World surf ski champion Lachlan Tame won his first K1 200 national title in Adelaide.
The highly anticipated final lived up to its billing with less than a second separating the top five competitors.
Tame recovered from a slow start to power home in the closing stages and collect the win in 37.16, 0.13 seconds ahead of Bayswater kayaker Brodie Holmes.
Defending champion Stephen Bird of Canning River collected the bronze just 0.42 seconds behind the race winner.
“It is the first time I have won a K1 at Nationals so that is pretty cool. Obviously it is a building block as you want to go to Worlds and that is the goal now”, Tame said.
Bird and fellow Olympian Jesse Phillips of Bayswater won a fifth consecutive K2 200 National title in the afternoon.
The Western Australian pair are notorious for their fast starts on the world scene and they didn’t disappoint in the final.
K1 winner Tame and Beijing gold medalist Ken Wallace made a late surge but it was Bird and Phillips who held on to the win by 0.26 seconds in a time of 35.28.
Holmes and fellow Bayswater kayaker Todd Brewer finished third.
“To come out and knock that out of the way and win our fifth consecutive title is very pleasing and we were happy to put a signature race on the water”, Phillips said.
Asked how it compared to previous years Bird responded, “In terms of leading up to the event it was a lot more relaxed, we have had a lot more tense ones so that one we felt with the experience that we were in control a bit more so it was a solid result.”
Sydney Northern Beaches’ kayaker Jo Brigden-Jones collected the double in the women’s 200 metre events.
The 25 year old showed tremendous courage after it looked as those sickness would sideline the NSWIS paddler earlier in the week.
“The other day I was not feeling so good, I was seriously considering pulling out of a few races so glad I stuck with it.”
“Your body always knows what to do on the start line so I was just hoping it would come good for these couple of days and feeling much better so really happy”, Brigden-Jones said.
Firstly Brigden-Jones showed her class in the K1 200 final winning in 42.93, 1.37 seconds ahead of Bayswater star Alana Nicholls.
Manly Warringah kayaker Naomi Flood finished third in 44.98.
“I am pretty stoked with that race, it worked out perfectly and just stuck to my race plan.”
She then followed up her K1 success with victory in the K2 200 title alongside popular South Australian Hannah Davis.
The experienced pair showed their class on a limited preparation winning in 42.11.
Flood and Jaime Roberts of Bayswater collected the silver 0.39 seconds behind the winner, with U23 pairing Cat McArthur and Alyce Burnett finishing third.
Davis enjoyed the win at her 15th National Championships.
“That was a lot of fun”, she said.
“Jo and I really like that event and to jump in a go fast without any work this year together as a crew, it is great to know that we have still got it.”
Paracanoe also featured on Saturday’s program with newcomer Curtis McGrath continuing his excellent Nationals debut with an improved V1 200 time.
The Varsity Lakes member produced a time of 52.44 to finish more than six seconds ahead of Queenslander Trevor Hutson.
McGrath was happy with his improvement, “It was much smoother and more technically correct I think and after letting go of my paddle and having a bad start yesterday, it was a lot cleaner.”
“There was a little bit of a cross-wind which makes steering pretty hard without a rudder but it was a good result so I am happy with that.”
Local favourite Melissa Sullivan made in two from two in the womens V1 200 LTA class.
Currumbin Creek star Kara Kennedy followed suit in the TA class winning in 1:08.10, 1.28 seconds ahead of Brisbane’s Susanne Seipel.
Western Australian Brock Ingram secured himself yet another senior paracanoe berth with victory in the K1 200 LTA class.
Ingram won in 45.48, 4.54 seconds ahead of Peter Nipperess of Varsity Lakes.
The battle for the TA class was once again decided by less than a second with Sunshine Coast paddler David Parry edging Sam Germein of West Lakes by 0.17 seconds.
Penrith canoeist Colin Sieders of the pick of the arms only competitors posting a time of 1:00.81, a two second improvement on Friday’s result.
Queensland teenager Andrew Stiles (15) performed beyond his years finishing fourth in the K1 200 multiclass final in 53.96.
In the womens K1 200, Victorian Amanda Reynolds continued her domination of the LTA class winning in 1:00.29.
Seipel won the TA class in 1:06.04, 5.73 seconds ahead of Varsity Lakes’ teenager Erin Baker.
In other open senior finals contested on Saturday Alex Haas and Jake Donaghey of the Brothers Canoe Club won the C2 200, Phillips, Bird, Holmes and Todd Brewer won the K4 200, while Naomi Flood took out the K1 1000 womens final.
The final day of racing commences in Adelaide tomorrow from 8:30am local time.