Two years ago I came here to Austria to watch the Kiwi boys dominate in the competition that has been labelled the ‘Extreme Kayak World Champs’. This year I am here to once again watch the boys dominate but also compete myself. There is a small womens class of around 10 that includes Martina Wegman of the Netherlands, Ros Lawrence of Australia, Anne Hubner from Germany, Nina Halasova of Slovakia and Caro Loir from France, along with a few others. For us the race will be only down the Qualification section of the course which includes two descent sized drops that are followed by a 1-2min class 2/3 section of white water. The river has been dropping lower each day and the weather remains nice and sunny each day. Its good to have sunny weather here in the Valley as otherwise it can be quite cold! Today I hit up the main race course- thanks to my sweet safety by Jamie Sutton it was all good:). I managed to get the drop well on my last run but am afraid I now owe two booty beers! Enjoying the paddling anyway and stoked to be here!Checkout some of last year’s racing here and for info on the event checkout this website: www.adidas-sickline.com
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Since arriving in the beautiful Tirol Valley and resting here in the Austrian village Oetz, life has been sweet. I have been enjoying the daily kayaking trips on the various sections of the Oetztal River, walks around the scenic lake and dinner with the many good people rolling in the area. On Sunday a crew of around 10 of us decided to head up the valley to the Glacier in Solden. Solden Glacier has just opened for skiing and provided a few really nice runs, including one amazing section with thick powder to butter our way down. I even tried out skis for a bit, but think I will stick to snowboarding! It was an awesome day and pretty reasonably priced. Other than that the training for the Sickline Extreme Race is on! Martina and I have been busting out a few solid runs down the Qualification course and building our confidence for the harder section. The river has been really high and this has meant the Wellebrucke section has been at quite a pushy flow. I have had a few really good runs down the quals course and a few not so good, with a casual swim in the big drop today. I was trying a new line and took a heavy beating on the 'Champions Killer' Waterfall! Feeling good generally though and really excited for the next few days of training before the race on Friday! Hoping to get the last drop dialled! My new DuemStuff Gear is holding up really well and has been keeping me warm on the icy waters, and it looks great too!
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
After an epic unwind week in Prague it was time to venture on to the direction of the Adidas Sickline Extreme Race that will be held in just under 2weeks in Austria. First however, I stopped in at Europes biggest Kayaking Tradeshow held in Nurnburg- Kanumesse. As always this is a great place to go if you are interested in kayaking! It showcases the many companies, brands and manufacturers that drive the kayaking industry. It was great to checkout the latest gear from many of the retailers and the party was well worth it with plenty of good beer and wine on offer. I was fortunate enough well I was there to meet up with the DuemStuff team. Duemstuff in a Slovenian based company that retail in really sweet and styley kayaking gear. I have bought some of their items in the past and have found their gear to be really good quality. They have now accepted me onto their proteam! I am really excited to work with them and look forward to using their gear in my up and coming adventures!
After a successful time at Kanumesse Mike, Martina and I hit the road once again and headed for the Austrian Alps. We stopped off at Kats for the night in Kaufburn before heading off to Oetz in the morning in convoy with the Sutton brothers. On arrival into the Tirol valley we headed straight for the Middle Oetz section of the Oztal river and busted out a nice run along with Jakub Nemec, Issac L and Miha. It was soo nice to be back in this beautiful Austrian Valley and back paddling on descent white-water. I feel so relaxed here and I am really happy to be back in my Mystik creek boat, totally ready for a good week of boating before the Extreme Race next weekend!
Checkout DuemStuff’s website to see their sweet gear: www.duemstuff.comAlso checkout their blog with updates from their current team members:
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
The 2011 Canoe Slalom World Championships in Bratislava of Slovakia was a very successful event. The crowds were massive, competition was fierce and the atm0sphere was charged!
For New Zealand it was a successful World Championships with Mike Dawson finishing with a very creditatble result of 16th and qualifying the 2012 Olympic spot as the 12th Nation. Big Congrats to Mike, he totally deserves this spot and is a on good form for doing well at the Games next year.
Luuka Jones also qualified New Zealand a K1W spot as 14th (I think) Nation, placing a creditatble 32nd position in the end, just missing the tight cut of the Semi-Finals.
Although I didn't pull together the dream full runs I had been imagining I had some good racing and was happy with my paddling. The competition was awesome and I really enjoyed the racing.
Now it is time to unwind...I have migrated to Praha and I am staying in my favorite European chillout location with the Hradileks in Zbuzany. Issac, Vavra and I have been chilling out in the city and enjoying our break.
Next up is Kanumesse (Kayak Trade show) that is in Nurnburg, Germany. Then I will be heading to Oetz in Austria to do some kayaking and prepare for the 2011 Addidas Sickline Extreme Race. Some good weeks are to come...
Saturday, September 10, 2011
In the K1Woman it was the 2010 Chamion Corrina Kuhnle of Austria that once again took the gold! Followed by Slovak Jana Dukatova and Spanish Maialan in 3rd.
In the afternoon the C1Men and Woman had their qualification race. Unfortunately the Kiwi Men did not do so well placing in the late 50's.
Tommorrow afternoon we will have Teams races! But first we will be running down the bank with NZ's top K1Man and good friend, Mike Dawson!
After our delayed start racing was finally underway again on Friday morning. I was feeling really nervous by this stage!! The nerves showed in my first run when I dropped low into 2 of the upstreams and lost time. I went into my second run knowing I had to lay it down, I felt a lot more relaxed and was recharged and ready to attack. I attacked my 2nd run well and had some good lines and fast strokes, unfortunately I also had 8seconds worth of penalties and a little time loss in places. I ended up in 55th. My 1st run a 115 clean and my 2nd run a 109+8.
I was pretty gutted, my dream perfomance I had been preparing for was lost and my chances for the Semis were well out. I was quite dissapointed, but sometimes thats the way sport goes.
And so it has come to the end of my 2011 Canoe Slalom season! It has been an awesome journey and I have had a lot of fun along the way. Big big thanks to all my supporters, especially my family, Luuka, Jane Borren, Sam Thompson, Mike, The Dawsons, Sue Clarke and all my European friends that have helped me out soo much! Its been awesome.
I am now going to take a year off slalom to finally finish my degree and focus on some extreme races! I am really happy about this and super excited to venture into what I think will be the raddest year yet! I have already got a few ideas about where I would like to go and have a few plans but they will come out in time:)
Big Congrats to my best mate and fellow team mate Luuka Jones, she lay down two very solid runs to place in 32nd, making the 14th Nation spot and qualifying herself a spot at the 2012 Olympic Games in London!I am really stoked for her and look forward to celebrating her success on Sunday at the final party:)
Also Big congrats to my other mate Mike Dawson, he pulled it together in his 2nd run with an 89sec clean and very smooth run to place 10th and secure his spot in the top 40!!!!!!!
Thursday, September 08, 2011
After another windy day the call was made to postpone the racing for until tomorrow.
Now new startlists have been posted and my new start time is: 10:42am (8:42pm NZ time, 6:42pm Auz time) and 12:42am (10:42pm NZ Time, 8:42pm Auz Time).
For all startlists checkout: www.canoeslalom2011.com
For live video and results:
Wednesday, September 07, 2011
On Tuesday night in the centre of the Slovak capital city Bratislava, the opening ceremony for the 2011 Canoe Slalom World Championships was held! Heather and I made our way down and met up with the rest of the New Zealand team to enjoy the celebrations.
Wednesday the racing began! Kicking off with the C2Men at 1pm, the Women were next to follow at 2. Unfortunately the wind gods were out in force and this caused for some crazy conditions! I was feeling pretty nervous and excited! The course was fairly straightforward and I felt confident on all the moves. Despite the crazy wind conditions the competition continued to run.
I went into my run feeling good and driving hard into the first upstream. My top and middle sections were really smooth, clean and fast! Then at gate 16 I incurred a 50! I carried on to finish strong and ended with a time that would have put me into 1st place, a 109sec. Unfortunately, because of my 50 second penalty I was put well down the list. I lost time when I incurred the 50 and it set me back a lot. Without this I would have placed 14th in the end, which for me would have been an awesome result! As gutted as I was with the 50 it was really good for my confidence to know my paddling was on target and I now know I am fast enough!
Ella Nicholas ended with the best result for the NZ women (although she races for the Cook Islands) placing in 17th!
Due to the crazy wind conditions they ended up cancelling the race. This meant that first runs have been nullified and Qualification runs 1 and 2 will commence today, if weather permits! I am feeling good and know what to do, I just need to have a repeat of my 1st run without the mistake at gate 16 and I will be in the game!
Big thanks to my beautiful sister Heather for helping coach and support me! Also to Jane Borren, Les Dawson, Sue Clarke, and all the others that were out supporting yesterday! And of course my parents and everyone back home, thanks for the messages:)
Pics from our day trip to Vienna, Opening ceremony, dinner with Nouria and the last drop on the course! Photo credit- Heather Jull and Sue Clarke
Friday, September 02, 2011
The 2011 Canoe Slalom World Championships will officially begin on Tuesday the 6th of September at 7pm with the Opening Ceremony. This will take place in downtown Bratislava, here in Slovakia! With 49 Nations on the startlist every class will have the Worlds best and will be hotly contested with 109K1M, 50C2M, 71K1W, 26C1W and 73C1M.
Startlists can be found here and info for the event can be found at: http://www.canoeslalom2011.com
C2Men will kickoff the racing at 1pm sharp on Wedneday afternoon. K1W will follow close behind commencing at 2pm. Nikki Whitehead is the first of the Kiwis to leave the start pool (racing at 216pm and then again at 5:16pm). My 1st run is at 2:23pm(12:23am NZ time) and my 2nd run is at 5:23pm(3:23am NZ time). Luuka Jones will be the last of the New Zealand woman, racing at 2:36pm and 5:36pm. Link to K1W startlist click here
The K1Men and C1Men do not begin racing until the Thursday morning starting at 10am. To see their startlist checkout: Here for K1M and Here for C1M.
During the racing Online Live Results will be posted here
For now I am finishing off the last few days of training, enjoying the course and having my sister Heather here as support. There will be a very large crew of New Zealander's here supporting for the World Champs. Stoked to now have the likes of Jane Borren also on board! Lets go Team NEW ZEALAND!!!