Less than a week to go until the start of the 2022 NZCT Canoe Sprint Nationals and we can’t wait to see all the action unfold on Lake Karapiro next weekend.
Here are just 5 of the reasons we are excited for NZ sprint racing’s biggest event:
- The National sprint community will be together for first time since May.
With covid lockdowns and restrictions impacting events all season, this is the first major canoe sprint event that Aucklanders are able to participate in since the 2021 Nationals nearly a year ago.
For Auckland paddlers, it was challenging watching the two Blue Lake events go ahead without them and stay motivated without events in sight. But everyone now even more pumped about events and looking forward to catching up with paddling friends from all around Aotearoa.
- This event is part of the selection process for World Cup and World Championship events. There is more on the line than just National titles and bragging rights this year, as CRNZ are sending teams to international events (apart from the Olympics) for the first time since 2019. We look forward to some tough racing across all divisions as athletes race hard for that team spot.
- Seeing Dame Lisa Carrington race.
It has been a busy period for NZ’s golden girl since she last raced at a national sprint event- Blue Lake 2 in December 2020. Since then, she has won a further 3 Olympic gold medals and become NZ’s most successful Olympian ever (6 medals), been recognized as the Sportswoman of the Decade and the 2021 Supreme Award winner at consecutive Halberg awards, become a Dame and got married. She’ll be lining up at her first event since Tokyo, and the entire paddling community are excited to see her back in action live.
- Watching the next generation of paddlers.
From under 12’s up to our under 23’s, there will be plenty of youngsters competing. It is exciting to watch the next generation of paddlers come through the age groups, showing their development year on year.
- Tight racing in the Elite divisions
There will undoubtedly be some close racing as the country’s best paddlers line up against each other, which will make for some spectacular viewing. For the elite men, it will be harder to make an Open Men K1 A Final than at any other time in recent history, as a result of the talent and effort being put in by the NZ’s Mens squad. In the Open Womens K1 500m, it will be Olympic champion Lisa Carrington against World Champion Aimee Fisher in a mouthwatering line up. This event will showcase the depth of kayaking talent we have in New Zealand and we are here for it.