Wednesday, June 30, 2010

World Cup 3- AUGSBURG!

We are now here in Augsburg of Germany preparing for Welt Cup number 3! Its great to be here, sun is shining and Eiscanal is as good as ever. Bring on the racing for this weekend! It starts Friday with the K1M and C2Men and C1W in the morning and K1W and C1M in the afternoon.
Mike is unfortunately unable to race as he hurt his back. Otherwise the Kiwi contingent are in good spirits!
To check out online Live results go to:
I will be racing at 1419 for my first run and 1619 for my second run.
Feeling pumped, it should be a good day!

Monday, June 28, 2010


We have been back in La Seu D’ Urgel of the Catalonian area of Spain. It was typical hot Spanish weather and we were very fortunate for the icy water! We stayed in the same place as we stayed last year for the World Championships. Luuka and I have now joined up with Mike, Johann, Brent, Les, Kay and Jane.
Race Day: Friday was race day and our lead up to this was good. I was feeling ready. The boys were off first and I followed with my C1. I was feeling confident as the course was pretty much made for rightys! I put down a solid run but was a bit slow and I picked up 1 touch. I finished in 11th place qualifying through to the Semi-Finals. In the afternoon I had my K1 Runs. In my first run I went out feeling good and layed it down in the top half. Towards the end I lost my focus and had a few big mistakes that lost me a lot of time. I was amped to get into my 2nd run and perform to my potential but unfortunately this did not happen. I was so tired and lost my focus right up the top, a few small mistakes and I was done, I pretty much gave up and floated down the rest of the course. It was sooo gutting. I was just so tired and over it. I was really disappointed but got over it.
The next day it was Semi-finals and Luuka had made the cut in 23rd for K1 and I in C1 in 11th place. Jane Nicolas a Kiwi junior also made it to the Semi-final for C1.
I paddled pretty badly to be honest, the course was really tough and I failed to perform. I was tired and felt unconfident so did not attack in a competitive manor as I had in my Qualification Heat the day before. Anyway I finished my run and placed 12th. Jane ended up in 17th. Then Luuka busted out her K1 Semi-final Run. She was well on form at the top and performing at a high standard but the bottom of the course had some testing moves. She got a creditable 24th result! Now we are back in Augsburg!!!Loving it!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

World Cup 1- Racing

This weekend has been full on and I am feeling pretty tired. Friday morning kicked off bright and early with buckets of rain! I had C1W at around 9am and for me I was aiming to put down a run that was online and in the middle of the gates. It was, but I picked up 4 touches and my pace was more cruisy than competitive. However it was enough to see me through to the Semi-Finals on Saturday in 15th position. Next up was K1 and having already done a run on the course I was feeling confident about all the moves. I started out of the start line fast and focused but cut the first technical move tight and lost a second or two. I then continued down the course at an intensity just under my ideal. I had to back off for two more moves and this cost me more time. I ended up being clean with a time of 105sec. I was a bit disappointed but revving to get into my 2nd run as I knew I could fix a few things for sure! I busted into my 2nd run feeling good and held my composure most of the way down the course. I lost a second or two here and there but it was a pretty solid run for me. My time ended up being 100sec clean, 12 seconds off the 1st place which went to the speed demon Austrian- Korinna Kuhnle. I ended up in 49th place. This result is worse than any I have ever gotten and yet I paddled better than I ever have at a World Cup! So it is great to see the level in the Womens Class has really picked up, it is also due to the fact that there is a new system for all countries competing in the World Cups, your country can qualify up to 5 boats and every country is guaranteed one spot. This system means that for the really good countries such as Germany, Slovakia and France they can have up to 5 of there really good paddlers racing! It definitely ups the level.
Luuka put down 2 solid runs her first a 95+2 and 2nd was a 96clean. She just missed the cut ending up in 33rd, 0.2sec off the top 30. The Top 30 go through to the Semi-final for the Women this year and top 40 in K1M, Top 20 for C2M, Top 20 for C1W and Top 30 for C1M.
SEMI-FINAL C1W: The Semi-final course was really technical with a lot of tricky moves. I was feeling pretty nervous for the course actually. I made my plan and went into it with all intentions of going hard, this didn’t quite happen though. After missing gate 5 it was pretty much Game Over, I also lost a lot of speed in the top section and this meant I lost a bit of control. I picked up 3 50second penalties and was slow. I ended up in 16th position. While the C1W field was small this weekend the field was reasonably strong and included some creditable performances. The top 10 were all performing well considering this is a new event.
All in all there was a lot to take out of the weekend event. It was loaded with ups and downs and I learnt a lot from the racing. For now we are enjoying our last night here in Prague with my Mother and Pauline. Tommorrow we will fly to Barcelona and then head to La Seu in Spain and be getting ready for World Cup number 2!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

World Cup 1

World Cup number 1 kicks off tomorrow. I will be racing C1W in the morning and K1W in the afternoon at 13:40 (23:40 NZT).
Race information and online results/video etc can be found at
Alternatively, live result feed is at

Our managers Liz Jull and Pauline Brown have arrived, kick starting their roles with a dinner invite from the mayor of Prague last night. Good times.
Bring on the racing!

Monday, June 14, 2010

World Cup 1 Build up- Praha Czech Republic

Today I had a much needed day off. It was good to spend the day away from the White Water course and I had time to get lots of study done. I study through Massey University extramurally and this allows me to study abroad. Massey University has an awesome support system in place for its elite sports people. Thanks to them for making my academic dreams possible to do alongside my sporting pursuits! Otherwise the last few days of training here in Prague have been going well. I outfitted my C1 as I will be racing in C1 as well as K1 this weekend. With only 4days till World Cup 1 begins we are in Race prep mode! Check out Luuka Jones blog for more,

Friday, June 11, 2010


Training here in Prague is going well, it is great to be back here in this beautiful city. I love my new boat, it feels great! The countdown to the 1st World Cup that we will be racing here in Prague has begun with only 6days! Countdown to my exams has begun also with my first on Wednesday next week..ah!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

USA- Europe

After another long journey on the planes I have finally made it to Prague! This last week in America was really amazing and I am looking forward to heading back there next year! Here are a few more pics... Now I am back in Europe, currently staying with my mate Vavra here in Praha of the Czech Republic. Training for slalom will commence tommorrow, I will be meeting up with Luuka, Thomas and Jess from Canada. I have exams for University in 1week so I will be getting my study on!

Saturday, June 05, 2010

United States of America- Teva Mountain Games

So far my trip has been awesome! I used my charm at check in and managed to get my plastic Creek Boat, paddles and bag of gears on with no extra charges! Go Air New Zealand! I then endured a 12hour flight that took me all the way through to LA. Nikki Kelly was on my flight and she has been great to travel with. Her beautiful 5month old boy Jax is with us too and he is the best travelling Baby in the world! Super content and everybody loves him as he is super cute. I think travelling with a baby is pretty key, you get pushed to the front of the line everywhere and treated really well. From LA to Denver I sat next to an interesting American that filled me in on some little American facts. The flight was mega scenic overlooking the rocky mountains!
Towards the end of our journey we were all pretty bugged and poor lil Jax was starting to let out a few tears, I don’t blame him! It was a long journey. We eventually made it to Vail, and Nikki has once again hooked me up by letting me stay in her hotel room with her! It’s super nice and overlooks the river! Vail is an epic Ski town and I am amping! America is loaded with take away joints and massive cars!! I am still getting used to driving on the right side of the road!
The next day Nikki, Jax and I cruised into the depths of Colorado to visit some of Nikki’s mates. They were really nice and accommodating. We went for a kayak down a section of the Colorado river which was really sweet, very chilled and calm but nice to get the arms rotating! The next day we cruised back to Vail and I made a mission to the airport accompanied by Jacobus to pick up Mike, Johann and Martina. On the way back to Vail we stopped in at Scott Shipleys house and stayed the night. He and his wife were very kind and made us feel really welcome. We all awoke at about 6am as we were all still jet lagged and were treated to bacon and eggs! The Shipleys have a home made slalom course in there back yard which was very cool!
Steep Creek- Homestake! So the time came to rock out and test the waters of the Homestake Creek. Dropping 470feet down a steep gorge the Homestake creek has rocks (as Sam Sutton describes them) that want to rip your face off. To be honest before my first runs I was feeling really nervous. Honza Lasko from the Czech Republic came to my rescue and guided me down the run. At the end, I was buzzing! The drops are steep and there is a range of features the whole way down to keep you pulling hard on the paddle. After a few more days of training I was starting to feel really comfortable on the course, I struggled a bit with the bottom drop but 80% of the time had it dialled. You can definitely feel the altertude, especially when you walk your boat up the hill!
Race day came and it was great to have a whole lot of Kiwi supporters!! About 20 of us ( along with a few Canadians and Americans) rented out a house in the heart of Vail! It is a sweet as condo with a spa and table tennis table! I was feeling really good and had my race plan sorted. I did a practice run to break the nerves and was feeling pumped! I was the second to last chick to race and as soon as my boat was lunged down the start ramp and into the water I fell into the zone. I put in strong strokes and stayed online, was feeling really good. As I came up to the middle section of the course I picked up my pace to speed up the flat pool before entering into the last steep section of the course. Probably not a good thing, but I could here the commentator saying I had one of the fastest times and was looking like I might give Tanya Faux a run for her money. As I came down the second to last drop I seemed to loose concentration...I don’t really know what happened as it all happened so fast but I missed the left line and hit a rock which spun my sideways down the ‘Leap of Faith’ final drop on the course. The ‘Leap of Faith’ is kind of like ‘Trout Pool’ on the Kaituna, you do not want to get stuck in there as it is a sticky hole! Unfortunately for me, I did! This one mistake cost me the race. After many attempts at rolling I just wasn’t coming out so pulled tag. I was soo gutted. I was well on track for a podium finish and totally messed it up! It is pretty hard when you are going for gold and putting everything on the line! It took me a long day to get over and I am still going over and over that last drop in my head. I finished in 14th. Tanya Faux took the win in the end with Martina Wegman in 2nd and Nikki Kelly in 3rd. Props to Leela Samuals who took 6th and Rachel who placed 7th in the womens, they kept NZ up in the ranks! In the Men it was awesome to see some Kiwi domination with Sam Sutton in 1st ahead of Andrew Holcome(USA) and Tao Berhman in 3rd. Fellow Kiwi’s also did well in the final, Mike Dawson finished up in 7th and Johann Rossenburg in 6th! That night we all went out for a bit of a celebration, I didn’t drink much as I have more racing coming up soon but had a few beers and an awesome night!!! It was great partying with all my Kiwi mates and we found an awesome bar in town that had $1 beers and wicked live music!!!It was just as I would imagine a American Bar to be like!
On the Friday it was great to relax having the race over with! Mike, Johan, Jarrod, Ben and I went for a run down Gowmans Gorge- Just below the Homestake race creek. It was a really awesome run that took us through a scenic route showing us a old mining area. Some wicked rapids, especially the last! Felt soo good to be out on the white water and challenging myself to read and run. Saturday came and with it the Long boat 15min race down a grade two section of the Gore Creek. I managed to borrow a dudes boat, it was not the best with no footpegs and was quite heavy but was better than nothing. I went out hard and finished hard but ended up in a gutting 4th place behind Tanya Faux (Auz), Adriene and Nikki Kelly who placed 3rd once again. I don't know why I ended up being so slow...just wasn't on it. It was great to see the Kiwi’s dominate once again with Mike Dawson in 1st just above of Sam Sutton!! And then Tao Berhman from US in 3rd. I got over it and continued on to make the most of the free coffee and gears that were on offer in town. I checked out the freestyle and chilled with all my Kiwi mates. Vail is such an awesome place. The town is a typical Ski location for winter and has nice looking condo’s everywhere. I have had such an awesome week here and am so glad I came. Thanks so much to everyone that has supported me and given me great advice!! Especially Nikki Kelly, she is such a legend and has been really great support for me. Also to Bliss-stick Kayaks for setting me up with my totally awesome Pink Mystic Kayak, its really sweet!
The pics are from the Homestake course! Anyway I better boost. Although my results have not been great I have learnt a lot and had an amazing time being here, I can’t wait to come back and dominate next year!