Kristy Packham racing on the Vrbas river
The Australian wildwater team race at World Cup 1 on the Vrbas River at Banja Luka in Bosnia over the weekend.
Robert McIntyre was again in good form, coming off the back of his finals berth at last week’s World Championships in Slovenia having had the 8th fastest time in the first run. Brother Alex was placed 17th and Tom Mountney was 25th after his foot bar sheared off during the race.
In the second run Rob was much faster on the top part of the course but faltered in the last rapid before the finish line to have a time that did not better the first run. At the conclusion of the second runs he was the 10th fastest qualifier. Former world champion Nejc Znidarcic of Slovenia had the fastest time of 45.55 which was 0.71 seconds faster than his nearest rival team-mate Tim Kolar. The 3rd fastest qualifier was another Slovenian paddler Simon Oven on 46.93 seconds.
The big improver of the second runs was Alex McIntyre who improved his first run time of 48.98 by 1.24 seconds to finish with a time of 47.74 to move into 12th place and gain is first World Cup Final. Just prior to commencing his second run he was sitting in 19th position after a couple of other competitors had relegated him further down the order. This was a good come back after his disappointing 32nd at Solkan.
Tom did some quick running repairs before his second run and improved his ranking to finish 20th overall with a time of 48.95 seconds.
Not a lot of females turned up for the World Cup race. There were 11 starters meaning that Kristy Packham and Maddie Batters qualified automatically for the final in 8th and 9th place respectively.
Several hours later in the evening the finals commenced under lights in a stunning setting in the deep Vrbas gorge.
The first final was the men's C1 with victory going to the Vladimir Slanina of the Czech Republic in a time of 49.17 with Norman Weber of Germany in second with a time of 49.37 and Quentin Dazeur from France in third with a time of 50.78.
Next was the men's K1 final with brothers Alex and Robert McIntyre in action. Alex was first down the course with a tidy time of 47.97 which ultimately saw him place 11th overall. Brother Robert had some
issues with the top rapid that set him back with a time of 49.22 which saw him place 14th overall.
The eventual winner was top seed Nejc Znidarcic who put down a smoking hot time of 44.43 seconds to beat his nearest rival Paul Graton from France by 1.71 seconds in a time of 46.14. Tim Kolar from Slovenia was 3rd with a time of 46.26 seconds.
Our lady Australian paddlers were also in finals action with Maddie Batters finishing 11th in a time of 58.37 seconds and Kristy Packham in 8th place in a time of 56.36 seconds. The eventual winner was
Sabine Fuesser of Germany with a time of 52.05 who narrowly overcome team mate Manuela Stoeberl from Germany with a time of 52.09 and third was Claire Emilie Simon in a time of 52.69.
Tomorrow sees all of the Australian team in action in World Cup 2 being the classic race.