Saturday, May 31, 2008

Race at Roudnice

It is starting to get hot over here, very hot!! Today we went to Roudnice for a race. Racing is not going too well for me unfortunately at the moment. I picked up a fifty and this put me down the list. James was doing really well coming 4th, but in his second run he also incurred a fifty second penalty. I need to work on getting aggressive and I think this will be my focus for the next week.

I now sleep with no blankets as it is soo hot!!I am in our room at the moment(4pm) and it is like a sauna! It is quite good for when I am on the water now though as we can enjoy the coolness of the river.

We have been praticing a fair bit of Czech lately too, our friends laugh at us a lot!!But the shop people don't even realise we are tourists!(I don't think..).

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Today all our plans for our trip to Trinvka were shattered. Unfortunately I left the lights on in the car yesterday(Was only about 4hours) but our car battery is now dead!!Because of our alarm system the car security locked up and the alarm would not stop going off without the keys in the car and we couldn't push start it or use jumper leads. Thanks to the local Czechs who helped us get our battery charged again!
Trinvka is a big white water course that is of similar size to Beijing(appariently) but it only flows about twice a year as it is the locals town water supply. Lukily it is supposed to be flowing again next Tuesday so we will get to go then.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Valtrusy Race no. 2

Today we had another race in Valtrusy. Unfortunately I did not race as well as I would have liked. I ended up in 10th. James ended up in 6th. Like yesterday I had a not so good first run and a better second run. Before my run I walked the course with the Canadian coach and some of the Canadians which was good. Both James and myself have been finding it quite tough without a coach. We have been training hard and doing a fair bit of video review but if we had a coach or somebody to give us a few points in the right direction I think our personal performances would lift a lot faster.
Tommorrow we are having a rest day which I am quite excited about!!!We will no doubt go exploring somewhere.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Valtrusy Race

These last few days have been spent training on the course and walking the streets of Prague. We are staying in the local boathouse which is just 50m from the slalom course!

Yesterday we went into Prague cental and wandered around admiring the sites and scenes of this amazing city.

Today we went to Valtrusy and had a race. We arrived at the course on which neither James or myself have ever paddled to find that it is similar to both Prague and Roudnice.

My 1st run was a bit shaky with a recirc and a few minor mishaps. Fortunately my 2nd run went a lot better. I ended up in 8th in the Open Women class of about 23.

We have another race tommorrow and I am looking to make a top 5 placing and improve by a solid 5-10 seconds on my personal performance.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


On Sunday arvo I went for a paddle on the course at Liptovsky Mikulas. I did a roll at the bottom of the course and scraped my head across an underwater rock! I lost half my eyebrow and had a wee golf ball size lump on my head but it lukily calmed down and I now just have a scratch on my forehead.

The next day we drove to Bratislava and settled into our accomodation that was on a boat!!was sweet!

We went paddling on the course which was really cool. I love the course at Bratislava, it is fast water and really fun to paddle. It was freezing though as the weather was shitty. Me and James and an Austrian paddler were the only ones on the course!

Unfortunately they charge people to paddle on Bratislava now, about 15 Euro per session! So we decided to head to Prague where the training is free. We went into Bratislava and caught up with Danka and Matej and then drove on to Prague!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Another day of racing is over. This weekend they have set some very tricky courses!Todays was no exception. Even some of the most talented paddlers were caught out by the difficulty of the course. The crowd was huge and the Slovakian president was amongst it.

Top 3 of today: K1Men: Fabien Lafevre- France, Benjamen Boukpeti-Toga, Jan Sajbidor- Slovakia

K1W: Elena Kaliska-Slovakia, Jana Dukatova-Slovakia, Dana Benus

C1: Michal Martikan-Slovakia, Alexander Slafkovsky-Slovakia, Matej Benus-Slovakia

We are doing a session on the course here in Liptovsky Mikulas tommorrow morning and then tommorrow afternoon we will drive to Brataslava for training.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Race no.2

Today we had another race.Unfortunately for me I did not race very well. I was not quite on target and I did not paddle smoothly. We have been training pretty intensely all week and I was feeling quite tired going into it so was not all together suprised with the results. I have learnt a lot from this race and I am looking forward to putting into practice all the things I need to work on and lifting my game. I am very tired now but look forward to watching the semis and finals of the race tommorrow. They will be great to watch with a lot of the worlds top paddlers!
James did well today placing 23rd so will be racing tommorrow, hopefully he lays down the goods!
Off to the course to check out demos for tommorrow,

Friday, May 16, 2008

Race Day 1

Today was the first day of racing here in Liptovsky Mikulas as part of the three day racing event of the Tatra Slalom race. With 14 countries from around the globe the start pool was full of several past and present Olympic and World Champions. Because I do not have a current ranking here in Europe I was put towards the end with a lot of the top women, this added to the hype and pressure on the startline.

Run 1: My first run was pretty typical for me, I had good lines but was slow. All up it was a pretty sweet run with not many penalties and hardly any mistakes. It was solid. This put me into 23rd. I could definately make up 5-10seconds on it however.

Run 2: My second run was unfortunately not so smooth. My line down the main shoot was mint however the water in this section is rather challenging and I didn't pull hard enough so was pushed into the big man eating hole. I then got surfed for a rather long period of time, there were a lot of cheers and I put on a good rodeo show for the best part of a minute. Eventually the hole turned me over and I whacked my head on the big underwater rock. So after this disaster I was placed 34th out of the 44 women in the strongly contested field.

Top K1W: Elena Kaliska- Slovakia

Top K1M: Fabien Lefevre- France

Top C1M: Michal Martican- Slovakia

Top C2: Skantar/Skantar- Slovakia

And James Dawson the other Kiwi put down 2 solid runs and placed 21st in the 61 strong C1 field!

Dobre Dobre

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Lead up to Race 1

This weekend we have a race here at Liptovsky Mikulas. A lot of countries have started to arrive and the trainings are getting jam packed with people preparing for the upcoming race. Participating countries include: Slovakia, Canada, Germany, Czech Republic, Russia, Great Britain, France, Slovenia, Poland, Ukaine and the mighty Kiwi's(James Dawson and myself). Its a pretty sweet atmosphere now with lots of people round. I am thinking of changing my name as it gets pronounced wrong everytime coz its so tricky.
Last night we trained late at night to avoid the rush hour that carried on right through the day and we experienced lots of thunder and lightning. James then ran home, just as it began to absolutely bucket down with rain. The hotel Klar staff had a good laugh at him when he walked in totally saturated.
I went out to discover the shops today and got to practice the Slovak words I have been learning. We then went and watched some of the other Nations training, it was really good. The sun is finally out today which is wicked!!Its such a beautiful day!
Lately we have been exploring the township also. Yesterday we found some cute as wooden Hut type Houses that you can only get to by walking. I will try put some pics up soon.
Off on another mission soon...


Monday, May 12, 2008

Liptovsky Whitewater

Unfortunately last night I was hit by a horrible bug. I spent most of the late hours of the night in the bathroom spewing...yuk! So we took this morning off training. It is now lunch time and I managed to get 1peice of bread down me(It took about 30mins to eat it!) and I have been drinking a fair bit and managing to keep it down. I am now feeling much better. The Highlights of the Slalom Kayaking European Championships were on Eurosport TV so we chilled out and watched them.

Heres some pics of the course and the ski chairlift we came across about 15min down the road!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Liptovsky Mickolus

These last few days have been sweet!!Our hard core training has begun and we are getting lots of runs down the course. In our time off we have been shopping, Caving and cruising the mountainous area. Am loving it here...

Might go to Krakow in Poland tommorrow day (about 2hours away). The European Championships are on there this weekend.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Nottingham- Liptovsky

With a 3am start I began my departure from Nottingham. I went to check in my kayak and bags with a total weight of 35kg, 15 or so Kg over the amount allowed. Luckily for me I am blessed with Kiwi charm and managed to get my gear through free of charge! I didn’t even have to pay the 25Euro charge for the kayak that is supposed to be enforced.
I was then stopped in customs and searched twice over. I had to laugh when the Customs guy asked to search my bag…It took him a while to get the numerous items out that’s for sure! So I was finally off and on my way out of the land of the Queen.
After an interesting flight on AirBerlin of which the only words I understood in the Safety briefing were Hello and Ausgang(Exit) I finally reached the land of Haribo(The famous German lollies). It was a sunny day of 18 degrees! Unfortunately for me I did not get to enjoy the sunshine as I was stuck waiting in the centre of Dusseldorf Airport for the next 4 hours as I awaited my connecting flight to Vienna.

On arrival into Vienna I was greeted by James and Danka. We drove out to Brataslava and this is where I met Cody. Cody is the car that Me and James bought for 40,000 Cz (So about $2000 NZL). It is a 1990 Skoda Rapid. Appariently back in the day it was really cool!!(Note the back in the day!)
Brataslava is an amazing city like none I have ever been to before. It has lots of Comu towers from back in the day when it was fully communist. We were fortunate enough to stay with Danka and her family in there home in Brataslava.
The next day we drove the whole way across the Czech Republic to the Galasport factory to pick up James boat. This is when we discovered the interesting elements of Cody. Our car comes with a mind of its own you see…We havn’t yet figured out the alarm so every now and then it screams at you! This came to be quite embarrassing! Especially when we were meeting new people, filling up with gas, at the river and at the supermarket. We were desperate to work it out fast in the fear of losing friends rather quickly! I thought it was embarrassing when in Czech I went into the mens instead of womens toilets(Due to Language difficulties) but I soon found the more embarrassing moment was to get inside the car(after alarm yelled for a bit) and it not start for about 3 goes, in which time a big cloud of smoke decided to eject itself out of Cody’s exaust. This brought on a lot of steers and James speaking rather quickly…’Lets get outa here…now!!!’
Cody’s fun does not end here however. He makes so much noise when cruising along that we must turn up our music really loud so we can’t here its ticking and carryon. This makes it a bit like trying to talk in a club. Hitch hikers have also been seen pulling there hands in rather quickly when they see us coming! We take no offence to this…they are the ones missing out on an interesting ride. Although we sit at about 80km on hills and 100km on the straight. We made it to 120 a few times though!! (speed limit here is 130..hmmm)
So anyway we were fortunate enough to stay with the owners of the Galasport factory which was awesome as I was not so keen to drive onto Prague after 6hours driving!

Finally today….We drove all the way across Czech and half of Slovakja to Liptovsky Mikolus. We took a few little adventure backroads along the way which allowed us to get the full scenic tour! It was very amazing countryside!So beautiful and different. Lots of ruins of castles and big castles and villiages. It has so much history!is amazing!
When we finally arrived we checked in at Hotel Klar. Pretty basic but all we need and it has got wireless so sweet!
We then went down and checked out the course! It is a wicked as course, but pretty tricky and very cold!!!Im talking Dunedin cold! So we got changed and were ready to jump on. However…because I was looking rather under prepared for the icy water that I was about to immerse myself in I had some Czech guys come and give me there full body suit things to wear!! They were like…”You can’t go, you get cold!!” I think they thought I was a bit crazy.
The course is great fun and I am loving Liptovsky. It is so beautiful and really cool to hang out in. I think we are going into town soon to shop. The Czech guys are coming, hopefully they will translate for us!



Sunday, May 04, 2008


Yesterday Mark Shepherd was kind enough to take me and Sam Sutton tiki touring aroung the big city of Nottingham. We visited the local Castle, Robin Hood and the oldest Pub in the world!!It was pretty sweet!!We then went out to dinner with Luuka and some of the locals.
Today is my last day in Nottingham as I fly on to Europe tommorrow. Unfotunately I didn't make it to see the Queen but she said she will be awaiting my visit in the near future!

Saturday, May 03, 2008


Heres a pic of the Newirk Weir that we played on on Friday.
We are going into London on Sunday to visit the Queen and do some wandering round of the big city!

Friday, May 02, 2008

2008 Adventure begins!!

After 26hours of flying me and Sam finally made it to London!!!yusss!were very excited. Unfortunately my paddle got snapped on the flight!I was a bit gutted but will get a new shaft soon. Lukily Nottingham has a lot of Kayak shops!

We are now staying in Pauls lounge in Nottingham!!!Today is a beautiful day and we spent the morning playing on a wave in Newick Weir. It was super sweet!I had so much fun. I am hoping to go for a paddle on the Slalom course latter today. We checked it out yesterday and it is looking good, although the water is a bit dirty!!

Heres some pics...