Personal best performances were the highlight of the 2009 Tasmanian Slalom and Wildwater Championships held at the Upper Mersey River this weekend.
In an extraordinary Wildwater Classic Race, TIS paddlers Mathew French, Ben Maynard, Matt Dalziel and Stewart Bennett all achieved personal best times and together with Dan Hall all five finished within 7 seconds of each other. So fast were their times, that in the World Cup race held on the same course last year they would have all placed in the top 8. Mathew French won his first ever Tasmanian Championship title and in doing so became the first recipient of the Damon Bonney memorial trophy, in a fitting tribute to his great friend and training partner.
Dan Hall convincingly won the Rapid Sprint title, then completed the double by winning the slalom the following day. Dan was chased hard in the slalom by Australian Junior Slalom Team member, Andrew Eckhardt, of Hobart and 14 Years K1 paddler, Daniel Watkins, of Grove. Both of these junior paddlers finished ahead of many more experienced competitors, showing their continued improvement.
Elsa Gales took out the womens K1 title for slalom, trading places with Erin McGilvray in the womens C1.