Thursday, February 24, 2011
On arrival home to New Zealand I was greeted with some very sad news. While I was in the air crossing the ditch back to NZL from AUS a large 6.3(Riktor Scale) earthquake shook the Southern Island of New Zealand and destroyed our second largest city, Christchurch. An absolute tragedy for our country and especially for those in the area. Over 100 fatalities have been reported and there are still many missing people. Since I have been home we have been getting constant live updates on the news. Its really depressing to watch and hard to process as it seems quite surreal.
For me I am back into full-time University study! I have the week off training so am making the most of getting some work done before I head to the South Island next Thursday morning to partake in what is considered New Zealand's biggest participated Extreme Kayak event, Bullerfestival. This will be followed by a few helli kayak trips on the West Coast and the New Zealand Extreme Nationals on the Citroen Rapid just out of Queenstown. It is going to be an epic week!
Below is a picture from the surf spot I went to last night (Little Waihi, of Maketu). The surf was massive, I spent about 30mins tackling the waves to get beyond the break (This photo is from the night before when it was a bit more mellow)!
Here is a photo I found on Bullerfests website of the race last year...
Monday, February 21, 2011
The 2011 Australian Open provided a stacked field of Internationals and a great venue here on the Olympic Stadium just out of Sydney. A nice flowing qualification course that weaved its path around the features was set and the pace was demonstrated by the C1Men that were 1st off the start for a full on day of racing. The women were up next and it was time to cut the 51 strong field to see 30 into the Semi-Final. I was feeling okay for my 1st run, just very mellow. I had no real urgency and was lacking strength. I finished with a 123+2 placing me into 23rd position. I knew I had to lay it down in my 2nd run in order to go through to the Semi-Finals. So I set a new plan and got myself into a better and more competitive zone. My 2nd run was 9seconds faster with better lines and more aggression. I picked up two touches that set me back a bit but otherwise it was solid. I finished with a 114+4 in a safe 25th position, 13seconds off speedy Ursa K from Slovenia who led the K1W class. Luuka was also through in 21st and Ella N in 30th.
SEMI-FINALS: The Semi-Finals course was set late on the Thursday night leaving little time for familiarization with the course for the K1W and C1M. The new course like the first included some good sections that used the features well but provided a bit more technical trickery. I was feeling good and ready but this was not reflected in my performance. I put down a slow and offline run that well clear of penalties was not clear in action! I finished with a 133+0, around 20secs off the winner. I was quite disappointed that I did not pull it together for this run but hopefully with time I will learn to race better. I placed in 22nd position which for me is an okay result considering the field. Luuka finished in 16th after taking a Eskimo roll halfway down the course. Aaron O was the only Kiwi K1 man in the Semi, finishing in 30th. Ben Gibb finished the best out of the NZ C1M.
For a full list of results checkout: Here
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
The 2011 Australian Canoe Slalom Open will begin Thursday with the Opening
Friday: K1W, C1M, C2M, K1M and C1M Qualifications
Saturday: K1W, C1M Semis and Finals
Sunday: K1M, C2 and C1W Semis and Finals
For Info and Live results go to: Australian Canoeing Website
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Training on the white-water course here is always good fun and involves requires a lot of minerals as it is a demanding course with a lot of wicked features.
Luuka, Katrina and I are currently staying with Danno, Fanpelt, Robin and Matej in the Pyramid Ghetto of Penrith. Today we had a rest arvo from training so trained out to Bondi beach with Canadian's John, Babacar and Kathleen- super nice. This was followed by a trip with Danno, Fanpelt and Phil to jump off a cool tree. Back to training tommorrow!
Saturday, February 05, 2011
The rain has finally stopped and the sun is out! We are now back here in Okere Falls training and preparing for take-off to the land of Australia on Tuesday. There we will be getting in some quality training at the Penrith White water stadium, the venue of the 2011 Australian Open competition. This event will take place in two weeks and will be a good comp with a large International field.
Thursday, February 03, 2011
Tuesday, February 01, 2011
It is always a pleasure to race on Mangahau. The river provides a range of great features and the flow is fast. By New Zealand standards it is ‘A class’ with electronic timing, permanent gates and a scenic backdrop of the Mangahau Valley. Sitting on the start you always get the best of convo’s with the infamous Carol and Ju Walkley and at the event on the weekend there were even live results! The Oceania Championships was an awesome event that ran very smoothly. With Athletes ranging from rugrats to World Champ medallists the competition was good and left little room for error. There were several World Champ Finalists, including the three Auzzy women- Kate Lawrence, Jess Fox and Sarah Grant, and in the men- Pierre Bouriland alongside World Champ silver medallist Vavra Hradliek.
Both Saturday and Sundays racing counted towards New Zealand Team selections as well as the Oceania competition. On the Saturday I was feeling a little nervous but put down some solid clean runs to see me through to the Semi-finals in a comfortable 6th position and place me as 2nd boat on the New Zealand team. On the Sunday I was very relaxed but went out of the start blocks hard. I put down a good first run that saw me through to the final in 5th position, I then performed a similar run with good lines and finished in 3rd after Kate Lawrence in 1st and Sarah Grant in 2nd. This also placed me as the Under 23 Oceania Champion! Stoked. The race had been a sucess, I had set some good plans and delivered. I was feeling a little disappointed that I could not put down a faster time, as I was hoping to go three seconds faster in my final run, but I was content with my performance. I have definitely improved a lot since this time last year, I feel a lot fitter and stronger and more reactive on the white water.
In the K1Men Switzerlands Mike Kurt dominated taking away gold, with Czech’s young Jiri in 2nd and Sam Lyons in 3rd. C1Men was taken out by the Frenchmen with Denis G in first followed by Martin Thomas and Pierre Antone Tillard. For all the results go to: SlalomNZ