Two local athletes competed at the recent 2022 Australian Sprint Kayak Championships at West Lakes in Adelaide and are now national champions.
Christian and Finn Ireland are both are newcomers to the sport, racing for just the third time.
Amazingly, both returned as National Champions and have eyes on home Olympics in 2032 the junior age groups are hotly contested.
Christian [13-years] was the standout male competitor in the under 14's age group, claiming six national titles.
He is now the national champion for K1 200m and 500m, and finished a close second in the 1000m.
Partnered with Amelie Dooney from Sydney, Christian won the mixed K2 500m.
Christian, with partner Carlito Vesely from Manly-Warringah, also won his three K2 events over the same distances.
This is a massive improvement from Christian's single gold at the NSW titles in January.
Christian, this year by gaining selection in the NSW under 16's development squad and with his results, has demonstrated he is a talented paddler with the potential to become elite.
Next year he will challenge for a place on the under 16 national team, which would enable him to begin international competition. As an indication, later this year the under 16 team will travel to compete in Japan, and the under 18 team in Hungary.
Finn [11-years] had an excellent regatta.
He is performing well after only moving up to a proper K1 kayak two months ago.
Finn placed second in the 500m and 1000m, and third in the 200m.
With Joel Maritz from Currumbin, Finn placed second in the 200m and 1000m, third in the 500m.
Finn, in a composite K4 team, won the national title in 200m and 500m.
The boys are members of the locally based Makai Paddlers, and you may see them training on Burrill Lake and Narrawallee Inlet.
They would like to thank their coaches/mentors David Tudor-Jones, John Dick, Brendan Cowled and Tony Ireland, as well as their team mates and training buddies.
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