Lake Wendouree dumped as not up to national canoeing event standard

BALLARAT has been stripped of a major canoeing event because of the condition of Lake Wendouree.

Canoeing Victoria issued a statement on its website this week, informing members that next year’s Grand Prix 2 meeting has been shifted from Ballarat to Nagambie.

This comes after the Lake Wendouree course was slammed by Australian Canoeing following the event early this year.

The sport’s peak body said weeds and a crooked course layout were not acceptable for a national championship.

It has followed up by boycotting Ballarat in favour of a different venue for the 2013 renewal.

“After long negotiations between Australian Canoeing, the Sprint Committee and the venue it was decided that Lake Wendouree, Ballarat is not up to the standard of a national event,” the Canoeing Victoria statement read.

“The decision was taken to ensure that the best possible standard of competition is provided for our paddlers.”

Australian Canoeing national performance director Richard Fox said at the time of this year’s Grand Prix 2 – held in January – the City of Ballarat would need to make major reassurances about the course before any further events would be held on it.

The City of Ballarat said a request was received to install on-course infrastructure specific to canoeing for the event, but has been deemed unfeasible at this time.

“City of Ballarat has invested $3.2 million to prepare Lake Wendouree as an international standard rowing course, capable of hosting events such as the 2014 World Rowing Masters and several rowing events next year,” a council spokesperson said.

“Lake Wendouree remains useable as a canoeing venue and the City of Ballarat would welcome future canoeing events to the lake.”

Among the events scheduled for Lake Wendouree are the Australian Canoe Marathon Championships in 2014, as well as the state canoe marathon titles next year as a warm-up for the nationals.

tim.oconnor@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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