Jess Fox on way to winning C1 at 2024 Nationals

Jess Fox has been crowned C1 champion at the 2024 Canoe Slalom Australian Open after an epic day at Penrith’s Whitewater Stadium.

With only four days to recoup from last weekend’s Oceania Championships, the athletes were primed for another huge weekend of racing, with athletes from more than 20 nations heading down under for the annual event.

The athletes were pushed to the limits, with today’s program mimicking that of the Olympics, both the semi and final run in close proximity.

Fox said it was a good chance to get a lot of competition practice in before heading overseas for the international season.

“It’s different having back-to-back races. It almost feels like we’re on the World Cup tour moving week-to-week with a race each weekend,” Fox said.

“It’s just about feeling fresh, staying fresh in between and having a little bit of time to decompress and then get back into the zone. 

“Today was a different format. We had a heat straight into the finals so that was an interesting experience. 

“It was a good race, I’m happy with my racing and like I said last week it’s a great opportunity to race with international athletes,” she said.

Fellow NSWIS athlete Kaylen Bassett also finished on the podium in the men’s canoe final, winning bronze.

“Backing up after last week was a bit of a journey, I didn’t make the final after a pretty basic mistake. 

“To not only back it up but put down some good runs was great.

“Having the internationals come out to Australia is a really good test for the start of the year to see where you are compared to the world’s best. 

“It feels nice to have a home race. We’ve got the World Championships coming up (in Penrith) next year but we don’t get too many home races so you kind of feel like you’ve got a little bit of home course advantage for once which is a really nice feeling,” he said.

Tomorrow all eyes will be on the kayak finals, with racing set to get underway at 9am AEDT.

Article and image courtesy of Paddle Australia

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