Kiwis set to kick start global challenge



A 19-strong New Zealand take to the water at the 2019 ICF Junior & U23 Canoe Sprint World Championships, which begin on Thursday (Aug 1) and conclude on Monday (Aug 5) in Pitesti, Romania.


Of the women’s K4 500m boat of Briar McLeely, Danielle Watson, Alicia Hoskin and Britney Ford competing in the ICF World Cup in Duisburg.

The Kiwis have selected one boat in the women’s U23 division with the quartet of Briar McLeely (North Shore), Alicia Hoskin (Poverty Bay), Britney Ford (Poverty Bay) and Danielle Watson (Mana) competing in the K4 500m. 


The foursome will take confidence from their recent European racing after placing an eye-catching third in the B Final in Open company at the Duisburg World Cup regatta. All four paddlers have past World Junior or U23 World Championship experience and this should stand them in good stead at the Budeasa Dam venue on the Arges River.


The five-strong junior (U18) women’s squad - all from the Arawa Club - compete across four disciplines. The K4 500m comprises the 17-year-old trio of  Tilly Pritchard, Jess Nisbet and Pieta Luthi and 16-year-old Cass Hetherington.


Meanwhile, Olivia Brett is entered in the K1 200m and K2 500m events, teaming up with Luthi in the latter. At last year’s championships, Brett placed ninth in the K1 200m A Final. Tilly Pritchard rounds out the junior women’s K1 racing in the 500m event.


Competing for New Zealand in the men’s U23 division is Kurtis Imrie (Mana), who made a significant international breakthrough in May by placing eighth in the K2 1000m A Final at the ICF World Cup 1 regatta in Poznan alongside Max Brown (Whanganui).


Imrie is without his regular partner in Romania– as Brown is over age – but the 23-year-old is entered in both the K1 500m and K1 1000m races. Kurtis placed fifth in the U23 K1 500m A Final two years ago at the same Pitesti venue.


The K4 U23 500m New Zealand paddlers, Zach Ferkins (Poverty Bay), Ben Duffy (Arawa), Ashton Reiser (North Shore) and Hamish Legarth (Hawkes Bay) will have benefited from competing at the French Championships and both rounds of the Open ICF World Cups earlier this season. The young crew placed a respectable eighth in the B Final up against open company in Poznan.


A five-strong men’s junior (U18) team will compete in three boats. In the men’s K1 1000m Sam Ferkins (Poverty Bay) will be seeking an upgrade on the sixth place finish he achieved in the C Final at the 2018 edition.


Meanwhile, Jack Clifton (Whanganui) pairs up with Fletcher Moles (Waitara) in the K2 500m. Jack returns to the World Championships having raced K2 and K4 500m at the 2018 event. Moles and Clifton team up alongside World Championship newcomers Lucas Thompson (Whanganui) and Robson Old (Waitara) to form the K4 500m crew.


Team Manager Greg Adlam says: “Junior and U23 Championships provide a great opportunity for our developing athletes (U18) and our performance athletes (U23) to challenge themselves against their peers in the international paddling community at their age group levels. The racing across the week will be exciting with many opportunities to learn about what it takes to be at this level of competition and for some to rise towards the top of that competition.”


All the action, which starts on Thursday at 6.00pm (NZ time), can be followed via


The Kiwi boats set to feature on day (all heats) see below.


(All times NZ)


6.30pm - Junior women’s K4 500m – Tilly Pritchard, Cass Hetherington, Jess Nisbet, Pieta Luthi

6.36pm - Junior men’s K1 1000m  Sam Ferkins

8.14pm - U23 men’s K1 1000m – Kurtis Imrie

9.17pm - Junior men’s K2 1000m – Jack Clifton and Fletcher Moles

10.31pm U23 women’s K4 500m – Briar McLeely, Danielle Watson, Alicia Hoskin and Britney Ford

12.20am - Junior women’s K1 200m – Olivia Brett


Of the women’s K4 500m boat of Briar McLeely, Danielle Watson, Alicia Hoskin and Britney Ford competing in the ICF World Cup in Duisburg.