Huge medal haul for Western Sydney Whitewater Club at State Championships

Ada Mackie (above) and Lucien Delfour (below) in action earlier this year in Penrith.  Photos by Noel Rowsell

THE 2023 NSW Canoe Slalom State Championships were held on 28-29th October 2023, on the Cotter River, ACT.

The event was part of an initiative to rebuild Canoe Slalom participation, from the ground up, with the Cotter River venue providing all the elements needed – a grade 1/2 natural river, with easy access from the bank, and a campground on site (with hot showers). Paddlers travelled from as far away as Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie and the Hunter Valley, with a strong contingent from the Western Sydney Whitewater Club (WSWC) in Penrith, including many paddlers for whom this was their first race.

The award for cheering goes to the Slay Squad (the novice junior girls from WSWC) who all ran along the bank cheering on their coach Alex Zarb in each of her runs.

The K1W event was won by Georgia Rankin (WSWC), with silver going to 15-year-old Ada Mackie (WSWC), who put down two clean runs in an impressive performance, with Alex Zarb finishing with the bronze.

The U16 division in the WK1 was taken out by Ada Mackie, ahead of two upcoming paddlers from the North Coast.

The Gold medal in the K1W U12 division was won by Khloe Schwarzer (WSWC), who impressively didn’t miss a single gate in her two runs. Lara Wylie (WSWC) took the silver, with Sophie Lennie (WSWC) winning the bronze.

The C1M was won by Kaylen Basset (WSWC), with Declan Ellis (BRCC) taking Silver and Lachlan Bassett (WSWC) taking bronze. Dominic Curtin (WSWC) took out the C1M U18 division and Luke Delaney (BRCC) took out the C1M U14 division. It was exciting to see some of our U12 boys competing in C1 in the U14 division, with Tom Billaut (WSWC) taking the silver and Jye Deaves (WSWC) the Bronze.

Tokyo Olympian Lucien Delfour (WSWC) took out the K1M, with Declan Ellis (BRCC) taking silver and junior paddler Dominic Curtin (WSWC) taking the bronze, as well as winning the gold medal in the U18 division. The U16 division was won by Matt Delaney (BRCC), whilst up and coming U14 paddler Sevan Billaut (WSWC) put down a fast and clean second run to take the U14 gold medal and finish 6th overall.

Local paddler Craig Elliott (BGCC) took out the K1M Veteran class, beating Chris Tubb (WSWC) by just 0.31 secs. Long term regular competitor Kevin Songberg (RCC) won the vintage division ahead of his C2 teammate Gary Nelson.

Alexandra Zarb (WSWC), supported by her own cheer squad, won gold in the C1W with two clean runs, with Georgia Rankin (WSWC) in 2nd and local paddler Emily Hogbin-Bourne (BGCC) in 3rd. Ada Mackie followed closely behind, finishing 4th overall and first in the C1W U16 division. Ada and Emily also teamed up to take up the C2W division with a fast and clean second run.

In the plastic boat class, Lucien Delfour (WSWC) showed the speed he needs for the Kayak Cross Time Trials, winning the Gold Medal.

The 2023 NSW Canoe Slalom State Championships were held on 28-29th October 2023, on the Cotter River, ACT.