Murray Stewart has continued his impressive form of 2008 producing a fantastic performance at Grand Prix 2 to win the men’s K1 500m final over Olympic champion Ken Wallace.
20 year old Stewart lead from start to finish, holding off a customary fast finish from Wallace to take the win in 1:42.75, a boat length ahead of the Beijing gold medallist. Jacob Clear (QLD) finished strongly, narrowly snatching third from Tate Smith (QLD).
Whilst selection points were not up for grabs at Grand Prix 2, the men’s results suggest competition will be tough at next months National Champs in Perth which will serve as the selection event for the national sprint teams.
The WAIS pairing of Alana Nicholls and Lisa Russ powered to victory in a time of 1:49.45 in the Ladies K2 500m final ahead of Hannah Davis (SASI) and Jo Brigden-Jones (NSWIS). Kiwi pair Lisa Carrington and Jaimee Lovett picked up third ahead of Andrea Wood and Jacqueline Lane.
Jo Brigden-Jones (NSWIS) took out the ladies K1 500m final ahead of Kiwi Erin Taylor and Hannah Davis of SASI. Brigden-Jones set the pace early and remained unchallenged in the closing stages to finish just ahead of the field in a time of 1:51.74.
Manly local Wayne Dunbar easily won the men’s K1 18 final finishing more than 4 seconds ahead of Nicholas Dyason and Nicholas Bolton in 3rd.
Maddison Prior of Illawarra Canoe Club took a comfortable win in the the ladies K1 18 final ahead of Queenslander Jacqueline Beaver and Cronulla junior Danielle Polson. Prior finished a boat length clear of the field in a promising performance.
Fellow NSWIS paddler, Murray Stewart continued his winning ways teaming up with Jacob Clear in the men’s K2 500m final to win in 1:33.70 in the final event of the day. The pair moved through the field at the 250m mark taking almost a boat length off the WAIS pairing of Jesse Phillips and Stephen Bird. Luke and Jake Michael finished less than half a second behind them in third.
By Lauren Fitzsimons