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About Sprinting

Sprint Racing is one of the best-known competitive canoeing paddlesports in Australia and offers a great national and international career-path for athletes with aspirations of competing on the international stage.

Within NSW, athletes can begin their careers being coached at club level and compete for their clubs at the NSW SprintSeries and annual State Championships, all of which combine to ensuring the best for NSW athletes.


The NSW SprintSeries is the annual round robin sprinting series for Canoe/Kayak. Over distances of 1000m, 500m and the super-fast 200m events, athletes compete against any age, any craft, any gender and themselves to be the fastest across the finish line. The SprintSeries offers a fun and inclusive environment for all athletes to gain and hone skills in sprinting in whatever craft you chose. The SprintSeries is open to canoes, kayaks, paracanoes, surf-skis, SUPS, outriggers and even dragon boats.

State Championships

The NSW State Championships is the premier event for Canoe/Kayak with athletes competing in Age and Class events to be called the NSW State Champion. Age categories for men and women can vary from U14 events all the way through to our Open and Masters events at 80+. Canoe, Kayak and SUP events are included in the State Championships.

ParaCanoe and Sprint Racing

Paracanoeing is a relatively new aspect of canoeing, having debuted internationally in 2009 as an exhibition event and ratified in 2010. Paracanoe is for athletes with an impairment and races are contested by two types of boat, kayak (K) and va’a (V). Both kayak and va’a have three different classes of event for men and women, depending on the classification of an athlete’s impairment, with KL1, KL2 and KL3 for kayak and VL1, VL2 and VL3 for va’a. At international level all paracanoe races are individual events and competed at a distance of 200m.

In 2010, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) announced that paracanoe would make its debut at the Paralympic Games in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro for the kayak class events. With six medal events available, Australia qualified a full team of six athletes, including Colin Seiders and Dylan Littlehales, representatives from NSW. Australia had an exceptional debut, taking home with Curtis McGrath, KL2 (QLD): GOLD; Amanda Jane (AJ) Reynolds, KL3 (VIC): SILVER; Susan Siepel, KL2 (QLD): BRONZE; Jocelyn Neumuller, KL1 (SA): 5th; Colin Sieders, KL1, (NSW): 8th and Dylan Littlehales, KL3 (NSW): 10th.

National Events

As well as competing in the NSW events, athletes can compete at a national level in the Grand Prix series and the National Championships run by Australian Canoeing.

Australian Canoeing Sprint Page

International Events

Athletes can be selected to represent Australia, to compete internationally in Junior, U23 and Senior Teams. The National Teams compete at events such as Olympic Hopes, Junior & U23 World Championships, Oceania Championships, World Cups, World Championships and the Olympic Games. The majority of these events are held in Europe. Sprinting is the oldest Olympic canoe/kayak paddlesport, having been introduced to the Summer Olympics at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games.

NSW Athletes at the Olympic Games

NSW has a proud Olympic history, having represented Sprint at all the Olympic Games since the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games, which is when Australia first competed in the Olympics in Sprinting.  The NSW and ACT Olympic Representatives can be found below. NSW & ACT also hold the record for the highest number of athletes to represent Australia at the Olympic Games in Sprinting.

Sprint Committee

Your Sprint Committee can be contacted at or via our Facebook page (you don’t need an account)

  • Jeff Beere (Avoca Kayak Club)
  • Graham Matts (Manly Warringah Kayak Club)
  • Jake Michaels (NSIWS Head Coach)
  • Stephen Shelley (Windsor Canoe Club)
  • Peter Tate (PaddleNSW CEO & ex officio)
  • Laura White (Chair) (AC & ICF Official)

The Sprint Committee is selected from nominations and all positions are voluntary. The Committee is charged with organising the SprintSeries and Sprint Championships each year; ensuring that the NSW sprint community is represented at a national level and that the future of sprinting remains strong and bright for our athletes.

NSW & ACT Australian Olympic & Paralympic Representatives

Allan Livingstone Olympic 1956, 1960
Barry Kelly Olympic 1980, 1984 1
Barry Stuart Olympic 1956, 1960, 1964, 1968
Brian Morton Olympic 1996, 2000
Colin Sieders Paralympic 2016
Daniel Collins** Olympic 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004 1 1
David Smith Olympic 2008, 2012 1
Denis McGuire Olympic 1960, 1964
Dennis Green Olympic 1956, 1960, 1964, 1968, 1972 1
Dennis Huessner Olympic 1972, 1976
Dylan Littlehales Paralympic 2016
Edith Pelluso (nee Cochrane) Olympic 1956
Graham Johnson Olympic 1972
Helen Jacobson Olympic 1976
Jimmy Walker Olympic 1996
Joanne Brigden-Jones Olympic 2012
John Southwood Olympic 1968, 1972, 1976
Lachlan Tame Olympic 2016
Lynette Wagg Olympic 1964
Markus Faulks Olympic 1956
Max Baldwin Olympic 1956
Murray Stewart Olympic 2012, 2016 1
Naomi Flood Olympic 2012, 2016
Nathan Baggaley Olympic 2000, 2004 2
Paul Lynch Olympic 1996
Peter Scott Olympic 1996, 2000
Phil Coles Olympic 1960, 1964, 1968
Raymond Martin Olympic 1984
Riley Fitzsimmons Olympic 2016
Robert Lee Olympic 1980
Ross Chaffer Olympic 2000
Sebastian Marczak Olympic 2012
Shane Suska Olympic 2000
Shelley Oates-Wilding Olympic 1996, 2000
Steve Wood Olympic 1988, 1992 1
Sue Whitebrook Olympic 1976
Tony Schumacher Olympic 2008
Torsten Lachmann Olympic 2008
Walter Brown Olympic 1956 1
Yanda Nossiter Olympic 1996, 2000

** Daniel Collins is Australia’s sole Olympic representative from ACT

Where do we hold Events?

The Sydney International Regatta Centre (SIRC) was built in the mid 1990’s as Australia’s Sydney 2000 Olympic venue for canoeing and rowing. SIRC has been a wonderful legacy venue for our sport and remains as the premier venue in Australia. It’s capabilities of hosting a wide varity of events from local weekend running groups to Ironman (triathlons) to Head of the River (rowing) to world events such as Oceania Championships, World Cups and World Championships make it a truly world class facility and a wonderful experience to compete on the same waters as the Olympians.
Located in Penrith, about 45km from Sydney, SIRC is a great central location for clubs in NSW and ACT to race at and to be able to call it our ‘home ground’.
Looking down the SIRC Competition Lake from the finish line. Control tower and starter’s huts on the left.