Avon Descent: kayak singles champion Kippin eyes back-to-back titles

Josh Kippin at last year’s Avon Descent.
Josh Kippin at last year’s Avon Descent.

AVON Descent kayak singles defending champion Josh Kippin is eyeing his second-straight title but will focus on dealing with a one-month turnaround before the world championships.

The North Perth resident won the singles and doubles races at the 2017 Australian Canoe Marathon Championship in March.

Kippin will be competing at the Avon Descent, a two-day 124km race from Northam to Bayswater, from August 5 to 6 before flying to South Africa for the International Canoe Federation (ICF) Canoe Marathon World Championships in September.

Kippin said his preparation was “on-track” despite a busy work schedule.

“The proximity of the Avon to world championships this year is a little difficult and something that Brendan Rice (world championships K2 partner and 2015 Avon Descent winner) and I will have to manage carefully,” he said.

“The distance difference between the two, 130km compared to 30km, means very different training, so the focus training-wise is firmly on worlds.

“A certain amount of long distance training goes into the preparation, so you don’t wind up too flat after the Avon.”

Kippin said his favourite part of the Avon Descent was the “emotional rollercoaster” he experienced.

“Nothing ever goes perfectly, but it is how resilient you are to the tough moments has the biggest bearing on how you finish,” he said.

“It is a big mental challenge, but overcoming that is very rewarding and keeps me coming back.

“I think the experience gained from winning the Avon last year plays a big part.

“You need confidence in yourself and your abilities both to get through the tough moments of a race as difficult as the Avon as well as making the moves needed to secure a win.”

Kippin said winning the national championships proved as a good performance indicator in the lead-up to his upcoming competitions.

“I’m definitely fitter and faster than last year, but you still need to get everything right on the day,” he said.

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