Tuesday, June 28, 2011
We are staying in the scenic French valley of Vallouise in the French mountains and are without internet so I will not be so easy to get hold of. There are 37Nations that will be racing in the World Cup here this weekend. The event will kick off with the opening ceremony on Thursday evening. I feel really good here in the natural surrounds and I am really looking forward to the racing this weekend. In the NZ summer of 2011 I trained harder than ever and it is time to race harder than ever!
Saturdays Racing proved to be a successful day for New Zealand! Mike Dawson proved he has the speed and is as fast as the best qualifying through to the final in 10th position and this was even with a touch! In the Final he placed 10th which was super awesome and a creditable achievement, big congrats to Mike!
With the racing over Team New Zealand met up at our favourite Mexican Restaurant in Ljubljana and celebrated Mike’s success. Then early the next day Luuka and I were on the road and heading to France! After our unfortunate weekend of racing on Tacen we decided we needed another race under our belts.
A few smooth coffee stops in Italy fuelled our bodies and minds and kept us going till we reached the land of baguettes, Croissants and pain au chocolats- France! Driving into the French Alps was awesome and we were treated to some stunning scenery, even if the sun was nearly gone when we reached the French territory.
We had arranged accommodation before we left Slovenia in a Ski Chalet in the depths of the French Mountains, close to L’ Argentiere. However the dark of the night and the rugged roads meant we struggled to find our villa. It neared Midnight and Luuka and I felt desperate, we needed to sleep, we were hitting the wall. We ended up pulling in to a villa we found that happened to be left open and crashed there for the night, we left a note and a 20euro bill and took off at sunrise to seize the day.
L’ Argentiere rests in the valley of the French Alps and serves host to beautiful scenery. The White Water course here is somewhat similar to Kawerau in New Zealand with fast moving water and rocks at the bottom of the eddies. It is a natural course though which is definitely nice for us, coming from New Zealand where we only have Natural courses to train on!
‘Cafe Au lait sil vous plat’ has become a saying that roles off the tip of our tongues with ease these days as we have been hitting up a nice local hot spot that makes good coffees that would match the standard of our local ‘Green Bean’ back home. Training is going well, L’ Argentiere is a physical course but provides a few good features. I am really happy to be back here in France, it is a beautiful country with amazing food and culture and the people are lovely. It is good refocusing this week on the upcoming world cup.
Friday, June 24, 2011
Qualification runs kicked off today with the K1Men, C1Men and C1Woman in the morning. Mike Dawson had a preemo 1st run that was really exciting to watch, this put him in 3rd position after 1st runs and carried him through to the Semi-Finals tommorrow with a creditable 11th place.
Despite the rain and average weather I was feeling okay for the race today, I was ready to put the power on and have some good runs! However this did not happen. I had big mistakes in both of my runs and also had some 50 second penalties. I am gutted.
Big thanks to Les Dawson and Sue Clarke for their support this week. Also Thanks to Vavra and Mike for some sweet advice after 1st runs:)
Also Big thanks to my Coach's back home from Waiariki, Sam and Jane.
A a hard day and it has been an even harder week.
For results tommorrow streaming Live, checkout: Here or here for Live Video
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Simon Davidson was a talented, loving, enthusiastic, athletic, energetic 20year old and an amazing friend. A handsome young man with a magic smile that was infectious to all. He was so gifted and held the power to make people feel good, he was a charmer. Simon was a styly boater and a pleasure to paddle with. Simon loved people and he loved to party! Him and Matt were always rocking the beats and wearing some of the best attire for the occasion. Having him to stay in Okere Falls over the summer was so much fun, he was always keen to boat or go for a smoothie at the store. Conversations were always loaded with banter and laughs, he had a great sense of humour. Pushing the limits, he was a solid boater and always encouraging me to push myself, try new lines and use the white-water but at the same time he made me feel safe.
I spoke to Simon about 2weeks ago when I arrived in Prague, he called me on skype. We had a 3way convo with Matt and Leela and it was soo funny! He was on form and in his usual excited self; life was always exciting with Simon around. He carried passion and drive and was full of ideas and dreams. I feel really privileged to have had the chance to get to know Simon, he was a really awesome guy, one of the coolest guys I have met. Although I only knew him for a short time, I wish I could have known him much longer. He will be missed by so many people, he was very well respected and loved. I know everyone in Okere Falls was really excited for him to move there next NZ summer!
The accident happened when he was out kayaking with his ‘Dash Hound Crew’, aka Leela Samuels and his very Best friend Matt Burton. Some people say that if you are going to leave the world it should be doing something you love. But in this case I totally disagree; Simon should be living doing the things he loved! He had so much more time before him and he was meant to die old and crusty with thousands of crazy stories.
A quote from Josh Neilson that sums Simon up nicely- ‘You are an Inspiration, happy, motivated, biggest smile, one of the nicest people on earth.. the list goes on and on! The world is a brighter place because of you and that massive smile bro! See you on the other side some day! Aroha Nui’
Sending lots of Love and strong vibes to all his Family and Friends at this hard time, my thoughts are with everyone.
Checkout Simons blog- www.flowadventures.blogspot.com
We will always remember you, your wicked personality and the good times. xoxo
I have my first World Cup here in Slovenia in two days- you will fuel my fire Simon!
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Along with the rain came a flood of National kayak teams into Slovenia’s capital city, Ljubljana. Austria, Australia, Holland, France, Slovakia, Germany, Togo, America, Canadia, Swiss, and Italian Teams..to name just a few..the list goes on...
The atmosphere both at the course and in Ljubljana centre is buzzing with excitement with the first World Cup to kick start the 2011 International Racing Circuit coming up this weekend! It has been great to catch up with so many friends from all over the world and be once again following the European summer. Tonight there was a parallel Slalom race that was held in the centre of Ljubljana on one of the canals that runs through the city. It is always a really wicked event here and great for spectators in this amazing night-time city setting. With 1000Euro prize money up for grabs the race was on! Peter Kauzer (2009 World Champion and Slovenian sports star once again took the win to beat the Czech Rebublics Vavra Hradilek in a close 2nd. The womens was dominated by Corrina Kuhnle (2010 Womens World Champion) and runner-up was Australia’s Kate Lawrence with Luuka Jones and Roz Lawrence in 3rd and 4th.
Tommorrow it is back to the mighty Tacen White-water for my 2nd to last session on the course before the race which will kick off on Friday with Qualifications.For Race info for this weekends World Cup checkout: Sloka's website
Sunday, June 19, 2011
This week continued to be a good week of training with summer days. On Friday afternoon Luuka and I cruised into the mountains and had a picnic by Lake Bohinj, just past the infamous Lake Bled.
Last night the rain gods let loose and today the River was raging! It is my rest day today so I was not too bothered and chilled out. Several teams arrived today including the Canadians, Austrians, Italians and some Germans.
-Lunch or dinner served by the testers in Mercater Supermarkets is a cheap and convenient option.
-Naked people on the side of the river is legit
-Illegal car manoeuvres are all good when you are driving a Czech car
- Don’t bother buying a motorway pass- just drive fast
-If your landlord looks like a prostitute she is probably running a brothel
-If you can’t understand you can claim innocence
-The dancing lady on the side of the river is not crazy really
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Ljubljana is definitely my favourite city in Europe and it just so happens to host one of the best slalom courses along with being home to many Champions in Canoe Slalom. Luuka and I have a sweet set up out in the countryside in a nice apartment, Villa Jana- Cerklje na Gorenjskem. It is beautiful and peaceful out here and not too far from the course. Being back on the White-Water here is awesome! I love the course and we pretty much have exclusive sessions at the moment as there are not many people here yet. Training is going really well and I am very excited about our the 1st World Cup that will be here on Tacen next weekend.