Australia’s future generation of canoe sprint aspirants competed at the 2013 ICF Olympic Hopes Regatta in Racice, Czech Republic from 13-15 September.
38 Australians were amongst the field of 448 athletes from 22 countries that competed across 36 events.
The competition was broken up into three age groups U15, U16 and U17 athletes.
Racing got underway on Friday with the 1000 metre events contested on the opening day, before the 500 and 200 metre events were raced on Saturday and Sunday.
Unfortunately for the Australian team no one was able to win a medal, however there were several encouraging individual and team boat performances to assure that our future is in safe hands.
Chloe Sterry went the closest to winning a medal when she finished fourth in the U16 girls K1 1000 A final on Friday. The Currumbin Creek teenager narrowly missed out on third position to Poland’s Justyna Iskrzycka who finished 0.20 seconds ahead of Sterry.
South Australian Francesca Kidd also contested the same final finishing sixth.
Sterry and Kidd continued their excellent form on Saturday combining with Victorian Kayla Whinray and West Lakes’ Lulu Loughry to place fifth in the girls K4 500 A final.
Australia appears to have good depth in the women’s kayak with a second K4 featuring Tanielle Basson, Caitlan Gilliman, Rachel Duncan and Nathalie Walkington finishing one spot further back in sixth.
Hailing from the Sydney Northern Beaches club, Basson and Duncan combined in the U17 girls K2 events finishing fifth in the 200 and eighth over 1000 metres.
Duncan also finished a promising seventh in the U16 girls K1 500 A final.
Others girls to impress included Walkington and Loughry who finished ninth behind Basson and Duncan in the U17 K2 200 A final, while Gilliman showed her strength over 1000 metres finishing fifth in the K1 1000 A final.
Two Australian crews featured in the U17 girls K2 500 A final with Gilliman and Walkington finishing sixth and Emma Douglass and Jessica Ross-Kelly combining for eighth.
Ross-Kelly also reached the A final of the U17 girls K1 500 final finishing seventh.
The boys also reached a number of A finals with Patterson Lakes U15 kayaker Christopher Martin finishing an impressive eighth in the coveted men’s K1 1000 A final.
Martin finished 17 seconds behind Hungarian teenager Kornel Beke who won the gold in 3:47.02.
Fellow Australian Luke Buckthorpe also contested the U15 K1 1000 event finishing a respectable fifth in the B final.
In the under 17 age category Jayden Ellis finished third in the K1 1000 B final.
Ellis also featured in the U17 K2 1000 A final combining with Tasmania’s Alexander Duggan to finish seventh.
Sydney Northern Beaches’ kayaker Simon McTavish reached two team boat A finals, firstly teaming up with fellow clubman Thomas Hammond to finish eighth in the U17 K2 500 before combing with Joshua Yeates, Sam Hutchinson and Benjamin Harris to finish seventh in the coveted U17 K4 1000 final.
In the mixed U15/16 K2 1000 A final Matthew Grimwade and Anthony Carbone finished ninth.
Overall the team can be proud of their efforts as they look to press their claims for a spot on the junior team in future years.
Please refer to links below to full results.