In just two weeks kayak paddlers from around New Zealand converge on Lake Tikitapu (Blue Lake) in Rotorua for the 2012 CRNZ Canoe Sprint National Championships.
The field is very full with competitors of all ages geared up for some exciting racing. Of particular interest will be the Open Men’s and Women’s races, with the National Squad set to show some very fast performances, along with a number of other outstanding up-and-coming athletes in the U23 and Junior categories.
Ben Fouhy, who has been selected as the Olympic qualification nominee for both the K1 200m and the K1 1000m at the Oceania Canoe Sprint Continental Championships in Australia in March, will be competing in both these distances at this regatta. The pairing of Steven Ferguson and Darryl Fitzgerald the Olympic qualification nominees for the K2 have their eyes firmly set on an Olympic campaign and will also be racing both distances in the K2 events as well as stretching out in the K1 events.
World Champion Lisa Carrington should be in fine form at this regatta and will be racing her specialist K1 200m, the K1 500m, as well as teaming up with K2 partner Erin Taylor. Carrington and Taylor directly qualified the K1 and K2 boats at the 2011 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships in Hungary last year however they won’t be resting on their laurels as they must still perform to achieve Olympic selection.
Teneale Hatton the Olympic qualification nominee for the K1 500m will be looking to show her progress on her pathway to peaking at Oceania and Olympic selection. In Olympic year Open paddlers need to be on the top of their game, and it will be full throttle for all contenders.
The recently selected Junior and U23 squads will all be racing too, and with the 2012 Oceania Canoe Sprint Continental Championships less than a month away this regatta forms an important part of their build-up.
The Saturday night will bring out the bling in paddlers and volunteers alike, as the inaugural Canoe Racing NZ Sports and Recognition Awards are held at the Holiday Inn, Rotorua. As this is the first time the Sports and Recognition Awards have been handed out, the kayaking community is very excited. The Sports Awards will recognize the top performers in Sprint, Marathon and Ocean Surf Ski paddling as well as an outstanding performance as a Junior, Coach, Volunteer, Official and Club.
The Recognition Awards will acknowledge contribution to the sport via Life Memberships, Excellence Awards and Service Awards. With a proud history of excellence on the both the national and international stages we are delighted to be able to honour the achievers of the sport in this way