Festival of Freestyle

By Bill Anderson

After a summer travelling around Europe paddling on beautiful blue water with mostly nice sunshine getting back to the UK was a bit of a shock. We arrived back to miserable rain and howling winds but we headed off to Nottingham for the Festival of Freestyle and to catch up with friends we hadn’t seen for the summer.

The Festival had been billed as one of the biggest Freestyle events of the year combining an International Masters, Alpkit PFAKS, Youth Freestyle and a squirt event. However, things in the UK are never that simple and Mother Nature played her part flooding half of the Holme Pierrepont Slalom Course. This lead to a hugely reduced schedule but a very fun event.

Friday night everyone met together in the rugby club for the now annual Money Shot competition. This is a competition of short video clips of peoples’ adventures or just funny things and was very entertaining.

Kayak competition was limited to Saturday due to rising water levels and water quality so it was decided that each competitor would have runs on both the Inlet Gate and Jaws. I had some decent rides on the top wave but was a little out of practice having not paddled on the feature for 4 months. Jaws however I did much better and enjoyed my rides there.

The finals of the event were awesome to watch. Pringle came out on top in the end having fought off the challenge from Ed Smith and Stu Parry.

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