September 19, 2009

Worlds 2009 - My View

The 2009 World Freestyle Kayak Championships for most paddlers in Thun, Switzerland last month was the highlight of the year and an event we've been working towards for a substantial amount of time, years in some cases. Now it's over it's time to reflect and regroup, what went well, what can be learned and where to go from here. The event seemed to go off without a hitch, well organised and overseen by Simon Hirter and his crew and seamlessly judged by Jasper Polak and his team.

The standard of paddling was high, with progression seen in all classes. It was great that the women's category really stepped up from last year's World Cup, with ladies regularly nailing hugh backstabs, donkey flips and flip turns. What the guys were able to put together in their rides was phenomenal and to see Nick Troutman bust out a 1510 point under pressure in the final was mind-blowing. The event had it's shocks along the way, but I think all the Champions did well to perform when it counted and wholly deserved their gold medals.

From a personal point of view, I've come away from this event feeling happy that I was able to achieve my goal of finishing in the top 10. Having never competed in the Worlds as a senior I wasn't really sure how I'd fair but I was relieved to hit 13th in the prelims and then over the moon to get my back stabs going and make the cut in the quarters in 7th! I was disappointed to not have the rides I would've liked in the semi final, but I still finished up 8th (having Mumu of Japan break our 7th place tie in her favour) and I'm stoked!

Now it's all over for another two years, and now I'm back in Uganda for another couple of months of big waves and sunshine; a big thanks goes to all the people that have been working tirelessly to make the championships happen and to the GB support team for their efforts as well.

The GBR senior and junior women




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