European Freestyle Kayak Championships 2010

By Nicola Beeby>

Everyone finally arrived, but we were surprised that you could turn up at the hole and if timed correctly you could find it with you and about 3 others there, but you could also get it very wrong and find you and 20 others trying to queue in an eddy that really wasn’t designed for so many. As a team we had 2 team training slots of something silly like 1hr and 7mins each, but even with such a short time Sam Ward and Ross Montandon managed to make them extremely productive with video feedback after, so when it came to competition day we were all well prepared.

The opening ceremony was held in the towns castle a great setting, and a short ceremony with a free bar, so those who didn’t have their heats the next day took full advantage. The next day was the ladies, OC1, C1 and junior mens heats. Junior men and C1 did fantastically with 3 of them making it into the semi finals. In the ladies Fiona and Claire made it through to the semi’s, Jenny Chrimes just missed out and unfortunately I didn’t make it. I was gutted but after reflection I perhaps ended up learning more this way. The next day was the junior ladies and the senior mens heats. Stu decided not to compete in K1M after making it to the semi’s of the C1 even with his mystery injury to his elbow deciding to save himself for the C1. Both Pringle and Sam Anderson made it to the quarter finals with ease. Rachel had 2 fantastic rides and made it to the semi’s. Friday was semi final day, with lots of the brits still in action. The rest of us set up camp to support everyone for the day, with a few breaks for ice-cream (which really is rather good!) both Flea Jarvie and Claire O’Hara made the cut to the final, along with Pringle and Sam, Brendon, James and Stu in C1. Then for most it was off to the losers party…

Friday was finals day, a slow start for many, with a lot of shades being worn even though the sun wasn’t quite out! but what a fantastic days boating to watch. The ride that really stuck in my mind was French ladies Marlene Devillez who did a entry linked to a huge air loop to secure her the title in her 1st ride! The mens was a showcase of what is possible in the hole. Pringle flew to finish in 2nd place. Further details can be found on the GB freestyle site. Finals day also had a Teva cardboard boat race, so we crafted for hours finally coming up with the creation below…

Then it began raining and carried on raining… making Lienz not the best place to be. After the closing ceremony and prize giving we headed further south to find some sunshine in Slovenia, as soon as we passed through Italy the sun came out and we found the Soca. I’ve been here before and it’s as beautiful as I remember. The river was at excellent levels and we had a great few days paddling in the sunshine, before heading home via Plattling (where it had finally dropped to a paddlable level) and back along the longest road ever to Dunkirk and home.

So after a month in Europe I’m home and getting itchy feet whilst waiting to go to Canada at the end of August! Oh and I really must get better at taking photos!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published