The Goldener Saal (Golden Hall) in Augsburg, Germany is where the 2015 World Paddle Awards ceremony will be hosted.
With almost 25,000 votes overall, interest in the first ever World Paddle Awards has been staggering! The finalists have been calculated based on the consolidated vote of both the Public and the Academy.
In each of the Award categories, one of the nominees will win the Golden Paddle – a paddlesports 'Oscar'.
In a nutshell our finalists are: aged 14-81; split 50:50 male-female; athletes, volunteers, journalists, role models, community supporters and ambassadors; and are involved in canoe sprint, slalom, marathon, outrigger, freestyle, sea kayaking/adventure, paracanoeing, polo, ocean racing and whitewater!
Drum roll. In alphabetical order, the 'Top 3' finalists of 2014 in each class are:
- Sportsman: Fabien Lefevre, Hank McGregor, Sebastian Brendel
- Sportswoman: Freya Hoffmeister, Jessica Fox, Lisa Carrington
- Lifetime Achievement: Dean Gardiner, Eric Jackson, Gunter Brummer
- Sports Team: Team Germany Women – Canoe Polo, Team Great Britain – Paracanoeing, Team Hungary Women – K4 Canoe Sprint
- Sports Junior: Ana Satila Vargas, Emma Aastrand Jorgensen, Sage Donnelly
- Media Ambassador: Dave Macleod, John Gregory, Steve West
- Paddlesports Professional: Claire O'Hara, Expand & Extend Nepal, Hans Peter Weiss
Congratulations to all our finalists! But also of course to all of the 2014 nominees who have set a benchmark for paddlesports achievement – all of whom were awarded certificates for being nominated for an accolade.
Under strict embargo, the winners will be contacted in February and invited to attend the ceremony in Augsburg, Germany on Saturday 9th May when the results will be announced publicly to the world.
In uniting paddlesports disciplines, the buzz around this year's Awards is representative of how far along our sports have come. Interest by the public can only continue to build as we move into an Olympic and Paralympic qualification year.