The 2013 Australian Open will commence at Penrith Whitewater Stadium on Friday with athletes from 12 countries set to showcase their talents down the fast and challenging Sydney Olympic course.
Headlining the Australian team will be London Olympic trio Jessica Fox, Robin Jeffery and Kynan Maley. Look out for Lucien Delfour, Ros Lawrence, Sarah Grant and Ian Borrows with all athletes capable of a podium finish.
Racing will commence on Friday morning with the men’s C1 paddlers to hit the course first with London Olympians Robin Jeffery and Kynan Maley headlining an impressive men’s C1 field with top ten paddlers Stanislav Jezek (CZE) and Jan Benzien (GER)
the ones to beat.
Internally the fight for C1 national selection will be tough with Maley and Jeffery set to battle it out with NSWIS duo Ian Borrows and Ethan Hodson and Victorian Christian Fabris, while keep an eye out for Australian Youth Olympic gold medallist Daniel Watkins and fellow Derwent River paddler Andrew Eckhardt, with both teenagers looking to continue their rise up the rankings in 2013.
Jeffery will also form a new C2 boat combination in 2013 with 23 year old Ethan Hodson.
“I want to be the first boat in the C1 (National Selection) and race fast and improve with Ethan (Hodson) in the C2.”
Jeffery and Hodson face a tough battle in the C2, with the newly formed duo set to do battle against some very strong German combinations lead by world number 10 duo Robert Behling and Thomas Becker, and world number 11’s Franz Anton and Jan
Tasmanian teenagers Daniel Watkins and Andrew Eckhardt will provide Jeffery and Hodson biggest rivals for national selection as C2 racing commences in the afternoon session of Fridays racing.
The men’s K1 kick things off in the afternoon qualification on Friday with 24 year old NSWIS paddler Lucien Delfour Australia’s best placed athlete to mount a challenge for a podium finish against a strong international contingent featuring Czech Olympic K1 silver medallist Vavrinec Hradilek and French world number 1 Etienne Daille.