Huge achievement for Annie Wardle!! 1st in U18 C2 Mixed, 2nd woman in the Boatercross event, and 3rd in U18 Women’s K1 event.
The Secondary Schools Canoe Slalom Nationals were held at the end of March at the Hawea Whitewater Park near Wanaka. The course at Hawea is exciting because it includes two big wave features.
Whitewater canoe slalom is where the paddler has to negotiate their boat down a course of slalom poles hanging above the river- hardly anyone had heard of the sport until the 2016 Rio Olympics when Luuka Jones won a Silver medal for New Zealand in K1.
As well as the canoe slalom competitions, there was an Extreme Whitewater Boatercross, which has recently become an official event at the Canoe Slalom World Championships (NZ’s Mike Dawson won it last year). It is really fun- four competitors in creek boats slide down a ramp, and paddle as fast as they can down the whitewater course, negotiating a few gates. Competitors often ‘fight’ to push another out of their boat, or make them miss a gate.
Most of the students competing at the event came from Alexandra, Wanaka, Tauranga, Rotorua and Napier. Annie was the only competitor representing Burnside High School. Annie had a successful time coming 1st in U18 C2 Mixed, 2nd woman in the Boatercross event, and 3rd in U18 Women’s K1 event.