November 05, 2007

Autumn Action

The nights are drawing in and the water's getting colder, thankfully I've barely had a chance to notice that winter's on it's way; I've been back at University for my final year and been kept super busy. At the beginning of October, the British Championships took place in conjunction with the final of the Plastic Fantastic AlpKit Kayak Series. The event was held in 'The Muncher' hole, at my lovely local slalom course, Holme Pierrepont, Nottingham. It's a bit a misleading name, as it's not really munchy in any way; but the levels were jacked up so that it was a bit bigger than usual and you didn't hit the bottom so much. Due to other changes on the course over the past few years, it wasn't the feature of old but it did the job.

A whole lot happened over the weekend, with the PFAKS freestyle, Boto X and Brit Champs. All the results can be found at

I was pretty stoked with my weekend; in the first round I placed 3rd but was first out in the knockout final, leaving me in 5th. However, my performance meant I won the series overall and got a nice cheque for it! James 'Pringie' Bebbington won the men's title overall.

I was also excited to make my first British Championship senior final and I managed to place 4th in that one. In the men's, it was great to see my boyfriend, Jon Best, and our summer housemate, Pringle in the final. Having spent the summer watching these guys train together and constantly push each other, it was awesome to see their hard work pay off, especially for Pringle who took the win and his first British Champ title.

The rest of October was fairly quiet on the paddling front. I managed one mission to Hurley, when it ran briefly in the middle of the month. The following day I was back up at Nottingham for the UK Freestyle Committee's AGM. Last year, I joined the committee in a co-opted position to help with rules, judging and competition. This year I've moved on to chairman. I've replaced Mike Birkbeck and I have some seriously big shoes to fill. Mike's played a major role in getting freestyle to where it is today in the UK and internationally. He's now busy working with the ICF and after several years he felt it was time to step down. I've got a tough and busy job ahead of me but I'm grateful to have been given this opportunity.

I've also been busy getting published. I've started writing for Canoe and Kayak magazine, we've created CK women; we decided it was time that female paddlers had a specific voice in the magazine, and I've been given the job of hosting the page. It's been interesting stuff so far, sparking a few heated debates and I'm intrigued to see the reaction. My second article just got published and I'm hoping to hear from women out there to find out what they think. Also if there's anyone out there who has something they'd like to see on the page, I'm always open to hear from you.

I have one more thing keeping me busy right now; planning for my trip to Uganda! I'm so excited, I booked my flight a couple of weeks ago and am counting down the days until I go. I'm heading out for my Christmas break from university to paddle the White Nile. This amazing river is being dammed and the work has already begun, some of the rapids have been lost already but I feel lucky to be able to get out there, hopefully, just in time. Just a few more weeks of cold to go!




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