Tasmanian Wildwater paddlers shone in the World Cup finals in Lofer, Austria, this weekend, achieving what was possibly Australia’s best set of overall results from a World Wildwater competition – four top 12 results.
Dan Hall finished 4th in the World Cup Rapid Sprint Final in a close race. After first runs, the top six competitors were all within one second of each other. Dan moved from 5th after first runs into 4th place after second runs. This was a great effort from Dan after being plagued by ill health over the last month. He went on to finish 11th in the World Cup Classic Final the next day, proving his rare ability as an all-round competitor.
Stewart Bennett continued his incedible rise through the World field, coming a stunning 9th in the World Cup Classic Final. In 2002, Stew finished 9th in the Junior Wildwater World Championships. He stopped training while he completed his university studies, and has only been back in serious training for 18 months. To finish in the top ten in his first year of international senior competition is a remarkable achievement.
Ben Maynard completed his best year of international racing with a personal best 12th place in the World Cup Classic Final, as well a personal best 21st place in the World Cup Rapid Sprint Final. Ben finished with an overall World Cup Ranking of 12th.
All looks good for top results at the 2009 Hydro Tasmania Wildwater World Cup in October next year!
SUMMARY OF THE BEST RESULTS FROM 2008
4th World Cup 3 Rapid Sprint Final, Lofer, Austria Ð Dan Hall
5th World Championships Classic Teams Race, Ivrea, Italy
Ð Mathew French, Ben Maynard, Stewart Bennett
8th World Championships Rapid Sprint Teams Race, Ivrea, Italy
– Dan Hall, Ben Maynard, Stewart Bennett
9th World Cup 4 Classic Final, Lofer Austria Ð Stewart Bennett
11th World Cup 4 Classic Final, Lofer Austria Ð Dan Hall
12th World Cup 4 Classic Final, Lofer Austria Ð Ben Maynard
14th World Cup 2 Classic, Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic Ð Stewart Bennett
16th World Cup 2 Classic, Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic Ð Ben Maynard
18th World Championships Classic, Ivrea, Italy Ð Mathew French
21st World Championships Classic, Ivrea, Italy Ð Stewart Bennett
21st World Cup 3 Rapid Sprint Final, Lofer, Austria Ð Ben Maynard