Wednesday, August 31, 2011
I came back to Bratislava after my time at the Czech Championships and European Extreme Champs on a bit of a high! It was just so awesome to get back on good white water and I really enjoyed my time there.
Thanks to the Slovak Raft team for the ride back to Bratislava! :)
When I arrived back I was greeted by my sister Izzy who is still here in Europe finishing off her Euro summer tour! I was really happy to see her again! Then only days later my oldest sister Heather arrived! I am really happy to have them here, they are awesome sisters and good fun to be around!
On a more serious note...there is now only one week till the Canoe Slalom World Championships here in Bratislava of Slovakia! The course has become a busy place with Nations flooding in from all corners of the World!
I am feeling great and really excited about the racing that will commence in a week! Sweeeet!
For info on the event, checkout: http://www.canoeslalom2011.com/
Monday, August 29, 2011
Wow, what an epic weekend!
After some hard weeks training for the World Champs here in Bratislava it was time for a break from Slovakia and time to hit up the Czech Republic for some white water kayaking and racing!
Lipno is a beautiful scenic village that is just over the Austrian border and lies in some small mountains in the Czech Republic. It has beautiful pristine lakes and an awesome river that is sadly dammed and only flows one weekend per year!
Mike, Luuka, Ciaran, Katrina (Canada), Phill G and myself rocked up and stayed along side all of the Czech paddlers in a nice restaurant/hotel that overlooked the countryside. The first day we relaxed under the sun and enjoyed some nice swimming in the lake.
Friday the river came up and it was game time! After a few runs down the awesome slalom course I jumped into a creek boat and followed Mike, Phill and Vavra down the whole river. An awesome run and it felt soooo good to be back in a plastic boat! The river hosts continuous waves and some really fun weirs and rapids. It really got my adrenalin pumping and I was stoked!
Saturday was race day! I put down a solid run in the slalom to safely qualify through to the finals in 6th. I then boosted to the extreme race to qualify 1st spot in the final of the womans individual. Unfortunately I didn't pull through in the final and placed 2nd to Anne Hubner of Germany. I was very happy with 2nd prize however, big thanks to Teva, Hiko sport and the other sponsors of the event!
I then raced back up for my final run in the slalom which placed me in 7th, I carried a lot of adrenalin from the extreme race into the first half of my run which was primo, but blew out halfway down in one of the upstreams!
Sunday I raced again in the Slalom but didn't quite fire. I just scraped into the finals with a clean run and then when trying to cut the lines I incurred a 50second penalty and it was game over!
I am super happy with the weekend of racing and enjoyed my time in Lipno a lot. It was great to get back in the plastic boat and I feel a lot more confident about my paddling at the moment. Big thanks to all the Czechs for hosting us, especially Vavra! Also to the organisers of the extreme race, you guys made it an awesome event! Check it out: Devils Extreme Race!
Big ups to Mike Dawson who took out the mens individual, Jamie Sutton for winning the head to head and Sam Sutton, Jamie Sutton and Brendan Bayly for placing 3rd in the Teams! Yeah Kiwi domination! It was really awesome to catchup with the Kiwi's too!
In the Slalom Mike made finals both days also and Luuka also made finals on the Sunday!
Photo credit: Ciaran McArdle Heartau and www.devilsextremerace.com, Arnd Schaeftlein and Ladislav Vlcek
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
I was fortunate enough this week to have my sister Izzy come and visit! She is currently coming to the end of her European holiday and will be heading back to work in the UK in a few weeks. It was really nice to have her around and while she was here I took her out to see some of Bratislavas hot spots! the castle, Slovak food and on my rest day we went for a ride out to some beautiful lakes, one of which turned out to be a nudist lake...I wasn't to know. Along the way we met up with some of my Slovak friends that were on skates, skating is a massive sport here in Slovakia! I think it is the reasoning behind all the skinny and tanned beautiful woman here!
Training continues to go well and its not long now till I boost to the Czech Republic!
Training here in Bratislava is going well.
The 2week countdown has begun till the 2011 Canoe Slalom World Championships!
On thursday I am heading to the outback of the Czech Republic (Lipno) for the Czech Republic Championships and to hit up The Devils Extreme Race!
Checkout this sweet vid of Vavra, made by Mike.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Prague always provides an awesome atmosphere and venue for a world cup! The crowds are always big, the racing is always tight and the after party is always raging!
Race day was not great for the Kiwi's with noone moving through to the semi-finals. My 2nd run was my fastest and it was with some small mistakes and a touch. It was good to get another race under my belt and gave me some things to work on in terms of race strategy that I will take into the World Champs that are in just less then a month away now!
I spent the week staying once again in the Hradilek mansion in the outback of Zbuzany (the Otaki of the Czech Republic). Vashek placed 11th in the C2 and Vavra once again showed that he can be the fastest man on the circuit brining home the gold in front of his home crowd! On the Qualification day he was even 4seconds up on Peter Kauzer who was in 2nd!
Roz Lawrence my Auzzy partner in crime dominated the C1W! The young Slovenian pair took the gold in C2Men, Slovaks Elena Kaliska in the womens and Slafkovsky in the C1Men. For full race results checkout:
Photo Credit to my friends Martin Hammer and Ciaran Mc Ardle Heurteau
Tuesday, August 09, 2011
I am now residing in a typical commu tower Slovak style flat in one of Bratislava’s suburbs, known as Petrzalka. It is a 10min walk to Bratislava’s shopping mecca known as ‘Aupark’ and an easy 20-25min drive to the white water course in Cunovo. I live with a Slovak couple- Adrian and his partner (whose name I cannot pronounce yet letalone spell) and another Slovak chick, Emma. I am of course stoked to be back living in Bratislava! I have been treated to games of basketball and bbq’s in the evening with my Slovak friends.
On Monday I headed to Prague with Mike to prepare for the fourth and final World Cup! I am staying here in Zbuzany at my good Czech friend Vavra's place, its really sweet here. I am looking forward to once again getting on the startline a World Cup here in Praha, it is always an awesome atmosphere here with a good crowd!
Friday, August 05, 2011
After an epic week in London on the wicked white water course and staying in Luxury home accommodation at Paula’s Mums place it was time to head back to Eastern Europe. Luuka and I flew into Bratislava and it was time to settle into our new homes. For me I moved into a room in a Slovak flat with some other Slovaks. My room is big and I am living in the suburb of Petrazelka that rests in between the course and the city of Bratislava. On arrival at my new flat I was gifted a small plant to lighten up my room! After a nice lunch with some of my Slovak friends and a bbq I was on my way to Hungary’s capital city- Budapest! The idea was that I needed a few days of rest out of the kayak and so I arranged to meet up with my Brother in law Johnny!
Budapest is an amazing city! We walked and walked the streets in search of some interesting sights and we were very satisfied with what we came across. The city is host to an amazing castle and many many amazing buildings, including its parliamentary building that has 365 points to represent every day of the year! I was really stoked to be there and Johnny and I had a blast, we visited the ‘House of Terror’ which was a depressing museum about the history of Hungary and then to end our trip we took a long relaxing dip in the infamous thermal pools.
Now I am back in Bratislava enjoying my final day of rest, tomorrow I will be back in the boat!
Monday, August 01, 2011
The London Pre-Olympic Test event was a very successful and enjoyable event to be a part of. I feel privilged to have had the opportunity to race here on the Olympic course and amoung the worlds best! Mike Dawson of NZ was the only Kiwi to move on to the next round of racing and only just missed the semi placing in a creditable 16th place. Here is a video of my friend Vavra Hradilek, he is the man! He not only dominated the mens and won with a 2second penalty but he also helped coach me over the weekend which was super awesome! Big congrats to Vavra:)
Tommorrow morning we will be seizing the day nice and early with a 630am flight to Bratislava! Then I am off to Hungary for a few days of much needed rest and to meet up with my brother in law, Johnny!