From the 17-19 February the 2012 Canoe Sprint Championships took place in Rotorua at Lake Tikitaupo (Blue Lake). The first day of the championship had Ben Fouhy dominate the K1 1000m race. The womens event saw the U23 race with Teneale Hatton winning, 9 seconds ahead of Eve Pinfold and Kayla Imrie. Young athletes Alex Fort and Zac Quickenden won six races in either single or team boats. Day two again was successful for Steven Ferguson, however he and his partner Darryl Fitzgerald were beaten by Ben Fouhy and Fred Teear by a close 0.2 seconds. Ben Fouhy went on to win the Mens K1 500, closely followed by Liam OLoughlin. Lisa Carrington too was successful on the second day by winning the Womens K1 500. Lisa, followed by Erin Taylor and Rachel Dodwell, showed that New Zealands kayaking is in good shape, with Lisa finishing in 1m51.68 sec, which is a world class time and second place only being 1.2 seconds behind. Furthermore, Lisa alongside her partner Erin Taylor qualified a boat for the London Olympics by winning the K2 500m race. The first final of day three was won by Lisa in the Open Womens race, followed by Rachel Dodwell in second and Jamiee Lovett in third place. For the womens K2 200m race Lisa teamed up with her partner Erin Taylor and won the race. The men performed equally well with Steven Ferguson winning the Open Mens section. Scott Bicknell and Liam OLoughlin finished 2nd and 3rd place respectively. Ben Fouhy, 1000m specialist, finished fourth. There were also races held in the U19 category with paddler Alex Fort winning the K1 title, with Andrew Roy and Zac Quickenden winning the second and third spot. The girls also performed well with Aimee Fisher, Kim Thompson and Danielle Currie winning gold, silver and bronze in the K1 200m race respectively. Furthermore, Canoe Racing NZ celebrated the Sports and Recognition Awards in Rotorua. It was even more memorable as the 1984 Olympic gold medal K4 Team (Ian Ferguson, Paul MacDonald, Grant Bramwell and Alan Thompson) reunited. The recipients of the various awards are listed below: Sport Award winners for the evening were: Marathon Athlete of the Year: Ben Fouhy Canoe Sprint Athlete of the Year (Ian Ferguson Cup): Lisa Carrington Team of the Year (Thompson/Ferguson/MacDonald/Bramwell Cup): Lisa Carrington & Erin Taylor Coach of the Year (Alan Thompson Cup): Gordon Walker Life Membership Awards were notably bestowed on: Alan Thompson Ian Ferguson Paul MacDonald Brett Leask Dennis Rae An Excellence Award was presented to Lisa Carrington and Service Awards to Leigh Barker and Grant Restall, both of Arawa. The event was hugely successful with 11 clubs and 180 competitors participating, this ended a fantastic domestic season of kayak racing. The high performance team will send 34 members over three age groups to the ICF Oceania Canoe Sprint Championships in Penrith, Sydney from the 2-4 March this year. This championship is seen as the qualifying event for the Olympics in London. New Zealand is hoping to gain four more seats in addition to the three we already have secured.
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