On the 14th March 2009 paddlers from across the country gathered at Hurley for the selections for the GBR freestyle canoe and kayak team 2009. The levels at Hurley were far better than could be expected a reasonably retentive 3 gate green wave, with a similar level of ‘flushyness’ to that seen at Thun, Switzerland where the world championships 2009 will be held.
Doug Cooper showing us how it is done!
The day kicked of with the squirt contest on the main weir. This was followed by the junior ladies, which was very competitive for the 2 places available on the team; it was very close but finished with a win for Poppy Layton. Next up was me (the senior ladies) I was incredibly nervous leading up to our heat, as the 3 gate level I had practised on a few weeks earlier was very different to the very green wave there on the day and with no practice runs it was all or nothing. There were 4 runs each with the best 2 counting. My first run was ok, but I flushed early on my 2nd, but luckily I managed 2 good final runs. I finished in 5th place which I was so happy with, a far higher placing than I expected! It means I am on the GB squad for 2009 and will benefit from all the team training this year.
Then were the junior men, which saw some excellent runs from Ben West and Arron Layton. The men’s was a hard fought competition with some excellent runs by Alan Ward, Richard Chrimes and Jon Best however local boy Doug Cooper had the consistently BIG rides and finished in first place.
Big thanks to all the Judges and every one involved for making it an excellent day for selections, including the kind people who organised the lovely weather for the day!