London Olympic pairing Steve Bird and Jesse Phillips have dedicated their victory in the K2 200 final at the Oceania Sprint Championships and second Grand Prix in Adelaide today to the late Susan Quick.
Ms Quick tragically passed away last month following a boating accident on the Blackwood River.
Susan was a champion and skilled paddler, respected among the paddling community and known for being kind and living life to the full.
“We would like to actually dedicate that win to the late Sue Quick who passed away a couple of weeks ago in WA in a whitewater accident so to the family our thoughts are with you through at this pretty difficult time, so we would like to dedicate that to them,” Bird said.
Bird and Phillips were pleased to secure the race win after a surprising start call.
“We got away alright and then just stuck to our race plan and managed to have some composure at the end so we are pretty happy with the way it went,” Bird said.
The Western Australian pair recorded a time of 33.14 to finish 0.11 seconds ahead of K2 1000 champions Kenny Wallace and Lachlan Tame.
The hard work doesn’t stop for the pair with the National Championships still to come on their home course in the first week of March.
“On paper I guess that win does not mean a lot at this point as we need to consolidate our place in the K2 at Nationals and that is what we plan to do and make a statement with it,” Phillips said.
“We are potentially the only exclusive K2 200 crew that Australia has and we certainly want to make sure that we hold that title all the way through till the next Olympic Games, in any case, regards to selection on that particular event.”
Local favourite Callum Dunn and Sydney Northern Beaches paddler Ben McLean finished third in 33.66 to take out the under-23 title.
Earlier Dunn and McLean finished second in their K2 200 heat to secure Australia two Olympic quotas after finishing ahead of boats from New Zealand and the Cook Islands.