Naomi Flood & Bernadette Wallace
2013 ICF World Cup 1
Photograph:Balint Vekassy (ICF)
Wallace siblings Ken and Bernadette, and Sydney pair Naomi Flood and Lachlan Tame have all launched their World Cup campaigns in impressive fashion, following an action packed first day of flatwater racing in Szeged, Hungary overnight.
Racing began with the women’s K2 500 heats with Flood and Wallace advancing straight into Saturday’s Final, with an emphatic victory in their heat.
The talented surf life saving pair held a one second lead at the 250 metre mark, before powering home in the second half of the race to win in 1:50.76, 3.51 seconds ahead of Norwegian duo Agnes Brun-Lie and Louise Leren Moen.
“We raced well, obviously we have not had a great couple of week’s consistency wise after nationals and then national surfs, so to come away to Hungary and have a race and put down a good performance like that is very positive,” Flood said.
For Wallace the heat win meant much more as it was her first World Cup race in nearly two years.
The 23 year old admitted there is fine tuning needed ahead tomorrow’s final.
“I think we need to put a bit more power into it and have a bit more confidence in our middle section because we are both quite big strong girls, so just bring that stroke rate down a tiny bit and put a bit more into the back,” Wallace said.
Flood also advanced to the women’s K1 1000 A final, after winning her semi final in an impressive time of 4:21.97, 1.34 seconds ahead of local paddler Erika Medveczky and fellow Hungarian Alexandra Bara.
Wallace finished fourth, 2.62 seconds behind Flood, and will contest the B final.
Not to be upstaged by his younger sibling, Ken Wallace advanced to the men’s K1 1000 A final, after finishing second behind Belarus gun Aleh Yurenia in his semi final.
Wallace, who earlier dominated his heat, got off to a slower start in his semi final, before powering home over the closing 250 metres, moving from fourth to second to secure an A final berth.
Yurenia won in 3:50.37, 0.96 seconds ahead of Wallace, with Czech kayaker Josef Dostal finishing third, a second adrift of Wallace.
“I have not raced at a World Cup for a while in K1, so it is good to get back into it, but I am maybe a little under done, but it is the first World Cup, we will just see how we go and we will work our way into all three of them so I am looking forward to keep racing,” Wallace said.
Two-time world champion and London Olympic Bronze medallist Max Hoff, of Germany, will be the one to beat after qualifying fastest for the final, winning his semi in 3:49.75.
Wallace also progressed to the men’s K1 500 A final to be raced on Sunday, after finishing second in his semi final.
Hungarian Bence Dombvari won the semi in 1:45.66, 0.73 seconds ahead of Wallace, with Serbia’s Vladimir Torubarov third.
Making his World Cup debut, Avalon Beach 24 year old Lachlan Tame was not as fortunate as Wallace, narrowly missing out on an A Final berth after finishing third in his semi final.
Tame, who recently won a third straight single surf ski titles at the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships finished 0.26 seconds behind Ireland’s Barry Watkins, who won the semi in 1:45.63.
National Performance Director Richard Fox was pleased with how the Australian quartet performed on the opening day.
“Overall it has been a good first day for the team,” Fox said.
“It is always tough getting up to speed with the Europeans straight off the plane but everyone showed their character and competitive spirit and we are in a good space heading into the finals tomorrow.”
“These World Cup regattas will be a good measure of the work to be done between now and worlds and we will certainly have some good benchmarks here in Szeged this weekend with a good spread of quality athletes in each event.”
The women’s K2 500 and K1 1000, and men’s K1 1000 finals will be raced tomorrow morning in Szeged local time.
Australian Schedule: Saturday 11th May
10:08am – R76 WK1 1000 B Final (Bernadette Wallace)
10:38am – R78 WK2 500 A Final (Flood & Wallace)
10:51am – R79 MK1 1000 A Final (Ken Wallace)
11:33am – R83 WK1 1000 A Final (Naomi Flood)
2:25pm – R89 MK1 200 Heat 1 (Lachlan Tame)
3:50pm – R106 WK2 200 Heat 1 (Flood & Wallace)
4:50pm – MK1 200 semi finals commence
6:00pm – WK2 200 semi finals commence
(All time Hungarian local time - 8hrs behind AUS EST)
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