Five of the hottest talents up against the world’s best
RISING paddling talents Joshua Fenn and Zara Wood will be gunning for major honours when they represent the country at the 2017 ICF Canoe Ocean Racing World Championships in Hong Kong this weekend.
It is the annual Hong Kong Dragon Run race that will this year be doubling up as the world champs and will see some of the best paddling talent from around the world in action.
Other local paddlers who will be in the mix at the world champs include EL's Durban-based women’s star Nikki Russell, as well as top local talents Bevan Manson and Andre Wood.
“Joshua is right up there with the best in the world, I think he has massive potential and is in with a good shout of getting a medal,” said Border Canoe Club chairman Brian Coates. “Zara is also a very talented paddler, she is right up there in her age group, she has been working and training hard and I feel she has the potential to come back with a medal.
“To have any representative at that level is a big thing, so to have five of our paddlers competing on the world stage for SA is a massive boost for the Border Canoe Club and for the paddlers themselves.”
Conditions at this time of the year in Hong Kong are expected to be perfect for paddling and should lead to some excellent downwind conditions.
At the champs Selborne College matriculant Fenn, who has competed on the world series before, will be looking to build on the solid form he has shown over the past year, including a superb effort a week and a half ago where he beat some of SA's best surfski talent on his way to a third place finish in the annual Pete Marlin race. “I am very excited, but quite nervous as well, the competition is going to be very tough but I am also looking forward to it,” he said “This is my first time competing at the world champs and I know I will be up against two very good Australian paddlers and one from France so I will have to be at my best on the day.
“The Pete Marlin was a very good buildup for the world champs, it was also great for my confidence because I did very well and hopefully I can take that form into this weekend.”
For Clarendon High Grade 9 student Zara Wood this will be her first appearance at a world championship event and she will be eager to impress on the world stage.
Russell on her day could be one of the leading contenders in the senior division and can definitely mix it up with the best in the world.
The action get under way on Saturday morning and ends on Sunday.
ON CREST OF A WAVE: Joshua Fenn in action on his way to a third placed finish at the Pete Marlin race over a week ago. Fenn will be looking to take that form into the world champs in Hong Kong this weekend