The NSW Open Canoe Sprint Championships will be held at the Sydney International Regatta Centre this weekend from the 18th to 19th January.
The men’s K1 1000 event will start the program on Saturday morning with Stewart a clear favourite to take out his pet event.
Stewart's main competition for the NSW title will come from fellow K4 member David Smith and younger brother Scott Smith. 2013 Senior Worlds paddlers Clear, Jordon Wood and Bill Bain will rival Stewart for the overall race victory.
Grand Prix 1 star Jy Duffy will join a group of promising junior athletes including Currumbin Creek’s Joel McKitterick who will contest the open men’s events in Penrith.
Stewart and Clear will be favourites to take the win in the men’s K2 1000 event after they finished fifth in the same event at last years’ Senior World Championships in Duisburg, Germany.
Queensland pair Bain and McKitterick and Paddle NSW duo Robert McIntyre and Mark Stowe are the other boats set to feature on the podium.
London canoeists Donaghey and Haas will make their return to racing this weekend after taking a break in 2013 following the Olympic year in 2012.
The Brothers Canoe Club pair will battle it out with local paddler Gavin Godfrey on the opening day in the men’s C1 1000 event.
Brigden-Jones looks set to dominate the women’s events. The Sydney Northern Beaches product is the only female member of last year’s senior team that will be racing in Penrith this weekend.
The 25 year old's main challengers in the K1 500 and K1 200 events will come from fellow Sydney Northern Beaches’ kayaker Deeandra Godoy, Manly’s Allison Bryant and Sunshine Coast paddler Coco Howcroft.
Canoe slalom star Jessica Fox will make an appearance in the Open K1 200 event.
On Sunday the men’s K1 200 event looks like an exciting race on paper with NSWIS pair Stewart and Lachlan Tame set to fight it out for line honours.
They will face strong competition from Southside Paddlers’ product Nick Dawe and Sydney Northern Beaches kayaker Ben McLean.
Interstate athletes Bain, Wood and Todd Brewer of Bayswater will also feature prominently.
The K2 200 event will follow, with Tame and Brewer the favourites to take out the quickest canoe sprint event ahead of teenage pair McLean and Kieren Carson of Patterson Lakes in Victoria.
Senior paracanoe quartet Brock Ingram, Colin Sieders, Glenn Pyne and Kara Kennedy will all feature across the weekend.
An official schedule is yet to be released for this weekend’s event. Please follow the links below for more race information.
A race schedule will be published on the Australian Canoeing website and on the Team Australia Facebook page once finalised.
|NSW Open Sprint Championships website|