Inaugural Asia-Pacific Cup judged a success

Team Australia has won the inaugural Asia Pacific Canoe Sprint Cup in Adelaide after three days of exciting racing on West Lakes.

The first-time event saw 136 junior and developing canoe sprint athletes compete in under 17, under 18 and under 21 age groups in the Olympic class events, as well as mixed gender relay events.  Six countries competed at the event with athletes coming from Australia, Japan, Singapore, New Zealand, Tahiti and the Cook Islands.  Points were awarded for each race, with Australia winning the overall point score with 490 points ahead of New Zealand in second (407) and Japan in third (247). 

The Asia Pacific Cup is new event that started as a developing initiative between the founding partners Australia, New Zealand and Japan, in response to the need for an international competition for developing athletes in the region.

“It was a fantastic regatta," initiator and Australian Canoeing National Pathways lead David Foureur said.   

"It’s something we started to talk about probably twelve months ago as a developing initiative between Australia and New Zealand in the first instance, and it grew to the point where we had 136 competitors and six nations and it became an outstanding event.  Everyone enjoyed it and we had some really competitive racing, which was great to see. 

“With this event we can give our U16 athletes a great developing opportunity without a huge expense of going to Europe.  Also the timing in May is perfect and will benefit the athletes long-term. 

"And for our U18 and U23 athletes who will head to the World Champs next it acts like a World Cup and gives them the sense of what’s going to happen when they move into the senior ranks and into their World Champs in July.

“The future is looking bright and winning the overall Asia Pacific Cup is fantastic, but New Zealand gave us a real challenge and Japan was a bit of a surprise pack.  They came out and won a number of events, which was great to see.  And to see Singapore here with a team of 26 along with Tahiti and Cook Islands was absolutely fantastic.”

Olympic Champion and three-time Olympian Ken Wallace also came down to Adelaide to support the event, which he described as a “no brainer” and an important initiative for the development of kayaking in the Asia Pacific region.

“We love racing the Europeans, but they are literally on the other side of the world, so we might as well race our neighbours and everyone in and around us first," Wallace said. 

"This is a perfect platform for our up-and-coming athletes to practice their racing and strategize about how they are going to take on the rest of the world.  We’re giving them the experience to race against each other and we are also helping some of the developing countries in the sport to get better in what they do and the sport will thrive from it."

Wallace spent the weekend sharing his experience with the up and coming talent and was excited about the opportunities this new event will offer Australia’s future paddling stars.  

“It was great to see all the young guys and girls here, and it was awesome for them to come up and ask questions, but it was also great for me to see how they do things and how other countries are doing it," he said. 

"We can all learn from each other, I learnt a lot from these kids and hopefully they learnt one or two things from me as well.  I’ve seen many kids here this weekend where I say that technically they will do something special and the world is at their feet.”

The Asia – Pacific Sprint Cup is scheduled to take place annually with New Zealand hosting the event in 2019, Japan in 2020 and Australia again in 2021 on a rotational ongoing basis. 

The Asia-Pacific Sprint Cup is open to any country with the event expected to grow in the future and to become an International Regatta recognised by the International Canoe Federation.

For more information see the event webpage here: http://canoe.org.au/events/asia-pacific-cup/

See all results here: https://m.regattas.canoe.org.au/mobile/regatta/1158

Results day 1: https://regattas.canoe.org.au/?regatta;file=812

Results day 2: https://regattas.canoe.org.au/?regatta;file=813

Results day 3: https://regattas.canoe.org.au/?regatta;file=814

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