Thursday, August 23, 2012

Changing Disciplines

Me on Double Drop on one of the local runs in the Kaimai ranges, 1hour from home. Photo credit: Gregg Thomas
Some race results from my local river- the Kaituna:)

Me on my local run- the Kaituna! The last four NZ Summers I have lived within 5minutes walk of this. Photo credit: Shilo Gibson

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Just over a year ago I raced at the 2011 Canoe Slalom World Championships in Bratislava, Slovakia. I have been on the New Zealand Senior Canoe Slalom Team since 2008 competing on the International circuit. I really enjoyed my time in Canoe Slalom and met a lot of totally awesome people that I will never forget. After coming up just short of my goals I decided it was time for a change.

Here is a video from the canoe slalom worlds last year. It was after this race that I finished my slalom racing. It was time for a change and extreme kayaking was my first choice of direction.

So for the last year I have been pursuing another discipline of white water kayaking- known to most as extreme kayaking. I have taken every opportunity to get on steep creeks or more challenging terrain in order to push myself as much as possible. I have finally managed to find some footage from my last year of travelling, it includes shots from New Zealand, Norway, Slovenia and the United States of America!!! I put it together as my bid for the White-Water Grand Prix that will be held in Chile in December. I really hope to make a spot but there is a lot of very talented women in white water kayaking and I will be so stoked if I do. This year I have been fortunate to paddle alongside Nouria Newman, Martina Wegman, Toni George and Katrina Van Wijk. All of these chicks totally kick ass and go big. I love paddling with these chicks as they have so much fire and this drives me more. My video is not the best quality and I wish I had more good footage from this year. I need to get better at taking photos and footage. Big thanks to my Argentinian friend Fidel for putting the edit together for me.

In June I raced at the Teva Mountain Games in Colorado and placed 2nd Woman after Martina Wegman of the Netherlands.Photo credit: Shilo Gibson

The pictures below feature me on slides-
Left: Nosebraker on the South Silver, California. Photo credit: Shilo Gibson
Right: A beautiful slide on the Tiegdale in Norway. Photo Credit: Toni George

This year I was fortunate enough to jump on Upper Cherry Creek in the High Sierras of California. An amazing run that is full of beautiful drops and slides and fast sections of class 4/5.
I did this trip with my good friend Josh and some other friends from the Netherlands. It turned into a 5day epic when we lost Josh on the hike in!Photo Credit: Josh Neilson

All ended well and we paddled out on mega highs!Photo credit: Josh Neilson/Casper Van Kalmthout
Above- Me racing down the Wairoa! A local Kiwi Extreme Race:)

Me flying off another drop on the Tiegdale in Norway. Photo Credit: Nouria Newman

And so my journey continues. After finishing up some work in Canada I am back on the road with my good Canadian friend Katrina Van Wijk. We are planning to head down to the Green Race that will be held at the start of November. Following this we will be flying to South America to checkout the rivers of Chile and Argentina and do some waterfall boat riding:)

I am super stoked on life at the moment and enjoying the adventure. Thank you so much to all that have helped me out along the way and been so supportive. Special thanks to my friends who have been such a big part in my travels and to those that have had me crash on their floor. Bliss-Stick have been really supportive and so have Duemstuff Kayak gear- you guys rock!
The change from slalom to extreme has been awesome, I am really glad that I made the move. The lifestyle in extreme is much more my style and I am stoked on this. There are many people that I have kayaked with in the last year that have made me really appreciate creeking, far too many people to name. I feel it is all thanks to them that I have got to where I am with my paddling.

I look forward to getting back home to New Zealand in January, it will be nice to be back on home ground.


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