Olympians dominate Aussies 2019 open male and female ski race
8 April 2019
PADDLE: Olympians Riley Fitzsimmons and Alyssa Bull showed why they are some of the best paddlers in the world, claiming gold in the 2019 Australian Surf Life Saving Male and Female Ski Race Championships.
In the men’s event, smart racing from Fitzsimmons proved the difference.
“Sam Norton was beside me and fell off at the start and I just had that bit more room on the way out and that enabled me to manoeuvre around and get through the break,” Fitzsimmons said.
The Rio Olympian took the conservative option on the way back to the beach.
“I didn’t think I was going to hold that last (wave), it was pretty big. I chose the safe option and it worked out.
“I got so lucky to get a wave from around the last can, I didn’t know if I was going to get it all the way to the beach,”
Fitzsimmons said he was honoured and speechless to join a rare group of Australian champions.
“I’ve looked up to so many guys who have won this title before and to have my name up there next to the likes of Lachie (Tame), Peter Scott, Ray Stewart… they’re real world class paddlers, it’s a dream come true.”
In the battle for the minor placings it was Hayden White who won silver and Tanyn Lyndon who nabbed bronze.
It was Fitzsimmons second gold at the Aussies after he partnered with Peter Mitchell and fellow Olympian Lachlan Tame to win gold in the Single Ski Relay.
Alyssa Bull’s single ski gold medal was her fourth – her impressive week including wins in the mixed double ski, female single ski relay and female double ski.
“This one’s pretty special, I love doing the team events the most but to be able to get a win in the single is special too,” Bull said.
“It was anyone’s game out there today, you really have to race your own race and keep your own head in your own boat and make it out as clean as you can and also back in you’ve got to pick your own chances…couldn’t dial a wave, it was hard work, had to paddle all the way.”
Danielle McKenzie was the silver medallist and Jordan Mercer had a great result coming back from injury to win bronze.