Swan Canoe Club has again made a strong showing at the 2016 Australian Schools Canoe Slalom Championships on the Barrington River in NSW and the 2017 Australian Championships held at the challenging Penrith Whitewater Stadium, both held in early January 2017. Members who competed were juniors Louis Richardson, Billie Knell, Demelza and Kira Wall, Alexandria and Jack Choate, Giacomo Leighton and seniors Nick and Jamie Rankin and Zlatan Ibrahimbegovic who was also the WA team coach. The Club gave some financial assistance to the juniors.
Alex Choate got this year off to a strong start winning gold in U16 K1, C1, C2 with brother Jack and the sprint DR and earned herself the Junior Champion Girl award at the Schools Championship. At Nationals, Alex won gold medals in U18 K1 and C1. Her finals C1 showing put her 6th overall in WC1 and winner, for the second year running, of the U18 Women’s C1 trophy.
With gold and silver medals at Schools Champs and silver medals in U18 age groups races in K and C respectively at Nationals, Kira Wall and Billie Knell made finals at Nationals. Demelza Wall was 4th in the competitive U23 category also made finals in both K and C. Kira won U18 K trophy for fastest U18 in the final and was placed 7th overall. Demelza was 7th in C final. For about the fourth year running Demelza was half of the overall winning women’s C2 pair, this year with Ros Lawrence. Billie teamed up with Victorian Lachie Basset to win U18 C2 and Alex Choate won a silver with Alex Vogel in women’s C2. The girls capped a fabulous Nationals with gold medals in teams runs together.
Jack Choate also came home with a bagful of gold medals from U13 K1, C1 and U16 C2 at schools and U14 K1 gold as well as a silver in U16 C1 from Nationals.
Jack partnered with Nationals first timer Giacomo Leighton in C2 battling the big water at Penrith Stadium. Giacomo won U14 in K and C and MxC2 at schools and came a creditable 4th in U16 boys K1 at Nationals. Both boys have earned selection to the NTS squad.
Louis Richardson came second in U18 K1 age group National champs, after receiving gold in U17 at Schools in K1 and MxC2.
Also racing at Penrith from the club were Nick Rankin, Jamie Rankin and Team WA coach Zlatan Ibrahimbegovic who won a silver medal in the Vintage class.
The Club is also helping Kira, Billie and Demelza to race at the Oceania Championships in New Zealand this weekend.