Paddling siblings19 January 2013
CANOE/KAYAK – SLALOM - Noemie Fox and brother-sister duo Andrew and Kate Eckhardt are among the rising stars in action today in the finals of the AYOF Canoe/Kayak – Slalom competition.
Their names are not new to the sport, with family members having competed at the Olympic Games.
Noemie’s older sister Jessica struck gold at the 2009 AYOF and 2010 Youth Olympics and most recently won silver in the K1 slalom at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Their parents are also highly decorated slalom kayakers.
Noemie, 15, is already showing promising signs, finishing second behind her sister at the 2012 NSW state championships in both C1 and K1 events with a blazing best time of 123.32, with no penalties.
Similarly junior canoeing enthusiasts and siblings Andrew and Kate Eckhardt are well known through their father Peter Eckhardt a slalom canoeist who raced in the early 1990s and competed in the C1 at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games.
Kate, 15, has gone from strength to strength with major results including first place at the 2012 Under 16 Australian Championships in the K1 and C1 and the 2012 Under 16 New Zealand National Championships.
While brother Andrew won a silver medal in the K1 at the 2012 Junior World Championships.
All three competitors have been training hard with the experience and guidance of their family who have encouraged and coached them.
While the competitors are anxious to place and the pressure to do just as well as their successors may be well within their sight, all three are enjoying the experience the AYOF offers.
“I think the best thing is the experience. I have been to the Olympics before with my dad and it’s been really exciting and I think coming in to the AYOF and seeing the ceremony and doing the race itself will be great experience for me, something I can take with me for the future,” Andrew said.
His sister Kate is also keen to soar to the challenge and enjoy the competition as much as possible.
“I love the variation. It’s never the same thing. Every course is different and every whitewater is different and I love the challenge of the whitewater,” she said.
The semi-finals and finals of the K1M, K1W, C1M, CIW get underway on Saturday morning.
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