CROATIA-BOUND: Byron Bay paddler David Rhodes faces an anxious wait this week. Picture: KAYAKING AUSTRALIA
CROATIA-BOUND: Byron Bay paddler David Rhodes faces an anxious wait this week. Picture: KAYAKING AUSTRALIA

Long Rhodes ahead

By STEVE SPINKS

BYRON BAY paddler David Rhodes faces an anxious wait over the next few days.

Will he or won't he?

This is the question that will be running around in Rhodes' mind as he waits for kayak partner and fellow Byron paddler Nathan Baggaley to make a decision on which events he will contest at the World Championships in Croatia in August.

Baggaley and Rhodes defeated fellow Byron Bay kayaker Craig Rodgers and his partner Luke Young in a race-off in Sydney on Saturday to claim the K2 1000m berth on the Australian team.

That's on top of their qualification in the K2 500m, while Baggaley has also bagged the K1 500m and K1 1000m spots.

However, re-scheduling of racing format at the World Titles makes it extremely difficult for Baggaley to contest the individual and double events.

"There is 21 minutes between events which is really narrow," Rhodes said.

"Realistically it's pretty difficult to do, but by the end of the week I'll probably know if Nathan decides to do the K1 or K2.

"Obviously my first preference is to paddle with Nathan and build a goal of going to Beijing (2008 Olympics).

"But if he pulls out I'll have to find another partner."

Despite missing out in the K2 1000m, Rodgers was selected in the K4 1000m Australian team and will contest the World Championships.

It's a remarkable achievement from a small town like Byron to have three paddlers representing Australia at the same time.

The Australian team start its preparation for the World Titles with World Cup meets in Europe in May.

AUSTRALIANSquads

Men's: Chris Alagich (SA), Nathan Baggaley (NSW), Tim Jacobs (NSW), Luke Michael (NSW), Luke Morrison (SA), David Rhodes (NSW), Craig Rodgers (NSW), Tony Schumacher (NSW), Ken Wallace (QLD), Luke Young (QLD).

Women's: Katrin Borchert (QLD), Hannah Davis (SA), Lyndsie Fogarty (QLD), Kate Forgione (WA), Anna Haymes (SA), Rachel Lovell (QLD), Rachel Simper (QLD), Andrea Wood (QLD).



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