Ballarat athletes impress at Australian Canoe Marathon Championships - Gallery

BALLARAT athletes have done their city proud at the Lake Wendouree-hosted Australian Canoe Marathon Championships, winning several gold medals against a high quality field.

The event, which ran on Saturday and Sunday, attracted 231 high quality competitors from across Australia including several from overseas.

Ballarat Amateur Canoe Club president Graeme Bowes said the championships had been a rousing success, despite the criticism placed on the BACC and Ballarat Regional Tourism before the event.

"We couldn't have asked for anything better and we took a lot of criticism when we pushed for this because people thought the reeds in the lake would be a problem," Bowes said.

"All the critics were silenced and a lot of the athletes said they would love come back, which were the biggest pluses for us."

Ballarat's best performers were Peter Currie, Tanya Beacham, Nicole Scullion and Emma Lawless - all of whom finished first in their respective events.

A scare went through the contesting camps midway through Sunday's schedule when two athletes capsized their canoe as they took off from the jetty.

"It doesn't happen often - but when it does it's usually at that point (the jetty)," Bowes said.

Both returned to land safely and Bowes is now hoping the championships will trigger a rise in popularity in the sport in the Ballarat area.

"We're not a high profile sport but overall we've put in a great showcase and a great reason for people to want to come back.

"I'd like to see 100 competitors come to our Winter series race in May."



Men's Vet 50 K1: Dennis Boyle (8th)

Women's Vet 55 K1: Tanya Beacham (3rd)

Mens Open K1: Clinton Langdon (10th)


Mixed Vet 55 K2: Peter Currie, Tanya Beacham (1st)

Women's Open TK2: Nicole Scullion, Emma Lawless (1st)

Mixed Vet 45 TK2: Tony Nolan, Sarah Johnson (3rd)