Victorious start for Great Lakes Canoe Club

The complete NSW schools team with the National small competitors’ Schools Trophy won by Great Lakes Colleges.This year has begun with great results for the Great Lakes Canoe Club with a number of competitions held over the summer locally, in Sydney and in Auckland (NZ).

The first of these was held in January at the Australian Schools Championships on the Barrington River, Barrington.

Five paddlers, Miah Kellett, Jock Sweeney, Alexander Fiebig, Tristan Yule and Kristian Fiebig, represented Great Lakes College in canoe and kayak slalom and sprints, with sensational results, culminating with a win in the national small competitors’ schools trophy.

Each paddler contested a number of individual and team events and came away with a swag of medals, with brilliant performances, especially from Miah and Jock, for who were competing for the first time at national level.

Great Lakes was part of the NSW team which played host state to the national event.

Under the leadership of Paddle NSW and Great Lakes College teacher, Phil Koch, they worked very hard to prepare the course at Barrington in the lead-up to the event.

The site was a last minute change, announced only three weeks before the event, due to a problem of water release at a different river course at Glenbawn Dam, which the team with their families had been helping to prepare over the last eightmonths.

Despite the low water level on the Barrington River it worked out very well, with more than 70 paddlers competing from Victoria,Tasmania, Western Australia and other regions of NSW.

Following this school’scompetition Kristian Fiebig joined his older brother Kaspar in the C2 (double canoe) for the Australian Nationals Canoe Slalom, held at Penrith in January, where they came away as national open C2 champions.

They put in a good performance at the Oceania Championships in Auckland at the end of January and followed it up earlier this month at the Australian Open, where they paddled their fastest ever and qualified for the U23 Australian Team.

This means they will compete in the world championships in canoe slalom in Bratislava, Slovakiathis coming July.

So now the hard work in preparation begins!

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