Canoe slalom world champs beckons
Canoe slalom racer Annie Wardle isn’t worried so much about tackling the toughest course in Europe, but rather the rumour of snakes in the water.
The Alexandra 16-year-old is one of the best white water racers in the country and she will compete at the International Canoe Federation Under-18 Junior World Championships in Bratislava, Slovakia in July.
There’s a ‘‘large drop’’ at the end of the course but she’s hoping the snake rumour means she won’t fall out and performs well at the event.
‘‘It’s pretty exciting but then it is known to be the hardest course in Europe,’’ Wardle said.
‘‘I’m aware that the competition will be pretty tough.
‘‘Hopefully I can produce a run that I’m happy with.’’
It’s the first time she’s made the K1 event at the world champs and she’s ‘‘stoked’’.
‘‘It’s been a dream of mine for a few years now.’’
Wardle started canoe slalom four years ago under the guidance of Central Otago White Water Club president Gordon Rayner.
The Dunstan High School pupil now has a full-on six-daya-week training schedule.
Part of that training was done in her mother Kate and father Rob’s still-water irrigation dam at Galloway.
She used the dam for sprint, agility and strength training.
Wardle also trained at the Roaring Meg, a grade three rapid 10 minutes outside Cromwell.
‘‘At times it can be a bit nerveracking but it’s good fun.
‘‘[It] is good for keeping up with the white water.’’
Wardle has plans to continue the sport.
‘‘I hope to make the under-18 team again and the event will be in Italy, then go on to make the under-23 team and see where it takes me.’’
Only three under-18 canoe slalom racers were selected.
The other two are from Napier and Tauranga.
However, Wardle won’t be the only Central Otago athlete at the event, with Alexandra’s Finn Butcher and Clyde’s Kensa Randle both in the under-23 category at the world champs.
Being named in the team is just half the battle.
Fundraising is underway to get Wardle to Slovakia.
She has a crowd-funding page to help with expenses which can be found at iSport.org.nz.
Canoe slalom racer Annie Wardle, 16, of Alexandra, is heading to the junior world championships in Slovakia in July.