With a paddle in his hand there is little Rob McIntyre cannot do.
In 2014 he was a member of the senior Wildwater and U23 sprint national teams. Add to that his prowess in a ski kayak, make him one of canoeing’s most rounded and gifted paddlers.
But he finds balancing the three is having a lot of positives on his development as a sprint paddler.
“It has been working well the past couple of seasons with downriver and Nationals going after snow melt in October, so I focus on that a little bit around that time then most of summer I do spend in the sprint kayak as there is not an opportunity to practice downriver anyway,” McIntyre said.
“I find if I am improving in my sprint kayak its helping by downriver kayak and vice-versa really. They go hand in hand.”
He highlighted his improvement at the NSW Sprint Championships in Penrith on the weekend.
The Avoca kayaker won gold in the K1 200 final.
In a photo-finish just 0.19 seconds separated the top three athletes.
McIntyre came out on top though winning in 36.36, 0.07 seconds ahead of Ben Gallard, with Callum Dunn close behind in third.
In the space of 12 months McIntyre improved from sixth to first and was delighted with the result.
“I definitely was, just making the transition out of international season last year and having to deal with selections (Wildwater) in October and then having to find my form in sprint kayaking again, it was good to finally crack a good result,” McIntyre said.
“I have been trying to battle away through the U23 ranks and now they mix us all together for most of the regattas except nationals really so it was good to get a win in opens against most of the people in Australia.”
“There was only a few from WA missing and Lachie Tame didn’t race so most people were there which was pretty good.”
2015 will see the 22 year old complete his final year as an U23 athlete. Despite demonstrating his ability to match it with the senior athletes he wants to take one step at a time.
“I have not thought too much about senior selection. Even though I won on the weekend I am by no means making that team. I have to race well at the selection races at GP2 and Nationals.”
“I definitely just want to focus on U23s at the minute and then after that we will just see what happens with my times to see if I am competitive at Nationals.”
The battle for senior and U23 selection will commence at Grand Prix 2 (GP2) in Penrith from 20 to 22 February.
The National Sprint Championships will follow from 11-15 March.