Regatta Wrap with Coaching Tips

By Jim on Monday, May 3, 2010

The Australian Kayaking season officially kicked off on December 11 at Australian Canoeing’s GP1 Regatta at West Lakes in Adelaide. Be sure to check out the event gallery below. We did some great interviews and will put them up in our next podcast movie  - coming soon.

Coaching Tip: Even though it is early in the season use the first regatta of the year to set yourself up – practice your race preparation, warm ups and race plans so by the time the big races roll around you will be ready.

Try not to worry about your results at this stage. Pay particular attention to what you did well and what you need to improve on. Take that learning and go back and train from that.

Some examples of this would be that if you were not starting well. Then you may need to work more on your strength program in the gym or sprint activities that would provide the initial burst. Add interval work of high-intensity and shorter duration efforts. Typically these are 60-90 seconds sprints. Remember that any intense training can more easily lead to injury and that you should allow more rest between workouts.

If you found that you weakened in the middle part of the race you may need to try more cross training to build up stamina and aerobic ability. Increase your training effort with longer, more intense and sustained efforts.

If you dropped off at the finish then you may need to work more on your technique or on your race practice. Race practice will help to keep you more stable in the boat towards the end of your race.

You can achieve race fitness by competing in regular events at a local level. Your challenge in those races may be more about concentrating on a specific component of your race. For example building pace at various stages of the race, committing to a strong finish, increasing the speed for your starts. You can also include race simulations within your regular squad training. For example building in competitive starts over a 50 metres distance etc.

Over 200 competitors took part in the three-day regatta with near perfect conditions greeting competitors. This advantaged those paddlers who were most technically correct.

Sunshine Coast paddlers Chris Alagich and Hailey McGinty were standouts over the three days of competition. In the men’s events Alagich proved his versatility finishing on the podium in the 200m, 500m and 1000m distances.

McGinty, fresh from a two week AIS training camp on the Gold Coast, stamped her authority in the women’s events claiming victory in both the WK1 1000m and WK1 500m events. She then backed that up with close second the 2008 Olympian Hannah Davis in the WK1 200m on Sunday, a pleasing result given Davis is focusing on the shorter distances this season.

Coaching Tip: From the weekend what we could see from both the aerobic races and the speed races is that all paddlers are very fit. Those doing short speed work were able to win the short explosive races, while those who concentrate on longer distance aerobic work tend to win the longer events. It is a very rare athlete (think Michael Phelps) who is able to excel in both sprint and endurance races and excelling in both is not a realistic goal. For any coach it is best to mix the training up with short and long efforts so you can identify who is suited to what distances. Then look at each athletes goals and work with them to determine the best program for them to be able to reach those goals.

A big congratulations goes out to all officials and competitors on a well run event and we hope to see even more competitors at GP2 in early 2010.

For full race results visit

Remember: With any fitness work or exercise programs it is important that you seek professional advice from your Doctor or Sports Physician before starting any exercise. This is especially important if you have any existing health issues or if you haven't been active recently.