BALLARAT’s Lake Wendouree will be the venue of the Australian Canoe Marathon Championships in 2014.
In a double coup for the city, the lake will also be the setting for the state canoe marathon title next year as a warm-up for the nationals.
These come after two major canoeing events on Lake Wendouree this year.
Australian Canoeing had the second round of its sprint grand prix series in Ballarat in January and then Ballarat Canoe Club hosted a round of the Victorian winter marathon series in June.
The nationals will be part of a massive year on Lake Wendouree in 2014, headlined by the World Masters Rowing Championships.
Ballarat Canoe Club president Graeme Bowes told The Courier yesterday that national championships would be the biggest canoeing event Ballarat had hosted.
“We ran a winter series marathon event in June this year, but that was a normal annual race,” Bowes said.
“Ballarat is becoming a water sports hub.”
The national championships will be over the Easter weekend in April, 2014, and the state championships on September 7-8 next year.
“We will have a few local people competing, and hopefully there will also be juniors from schools also participating in the event,” Bowes said. “Tanya Beacham will compete in both events, and she holds state and national titles.”
Kayaker Nicole Buby is one of many Ballarat kaykers and canoeists planning to compete in both events.
Buby has competed all over Australia, but never on Lake Wendouree despite being a Ballarat girl.
“It would be great to have these events here as we’ll have home advantage as we know the course,” Buby said.
The state races range from 24 kilometres to four kilometres in sub junior events and the national event will have races in length up to 32 kilometres.
Bowes said the club already had a few different courses in contention but was keeping in mind making the event entertaining for spectators.
“I hope the public will support it – we’ll be trying to make it as spectator friendly as possible,” he said.