Michael Leverret returned from a year of rest after recovering from surgery to dominate at the 2007 Australian Canoe Marathon Championships over the Easter long weekend in Nagambie, Victoria.
Over the race distance of 36 kilometres, including 4 portages, Michael showed his class to win the Open Men K1 sprinting away from Victorian state team member David Cole in the closing stages to take the title. Leverret recorded a winning time of 2 hours 46 minutes and 8.89 seconds, nearly five seconds faster than Cole. Nick Woodward, also from Victoria took the bronze medal. On Sunday Leverret teamed with Cole to dominate the Open Men K2 winning by nearly 5 minutes from their Victorian team mates of Mark Rantall and Nick Woodward with another Victorian pair of Cameron McMullan and Ben Poole third.
QueenslandÕs Erin OÕKeeffe was surprised by Kristina Jenkins, New South Wales in the Open Women K1 over the race distance of 28.8 kilometres. After each of the three compulsory portages Erin would put distance between herself and Kristina only to have the gap close on each lap. Erin was surprised by her rivalÕs strength in the closing stages and Kristina was able to win by approximately 15 seconds. Kristina and Erin finished nearly 6 minutes in front of third place Ella Carrie from Victoria.
The next day Erin teamed with fellow Queenslander and Indooroopilly club member Manouela Tzvetanova to stage a strongly fought victory in the Open Women K2 over the New South Wales pair of Kristina Jenkins and Sandra Burwood. After the last portage and with 7.2 kilometres remaining many thought the New South Wales pair opened a championship winning lead only to see it slowly overhauled. The New South Wales pair had left nothing in the tank and the Queensland crew were able to snatch the win by just on a second. Third place was claimed by the Victorian pair of Megan Braithwaite and Lisa Munro.
Current world junior women silver medallist Lani Belcher showed her class in both the under 18 women K1 and K2. Lani from Queensland won the K1 by nearly 2 minutes over her K2 partner Megan Rose from Victoria and Queenslander Casey Leo-Litzow a distance third. LaniÕs high quality portaging skills help her increase the lead over the field. In the under 18 women K2 Lani teamed with Megan to comfortably win by five minutes to Casey Leo-Litzow and Stacey Higgins, both from Queensland. The Victorian pair of Bronwyn Ellis and Tara Thompson-Hammond were a further 10 minutes back in third.
In another close fought contest QueenslandÕs Dane Wilkinson out sprinted South AustraliaÕs Matthew Goble and Luke Haniford for the Under 18 Men title. Dane and Matthew teamed in the K2 only to suffer equipment failure forcing them to withdraw from the contest. South Australian pair of Luke Haniford and Mat Duggin went on to win the under 18 men K2 crown from the Victorian crews of Arthur Alger and Mitch Kowarzik and Eric Alger and Nicholas Byrne.
Australia is set to send a strong team to the ICF World Canoe Marathon Championships to be held in Hungary at the beginning of September. Some of the team and other Australians will also get the opportunity to face the best in the world at a World Cup meet in Denmark in June.
Thanks to continued support and assistance from Australian Sports Commission.
Full set of results below
Please contact Tom Hirrschoff on 0419 580 499 for further information.
Use the above button within Acrobat to rotate the results page clockwise for easy reading..