World Marathon Championships 2006 – Tremolat France
In late September 2006 a team of 18 Australian Marathon kayakers assembled in Tremolat
to compete in the Canoeing and Kayaking Marathon World Championships on the Dordogne River
. It was a beautiful setting for the Championships and the team had a few days of training before the main competition began, giving the enthusiastic group of Australian supporters time to explore the French countryside.
The Championships got off to a great start with Terry Poole (Geelong) winning a bronze medal in the Masters competition. Other Victorian members of the team included Terry's son Ben who came 11th in the Men's K1 and Andrew Stimpson and Dave Cole (Ballarat) who equalled his achievement with a hard fought 11th in the Men's K2 event. Bret Murray from Melbourne competed in both the Junior Men's K1 (placed 21st) and joined with Simon Baird (Essendon) to race in the Junior Men's K2 (19th). Skye Taylor (Bendigo) also raced in both the K1 and K2 events (with Kristina Jenkins NSW)
Members of the Australian team from other States also did extremely well with the highlight being a Silver Medal to Lani Belcher (QLD) in the Junior Women's K1.
It was an exciting few days with competitors from nearly 40 countries racing in variable conditions, rain and wind on two of the race days, but the event organisation was great and the enthusiasm of the local community was really terrific. The Opening Ceremony, in particular, demonstrated the enormous interest that there is in the sport throughout the world. Skye Taylor carried the flag for Australia.
The team would like to thank Marc Brehin for all his efforts as Team Manager, driver, boat repairman, chef, counsellor and fellow kayaker and Ann Murray for her hard work as Assistant Manager.