Returned Canoe Keeps Water Sports Star's World Title Dream Afloat
Jessica Fox feared the theft had sunk her World Championship Campaign.
What you need to know
- Jessica Fox's canoe has been safely returned
- It was stolen from her Western Sydney training base two weeks ago
- The canoe's return comes at a good time, as Fox is preparing for the World Championships
Dual Olympic medallist Jessica Fox says she doesn’t care who stole her priceless race canoe, all that matters is that it has been safely returned.
The silver craft was mysteriously left at the Western Sydney training base it was stolen from two weeks ago.
The 23-year-old star of Australian water sports told TEN Eyewitness News she initially feared the theft had sunk her world championship campaign.
“One month without my canoe, without training in my boat is very detrimental,” Fox said in late April.
Covered in sponsors stickers and fitted with personalised internal moulding, she feared the thieves would dump the craft once they realised it couldn’t be used.
“I just really want it back. So please, please bring it back,” she pleaded.
Remarkably, it was returned in near-perfect condition. The thieves had stripped the stickers, including Fox’s name from the boat’s side, perhaps suggesting they had intended to sell it.
“Our team manager stumbled across it on her way to work at the office. It was just left at the venue. I got the phone call and I was just super excited, happy, relieved. Feeling very lucky,” Fox said after her first training session back in the canoe.
The timing of the return couldn’t be better. The World Cup season begins next month and the World Championships are scheduled for September in Rio, Brazil. Fox is amazed the canoe still feels ‘near perfect’ and ‘fits like a shoe’.
“I’ll be using that boat to race in and building throughout the season before the World Championships."
It’s unclear whether the thieves had a change of heart or realised it was heavily personalised. Significant publicity also made it an extremely difficult item to sell.
“I was actually amazed by the response of the online community and the community in Penrith here and the media. Everyone was just so supportive and I really appreciate the word getting spread. I mean it turned up, so I’m thrilled!”
As for the question of who took the boat, Fox doesn’t care. This ambitious athlete has more important matters to deal with.
“I don’t know why it went, I don’t know how it got back. I don’t care. I’m just ready to forgive, forget, move on and get back on with training."