford-Smith and Kawana Waters Nickolas Wagner sharing the podium in both events.
Wagner bounced back on Sunday with victory in the men’s U23 K1 1000 final in 4:00.75, 0.4 second ahead of MacKenzie-Templer and Direct Members Jarryd McDonnel
Coco Howcroft was too strong in the U23 K1 500 final crossing the finish line in 2:19.25 to claim the victory ahead of Tara McAleenan and Emma Eichhorn.
17 year old Currumbin Creek paddler Joel McKitterick dominated the U18 men’s events completing a trifecta of the men’s K1 events with victory over 1000, 500 and 200 meters.
Inspired by Beijing Gold medallist Ken Wallace in the senior race, McKitterick held off a fast finishing Jy Duffy (Kawana Waters) to win the U18 K1 1000 title, with Nerang River’s Jeremy Collins a distant third.
Currumbin Creek teenager Chloe Sterry took out the women’s U18 K1 500 final in dominant fashion streaking clear of the field finishing in 2:37.56, more than seven seconds clear of Christie Shorts with Taylor Bednall in third.
Sterry then combined with Sunshine Coast paddler Tara McAleenan who had earlier on won the K1 200 final, completing a clean sweep of the women’s U18 K2 events over 200, 500 and 1000 meters.
Direct Members youngster Nikolas Green dominated the U16 boy’s events winning the K1 500 and K1 1000 finals before combing with Kawana Waters paddler Joshua Jones-Rew for victory in the K2 1000.
Other U16 paddlers to impress included Kate Cottle in the girls K1 500 final, Sam Shepperd in the canoeing events and Dean Mitchell in the U16 boys K1 200 final.
2012 Australian Canoeing Paracanoeist of the year Kara Kennedy has continued her good form into the new year winning the women’s PC FK1 1000 final, while Nerang River paddlers Peter Nipperess and Andrew Stiles completed a one-two finish in the men’s PC MK1 1000, 500 and 200 finals.
Kennedy went on to win all the events she entered and looks primed for a big 2013, with one eye ultimately fixed on the 2016 Rio Paralympics.