Sunday, December 16, 2012

WWGP Finito

 The 2012 Whitewater Grand Prix was the most incredible competition I have ever participated in! It was such an unreal experience to be part of and I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to hang out, paddle and party with such an amazing group of talented paddlers from all over the world. From the 1st to the 15th of December 25Men and 7 woman from all over the world came together and lived in each others space, paddled together, raged together and raced on some very technical and intense white water rivers here in Chile, South America. Every person that was part of this event was different in one way or another yet I had huge respect and appreciation for each and every one of them. We had 1-2days training before every event and this was all the time we had to get to know the lines on the rivers that we raced. On training days we grouped up with people that new the run and paddled down together figuring out the fastest lines. On race day the athletes were split into two groups and this allowed for each group to set safety for the other. This meant that safety was really well set up and under control. 
Me on the clean 20footer racing the Rio Nevados! Photo Credit Sergio Vidal
When moving from one event to the next we convoyed together with the media team and all of the athletes, this meant long drives in each others space...fortunately we had such an amazing crew of people on board. Our accomodation throughout the competition ranged from platforms to cabins but we were always super well looked after by our organisers and the owners of the venues. When off the water we were always keeping life occupied with card games, drinks and other random activities. Hanging out with everyone was a pleasure. 
The racing was pretty full on but I absolutely loved every race course and had so much fun competing in every stage. Huge respect to Nouria Newman who totally dominated the woman's field and Dane Jackson who destroyed the Mens!
For me I was just so stoked to be kayaking again after my injury and going into the event I believe my motivation for success in the races was lower than it should have been. I am a bit gutted that I did not perform as well as I should have but at the same time I am really really stoked to have been part of such an incredible event and stoked that I made it through each stage still holding my ground and putting down some clean runs. 
The standard of the events was the best that I have seen and the calibre of athletes was outstanding. No one was undeserving of being at the event, every athlete charged hard and brought strong game to the competition. 
I believe the White Water Grand Prix is the future of White Water Extreme kayaking and I really hope this event can find the funding to continue. 

Final results:
1st Place: Dane Jackson (USA)
2nd Place: Eric Deguil (FRA)
3rd Place: Evan Garcia (USA)
4th Place: Isaac Levinson (USA)
5th Place: Todd Wells (USA)
6th Place: Michele Ramazza (ITA)
7th Place: Joel Kowalski (CAN)
8th Place: Lorenzo Andrade Astorga (CHL)
9th Place: Galen Volckhausen (USA)
10th Place: Jakub Nemec (CZE)


1st Place: Nouria Newman (FRA)
2nd Place: Martina Wegman (NLD)
3rd Place: Katrina Van Wijk (CAN)
4th Place: Lu Urwin (NZL)
5th Place: Natalie Anderson (USA)
6th Place (tie): Nicole Mansfield (USA)
6th Place (tie): Louise Jull (NZL)

Big thanks to the organisers Patrick Camblin and Emily Meredith, they did an incredible job and made this all happen! Thanks to Duemstuff for supplying me with awesome gear for the event and Bliss-Stick for my beautiful kayak. Also big thanks to Sergio for sorting me out a kayak for the event as mine was destroyed on the Rio Palguin. 

 Ladies charging in the Head to Head 'Mass or Menus' Rio Futaleufu
Living on the banks of the Rio Futaleufu for stages 4 and 5!
 Welcome to Patagonia!

 Enroute to Futaleufu from Pucon- travelling the Chilean coast
 White Water Grand Prix Athletes enter Inferno Canyon- Rio Futaleufu
 All the awesome ladies stoked after finishing Stage 1!
 Ladies after Stage 3- Rio Nevados!
 Party Bus!
 Party Bus ride between stage 1 and 2!

The epic slide on Rio Nevados!
All of the photos above are credit of the photographers of the White Water Grand Prix Event. Please checkout the White Water Grand Prix Website-

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