2015 Australian Canoeing Award Winners

Featured / General / Nov 15, 2015

The 2015 Annual Awards Dinner was conducted at the Rowers on George in Wolli Creek, Sydney on the evening of Saturday 14th November.

The photos from the evening can be found on Australian Canoeing’s Facebook page

Canoeist of the Year – Non-Olympic Discipline or Class – Sponsored by the Australian Institute of Sport:

Winner – Cory Hill

Cory Hill


In Ocean Racing, Cory won the Molokai and the Hamilton Island Race two of the most prestigious Ocean Racing events on the calendar. Outside of the nomination period, Corey recently won the 2015 Ocean Racing World Championships in Tahiti.



Canoeist of the Year – Olympic Discipline or Class – Sponsored by the Australian Institute of Sport

Winner – Jessica Fox

Jessica Fox K1W Gold Celebration Deep Creek

Jess finished the year at the top of the ICF ranking for K1 (as well as C1). She finished 3rd in the World Cup series ranking. Highlights from the year were the gold medal in the U23 World Championships in K1, a silver medal in the teams’ event at the same competition. Jess also won two silver medals and a bronze in K1 in World Cup events.

Coach of the Year

Winner – Andrea King

Andrea KingAndrea is Head Coach for Paracanoe, and has had the passion to develop paracanoeing within Australia. After 5 years of dedication and hard work the results are showing continual improvement. At the Paracanoe World Championship in 2015 the Paracanoe team one 3 gold, a silver and a bronze medal, with Australia topping the medal tally.

Other results achieved by Andrea and her athletes in 2015 include 12 national championships won by her Queensland athletes at the 2015 Australian Canoe Sprint Championships, 4 athletes selected to Olympic Hopes Team, and 4 paracanoe athletes selected for Australian Paracanoe team.


Instructor and Guide of the Year – Sponsored by Yak

Winner – Brian McCarthy

Brian McCarthyAs a qualified Australian Canoeing Sea Kayak instructor, he has been a valuable asset to his club – QLD Sea Kayak Club. Brian’s willingness to promote kayaking through training is unsurpassed in the club. The many events, (Trip Plans, Training on and off the water, Trip Leader Training, and Grading paddlers) which he coordinated and implemented is a credit to his commitment not only to the club but also to other kayaking clubs in the area through organising and leading trips, skills training and conducting assessments. QLD Sea Kayak Club can boast about having more club-qualified Sea Kayakers than any other club because of the volunteering work of Brian McCarthy.

Junior Canoeist of the Year – Non-Olympic Discipline or Class

Winner – Kate Eckhardt

Kate EckhardtWe welcome John Borojevic President of Canoe Tasmania to the stage who will be accepting the award on Kate’s behalf.

Kate won the Bronze Medal in C1 at the U18 World Championships in Brazil. Other top results included 4th place in C1 at the Junior European Cup and a 6th place finish at the Australian Open.


Junior Canoeist of the Year – Olympic Discipline or Class

GP2 U18 K1 1000, K1 500 and K1 200 champion

GP2 U18 K1 1000, K1 500 and K1 200 champion

Winner – Oliver James

At the 2015 Canoe Sprint National Championships, Oliver won all but two events across the under 18 category. At the Junior World Championships, Oliver finished 7th in the final of the Men’s 1000m K1.

Olegas Truchanas Award

Winner – South Georgia Island Circumnavigators

South Georgia Island CircumnavigatorsTeam paddlers John Jacoby, Chris Porter, Andrew Maffett and Jim Bucirde all experienced sea kayakers, but their previous expeditions were nothing compared with their circumnavigation of the subantarctic island of South Georgia in January 2015. Their 500km paddle around this wilderness oasis, which lies 1500km north-east of the Antarctic peninsula, saw them encounter massive icebergs, powerful ocean swells and ferocious storms.

They were fortunate to experience some clear weather, however, and completed their journey faster than the three teams who had circled South Georgia previously. Having made such good time, they then traversed the island – following in the footsteps of Sir Ernest Shackleton, who’d landed there in 1916 – and are the first team to have completed both a crossing and circumnavigation of the island.

They have been named Australian Geographic Adventurers of the Year 2015.

Paracanoeist of the Year

Winner – Curtis McGrath

Curtis McGrath Paracanoe

Curtis knows how to overcome adversity. He demonstrated this again this year when notified the V1 was no longer the Paralympic event. In a very short period of time, he transferred from the V1 into the K1 and was determined to try and win the World Championships this year. Curtis pushed the reigning champion in the heats with a victory but was unable to replicate this in the final coming 2nd. Curtis continued in the V1 and won his 2nd World Championship Gold in this event. Curtis also finished 2nd in the K1 at the Rio Paralympic Test Event.

Team of the Year – Sponsored by Sportscene

Winner – Open Mens K2 1000m (Ken Wallace and Lachlan Tame)

2015 K2 500 world champions Kenny Wallace and Lachlan Tame

2015 K2 500 world champions Kenny Wallace and Lachlan Tame

Ken Wallace & Lachlan Tame unfortunately were not able to attend the dinner, so we would like to ask Greg Denny, Executive Officer of Queensland Canoeing to the stage who will be accepting the award on Ken & Lachlan’s behalf

The crew that was formed late in 2014 has stuck together and built on their performances as a crew. Their Silver medal at the World Championships in K2 1000m qualified 2 spots for Australia’s Olympic Team at the Rio Olympics. The pair also won the World Championship Gold Medal in the K2 500m.

Masters Canoeist of the Year

Margi Bohm


Margi BohmAt the 2014 ICF Canoe Marathon Masters World Cup, Margi finished 1st in the K1 Women 50 to 54 years’ age group and 1st in the K2 Women 50 to 54 (with Hilde Lapere, South Africa) years’ age group. At the National Championships she finished 1st in the K1 Women 55 to 59 years’ age group. Over the past 2 years Margi has been the Team Leader for the Emerging Marathon Team, taking a small band of athletes to South Africa to compete in the South African National Championships.

Service to Canoeing

Ian & Julie Frost

Ian and Julie Frost founded the Varsity Lakes Paddlers Club. They spend endless hours encouraging the development throughout southeast QLD. Specifically the Gold Coast. They have built the club from a small shed to a flourishing club that now has many national team representatives as well as world champions.

Julie and Ian also run many events from local marathon races to state sprint and school events. Next year they will coordinate the national marathon titles on the Gold Coast.

The amount of time over the years that they have put in is overwhelming. If anyone looks into what they have given the sport then you will see my nomination has only scratched the surface.

Shane Dalziel

Shane has been a coach of Kawana Canoe Club for the past 6 years and during this time has managed to coach numerous athletes onto the world stage. He takes 6 sessions a week. He includes everybody on the water, of any age at any level and includes all paddlesports. Shane makes the most of things and brings fun and enthusiasm to all sessions

Over the past year Shane has had 6 of his athletes in Australian representative teams, from open all the way down to Olympic hope levels. These athletes were new to kayaking having transferred over from Surf Lifesaving and were coached, mentored and developed by Shane. Although only a small club, Shane’s ability to nurture his athletes to success seems endless.

Award Of Merit

Eileen Callaghan

Eileen CallaghanAs the first Freestyle Kayaking team manager Eileen went above and beyond the line of duty organising one of the largest Freestyle Kayaking teams that Australia has ever taken overseas. Her hard work and dedication allowed the team to travel across to Canada coordinating everything from uniforms to registration and everything else in between which is quite tough when it comes to coordinating freestyle kayakers at the best of times. She helped the event management staff in Canada getting people and gear to the right place and was a huge part as to why the Australian Freestyle Team was able to successfully compete at the Freestyle World Championships in Canada.

Eileen has always been a huge asset to the Australian Freestyle Committee and has helped shape the direction and grow freestyle kayaking in Australia.

Amanda Reynolds

Amanda ReynoldsAmanda achieved bronze in 2014 and came home and reinvented herself. She made changes to her diet, strength conditioning and intensity of padding. Aj endured major and numerous changes to the vital set up and fittings in the boat. She embraced all the radical changes with enthusiasm.

Based in Melbourne, Amanda has made the commitment for improvement in the K1 for paracanoe and has sacrificed time with family and friends to relocate to the Gold Coast in pursuit of her goal, world champion. This year she achieved her goal claiming World Championship Gold.

Amanda is a great ambassador for paracanoe and a fantastic role model for all athletes.

Susan Seipel

Susan SeipelAfter national and international appearances in paraquestrian Susan switched to paracanoe just 3 years ago with immediate good results at elite level. Her dedication and work ethic have resulted in her top results and fueled her desire to continue to improve.

Susan travelled to the World Championships in 2014 as a development opportunity which was highly beneficial due to at this year’s world championships Susan improved on her 6th place in the K1 to the bronze and then also won the VL2 V1 200m by an incredible margin of 4.5sec.

Ken Wallace

ICF World Cup 2

ICF World Cup 2

Ken continues to achieve highly at international canoe / kayak sprint competitions. At the 2015 World Championships Ken collected 2 gold and a silver medal. The gold medal for the K1 5000m was Ken’s third consecutive World Title over that distance.

At the World Championships in Milan, Ken crewing with Lachlan Tame, won a silver medal in the K2 1000m. Dropping back to 4th with 250m to go the Ken’s powerful finish pulled the Australians on to the podium. The same achievement at the 2014 World Championships. The next day Ken and Lachlan won the gold medal over 500m beating the Spanish crew by 0.788 seconds.

Technical Official Of the Year

Bob Turner

Bob TurnerBob Turner has provided great leadership in the field of canoe marathon for PaddleNSW over the past year. Bob is an AC Canoe Marathon official.

Bob’s leadership has seen the NSW Marathon 10 Series to develop through 2014 and continue such through 2015. Bob has grasped the use of technology for the events by using RP7 software. Results are provided quickly and are available on line within moments of an athlete completing the race. Bob has provided feedback to the software developer for future use at canoe marathon events.

In addition Bob provided leadership and guidance to the organising committee from the Burley Griffin Canoe Club for the 2015 Australian Canoe Marathon Championships. Many of Bob’s recommendations were implemented for the championships in either the administration of the event or the set of the course.

People’s Choice Award

Amanda Reynolds

Amanda ReynoldsBased in Melbourne, Amanda has made the commitment for improvement in the K1 for paracanoe and has sacrificed time with family and friends to relocate to the Gold Coast in pursuit of her goal, world champion. This year she achieved her goal claiming World Championship Gold.

Amanda is a great ambassador for paracanoe and a fantastic role model for all athletes.

President’s Award

Christine Duff

Christine DuffChristine Duff or ‘Duffy’ as she is more commonly known amongst her young paddlers and peers celebrated her 23rd Nationals as a coach this year. Leading the Sydney Northern Beaches Kayak Club to countless junior titles, and coaching many athletes to Australian representation. Duffy has been a longtime manager of International Tours taking Junior athletes to all parts of the world.