Australia's best flatwater paddlers will battle it out for selection next week when they converge at the Champion Lakes Regatta course in Western Australia for the 2013 National Sprint Championships.
This year's Nationals will run from Wednesday 3 April to Sunday 7 April with a strong field of 300 paddlers assembled in what promises to an entertaining battle in the pinnacle sprint event on home soil this year.
Headlining the event will be London Olympic K4 1000 gold medallists Tate Smith, David Smith, Murray Stewart and Jacob Clear who are fresh out of a training camp earlier this week on the Gold Coast alongside Coach Jimmy Owens and are hungry to resume their mantle as the best K4 in the business.
Stewart will also be in contention to take out the men's K1 1000, but will face stiff competition from Currumbin Creek star Ken Wallace who has started 2013 in a blaze of glory with victories at the Oceania Championships in New Zealand and the Grand Prix 3 regatta in Penrith earlier in the month.
Others to look out for in the prestigious men's event include fellow K4 members Clear and the two Smith boys, talented young Queensland star Bill Bain, Aussie surf champion Lachlan Tame and Western Australian Reece Baker.
The Newly formed duo of Wallace and Tame will once again benefit from another race together and look to set to fight it out with Clear and Stewart for K2 supremacy over 1000m.
Clear and Stewart narrowly edged the Oceania champions at Grand Prix 3 and it should be a tough battle between these two crews once again. Keep a close eye on South Australian pair Luke Haniford and Zac Ryan who are the leading U23 K2 crew in the country and are in excellent form and looking to match it with their more experienced opponents.
After finishing sixth in the K2 200 in London last year Western Australian paddlers Jesse Phillips and Steve Bird will take some beating in their pet event, with both paddlers now back to full fitness following post season surgery.
The Wallace and Tame crew will once again be in the thick of it, while look out for Bayswater pair Brodie Holmes and Todd Brewer, South Australian U23 duo Callum Dunn and Jeremy Petho, and Stewart and Tate Smith.
You can throw a blanket over the men's K1 200 field with half a dozen paddlers more than capable of posting the winning time come Sunday.
In his first race since London, Bird took out the men's K1 200 at Grand Prix 3, but Nationals will be a whole different ball game with K2 partner Phillips, Stewart, Tame, Dawe and Queensland duo Joel Simpson and Matt Urquhart all hungry for a spot on this year's senior team.
In the canoeing events expect Brothers duo Alex Haas and Jake Donaghey to be too strong in the C2 1000 event, with the teenage pair fresh of making their Olympic debuts last year.
Donaghey will fight it out with Paddle NSW canoeist Marius Florian in the C1 1000, while Donaghey, Haas and Western Australian veteran Ferenc Szekszardi will fight for selection in the C1 200 event.
The women's K1 500 promises to be the race of the event with the ever improving Naomi Flood fresh off the back of a successful Telstra Ironwoman Series set to push Bayswater star Alana Nicholls for the coveted K1 500 senior team berth.
Queensland paddler Bernadette Wallace has also had a great start to 2013 with some strong performances at Grand Prix 3 and is hungry to return to the senior team frame after missing out in 2012.
Nicholls and Flood will once again battle it out for victory in the K1 200, with Wallace, South Australian Hannah Davis, and NSWIS paddler Jo Brigden-Jones all in the running for line honours.
Davis, Brigden-Jones, and Queensland pair Rachel Lovell and Lyndsie Fogarty should easily take out the women's K4 500.
The women's K2 500 should be a tight affair with Flood and Wallace slight favourites ahead Bayswater duo Nicholls and Jaime Roberts, K4 paddlers Davis and Brigden-Jones, and Sunshine Coast duo Alyce Burnett and Hailey McGinty.
Paracanoe selection will also be up for grabs with Paracanoe Coach Andrea Wood assembling a record field of 18 paddlers for this year's event.
"Last year there were three men's K1, two men's V1 and one women's K1 and V1 with the total number of entries being 4. This year, there are enough entries to constitute classes in all men's K1 classifications. There are 13 men entered and 5 women" she said.
A full Paracanoe preview has been published on the Australian Canoeing website.
Racing gets underway on Wednesday morning from 8am local time with the men's K1 1000 heats to the action underway in what promises to be an action packed week of sprint racing.