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About Sprinting

Sprint Racing is one of the best-known competitive canoeing paddlesports in Australia and offers a great national and international career-path for athletes with aspirations of competing on the international stage.

Within NSW, athletes can begin their careers being coached at club level and compete for their clubs at the NSW Sprint Series and annual State Championships, all of which combine to ensuring the best for NSW athletes.


Sprint Series

The NSW Sprint Series is the annual round robin sprinting series for Canoe/Kayak. Over distances of 1000m, 500m and the super-fast 200m events, athletes compete against any age, craft and themselves to be the fastest across the finish line. The Sprint Series offers a fun and inclusive environment for all athletes to gain and hone skills in sprinting in whatever craft you chose. The Sprint Series is open to canoes, kayaks, paracanoes, surf-skis, SUPS, outriggers and even dragon boats.

State Championships

The NSW State Championships is the premier event for Canoe/Kayak with athletes competing in Age and Class events to be called the NSW State Champion. Age categories for men and women can vary from U10 events all the way through to our Open and Masters events at 80+. Canoe, Kayak and SUP events are included in the State Championships.

National Events

As well as competing in the NSW events, athletes can compete at a national level in the Grand Prix series and the National Championships run by Australian Canoeing.

International Events

Athletes can be selected to represent Australia to compete internationally in World Cups, World Championships and Olympic Games. Sprinting is the oldest Olympic canoe/kayak paddlesport, having been introduced to the Summer Olympics at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games.

NSW Athletes at the Olympic Games

NSW has a proud Olympic history, having represented Sprint at all the Olympic Games since the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games, which is when Australia first competed in the Olympics in Sprinting.  The NSW and ACT Olympic Representatives can be found below. NSW & ACT also hold the record for the highest number of athletes to represent Australia at the Olympic Games in Sprinting.

Sprint Committee

Your 2015 Sprint Committee can be contacted at sprintatpaddlensw [dot] org [dot] au or paddlensw [dot] sprintatgmail [dot] com or via our Facebook page (you don't need an account) https://www.facebook.com/PaddleNSW.Sprint

  • Jeff Beere (Avoca Kayak Club)
  • Graham Matts (Manly Warringah Kayak Club)
  • Stephen Shelley (Windsor Canoe Club)
  • Laura White (Chair) (AC & ICF Official)  

The Sprint Committee is selected from nominations and all positions are voluntary. The Committee is charged with organising the Sprint Series and Sprint Championships each year; ensuring that the sprint community is represented at a national level and that the future of sprinting remains strong and bright for our athletes.

NSW & ACT Australian Olympic Representatives

Allan Livingstone1956, 1960   
Barry Kelly1980, 1984     1
Barry Stuart1956, 1960, 1964, 1968   
Brian Morton1996, 2000   
Daniel Collins**1992, 1996, 2000, 2004    1   1
David Smith2008, 2012   1  
Denis McGuire1960, 1964   
Dennis Green1956, 1960, 1964, 1968, 1972     1
Dennis Huessner1972, 1976   
Edith Pelluso (nee Cochrane)1956   
Graham Johnson1972   
Helen Jacobson1976   
Jimmy Walker1996   
Joanne Brigden-Jones2012   
John Southwood1968, 1972, 1976   
Lachlan Tame2016   
Lynette Wagg1964   
Markus Faulks1956   
Max Baldwin1956   
Murray Stewart2012, 2016   1  
Naomi Flood2012   
Nathan Baggaley2000, 2004    2 
Paul Lynch1996   
Peter Scott1996, 2000   
Phil Coles1960, 1964, 1968   
Raymond Martin1984   
Riley Fitzsimmons2016   
Robert Lee1980   
Ross Chaffer2000   
Sebastian Marczak2012   
Shane Suska2000   
Shelley Oates-Wilding1996, 2000   
Steve Wood1988, 1992     1
Sue Whitebrook1976   
Tony Schumacher2008   
Torsten Lachmann2008   
Walter Brown1956     1
Yanda Nossiter1996, 2000   

** Daniel Collins is Australia's sole Olympic representative from ACT

Where do we hold Events?

The Sydney International Regatta Centre (SIRC) was built in the mid 1990's as Australia's Sydney 2000 Olympic venue for canoeing and rowing. SIRC has been a wonderful legacy venue for our sport and remains as the premier venue in Australia. It's capabilities of hosting a wide varity of events from local weekend running groups to Ironman (triathlons) to Head of the River (rowing) to world events such as Oceania Championships, World Cups and World Championships make it a truly world class facility and a wonderful experience to compete on the same waters as the Olympians.
Located in Penrith, about 45km from Sydney, SIRC is a great central location for clubs in NSW and ACT to race at and to be able to call it our 'home ground'. 
Sydney International Regatta Centre
Looking down the SIRC Competition Lake from the finish line. Control tower and starter's huts on the left.