Canoe Sprint Racing is one of the best-known competitive canoeing disciplines in Australia. This is probably due to its inclusion in the Olympic Games since 1936 and Australia’s involvement in all Olympics since the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games.
Canoe Sprint Racing is all about speed on flat water over distances of 200 metres, 500 metres and 1000 metres. The craft that have been developed are sleek and fast but unstable. Sprint kayakers use specially designed paddles allowing for extra power and efficiency.
K1, K2 and K4 are the most popular classes of Canoe Sprint kayaking but there are also canoe classes, C1, C2 and C4. Races are contested by guppies (U12), junior, senior and master athletes
U/12 class will be a pure Guppy Class, if a U/12 wishes to paddle a K1 then that athlete will paddle U/14’s.
The U/12 State titles are awarded for guppy class only. CWA will not discourage juniors from going up to K1 but the policy position, in WA, is that U/12 is a guppy class
1976 Montreal Olympics – John Trail – K4 1000m – 4th semi final (Top 3 to final)
1980 Moscow Olympics – Ken Vidler – K4 1000m 8th
1988 Seoul Olympics – Kelvin Graham – K2 1000m – 3rd
1992 Barcelona Olympics – Ramon Andersson, Kelvin Graham – K4 1000m – 3rd – (Kelvin became the first multiple medallist in canoeing for Australia)
1996 Atlanta Olympics – Ramon Andersson – K4 1000m – 9th
2000 Sydney Olympics – Amanda Simper – K4 500m – 10th
2004 Athens Olympics – Lisa Russ (nee Oldenhof) – K4 500m – 6th
2008 Beijing Olympics – Lisa Russ (nee Oldenhof) – K4 500m – 3rd
2012 London Olympics – Jesse Phillips/Steve Bird – K2 200m – 6th, Alana Nicholls – K1 200m – 16th, K1 500m – 16th
2016 Rio Olympics – Steve Bird – K1 200m – 8th, Daniel Bowker – K2 200m – 11th, Ferenc Szeksardi – C2 1000m – 10th, C1 200m 6th in heat.