No need to edit this to make it look fun! Blast down the Caher river on the West coast of Ireland, choose you own music if you don’t like the raw sound of the wind. Thank you Palm as always for keeping me warm, dry and comfortable.
The Conwy is one of the UK’s classic white water rivers, a section of which, the Fairy Glen, being one of the best and most reliable grade 4+ to 5 sections we have on this island. And now it is under threat.
Paddlers travel from far and wide to paddle ‘The Glen’ – here’s American paddling god Erik Boomer being shown the lines by local hero Tom McLay and Devon’s Tom Rainey.
If you’ve not heard about this, then please take a look at the newly set up website www.savetheconwy.com.
In summary, RWE NPower are proposing to put in a 2 metre weir by the take out of Middle Conwy (above Conwy Falls). This will create a pool at normal flows, and is expected to back up into the last rapid of the Middle (or the best rapid of the Middle). The weir will be used to extract up to 75% of the Conwy’s flow into a tunnel and pipe which will be taken through neighbouring ancient woodlands and SSSIs until it is reunited with the river downstream of the confluence with the Lledr. This will result in far less water making it into the Fairy Glen.
But it’ll generate power, that’s good right?
If they are prepared to destroy a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and risk the economic affects of loss of tourism to the area (to mention just a couple of adverse affects), surely the scheme will at least generate a lot of power? Sadly not. Even when running at maximum capacity the scheme will only generate 5 Mega Watts – about the same amount used by a small town such as Betws y Coed. The scheme’s own designer readily admitted that over certain periods of the year, and certain river levels all year, the scheme would run at just a fraction of it’s full potential, or even not generate anything at all!
When you compare the proposed output of this scheme to that of the nuclear plant being built on Anglesey, for example, it seems like a drop in the ocean – and surely not worth the destruction. I’ll accept that some people will never like the idea of nuclear, but if hydro power is what we really need, there several other viable locations within just a few miles of this site; some of which have even been surveyed and declared viable by the same contracting company!
So why is the scheme even being considered?
Put simply: money. Land-owners (in this case the Forestry Commission and Foelas Estate) will earn a lot of money from these sort of schemes; while the Green Subsidy Tax on our energy bills provides most of the money for the initial construction. RWE NPower will earn vast sums of money, but only if the scheme goes ahead. It is in their interest to present “studies” that make the site seem perfectly suitable.
Why is this so important?
Well, it’s not just kayaking that will be lost (an estimated 42% loss in days when the Fairy Glen will be paddleable). There are many rare species at risk, local businesses will be affected – especially during the many months of construction works – and the knock on affects on tourism to the valley could be massive.
This could be the start of a slippery slope: RWE NPower are also looking at sites on the Mawddach and Gain, amongst other classic Welsh Rivers. We need to put a stop to it before it’s too late and all of our rivers are piped underground, with delicate ecosystems destroyed in the process.
What can you do?
At this stage we mostly need to make people aware of what is happening. Soon RWE NPower will submit a planning permission request and request a water extraction license: this is our chance to raise objections. We may also require letters written to your MP, especially if you live in Wales. The facebook page and website will be kept up to date with this information as it happens and calls to action will be made.
I started off my season 2013 while travelling in Chile. So I spent new years eve at the Rio Fuy – big water, carry out of the upper Fuy and paddling the lower section later on which was great fun at that level. Waking up my first time in 2013 at one of Chiles beautiful lakes “Lago Panguipulli” we started heading south. On the way we didn´t want to miss out to paddle the Michimahuida before we finally continued to the our next destination Futaleufu. After staying a couple days at Cara del Indio, lapping the Futa to get familiar with the big water in Patagonia we travelled further South to do the Baker once more before this lovely giant will get destroyed by some dam building project. So Chile was January adventure.
Rio Baker, January 2013, photo: Stefan Motz
Back home winter got me back and I went skiing in Tyrol a couple times, realizing that I have way more fun paddling than skiing so I started to look forward to the first snow melt in the Alps to get some good runs down the Brandenberger Ache (AUT). At the same time I started to prepare the annual kayak school trip to Corsica, which started mid of March.
Our first week in Corsica (FRA) was filled with building all the tents for the customer trips and paddling for ourselves to check all the rivers again. Due to the great snowpack this year in the mountains of the “Isle of beauty” and some recurring rain Corsica offered loads of good runs, new rivers for me and most important great to start the European paddling season 2013!
Rio Futaleufu, January 2013, photo: Stefan Motz
Back “home” end of April I had to do some Freestyle as our German tem trials and National were held beginning of May at the Plattling (GER) Eurocup. Being out of a Freestyle boat for the last couple months I did quite well at the event, even leading in semifinals and ending with a fifth place overall and in first position of all the Germans. As I realized that freestyle boating is a lot of fun as well I decided to take part in the 2013 Freestyle worlds at the NOC in North Carolina (USA) and do all the other Eurocups in Prague (CZE) and Cunovo (SVK) as well later in the season.
Plattling 2013, photo: Michael Sommerauer
In May I jumped back in my Veloc and went to Ticino (SUI) and Piedmont (ITA). I had an awesome time in beautiful Verzasca valley as well as on all the tiny little Creeks like the San Giovanni, the Cannobino, etc. Also, the Tyrolian kayak school season started and I had a lot of runs around Innsbruck. With a little stopover at the Soca river (SLO) time was running through my summer.
Verzasca 2013, photo: Michael Sommerauer
June was my racing month, so I jumped in my new red racing Raptor for the first time. I went to the “King of the Alps” in Merano (ITA) and the “Eporedia Active Days” which took place at the Ayasse river this year. Winning all competitions and taking home some prize money (and a crown ) I felt being in a good shape and race mood my motivation to do more races this year increased a lot and I decided to go for the Sickline race later in the season as well.
Eporedia Active Days Ivrea 2013, photo: Alessio Avetta
Eporedia Active Days, Ayasse 2013, photo: Arnd Schaeftlein
In July and the Beginning of August I had to do some “real” work to earn enough money for my next few trips – so not much kayaking at all. I just spent a few days in Prague (CZE) for the Freestyle Eurocup. It took place in the last week of July and it was a week with about 40°C outside. So being in the water was the best thing to do and the whole event felt like having a big summer party. I ended up 4th in the Freestyle competition and me and my racing Raptor kicked some guys asses coming third in the Boater X overall – even winning my first heat against some Czech slalom paddler
Boater X at Troja Freestyle Fest in Prag 2013, photo: Dobafotek.cz
Next stop was the NOC in North Carolina (USA) for Freestyle worlds. Getting my Veloc there I was able to do some “real” paddling in between the daily half an hour in the Freestyle whole. My highlight run was definitely the day on the Green followed by “The Cascades” release upstream of the NOC. In Freestyle worlds I managed to reach the finals and ended up in 4th place just 2 points away from the podium. As I saw the other women paddling in trainings and I realised the huge rise of the standard I did not expect to even make semifinals so I was quite happy in the end with this result.
Freestyle Worlds at the NOC in North Carolina, photo: Olga Blokhina
Back home in September I did some kayak instructing again before I did a final Freestyle event in Munich (GER) and headed to Cunovo (SVK) to the last Eurocup of the season. The hole there was kind of shallow and not as fun as I expected it to be but seeing a lot of the German team members again made my stay there worth and I was able to claim the podium in my first Eurocup, ending up third and making the 2nd place overall!
photo: Michael Sommerauer
October. I started to study again and time to jump back in a Creekboat and get ready for the Sickline race. Having only one day to train I concentrated on the qualification run knowing that for those who will make the cut will be another time for training on the main course the next day. I was happy with my lines and made fifth position in the qualification, only 0,12 seconds away from the third place. As the organiser of the event first wrote that we are five women going into the finals I felt clapped-out when he suddenly decided that there would only be three going through. So the losers party started right away before at dinner we finally were allowed to compete the next day in the finals – without any training then. So my first runs the next day have been miserable and unluckily I took a bath after the last drop in my first run. Due to the cold weather conditions on the final day I had hard times to find the motivation to step up again and do my second run. With a sweet line I was able to claim the second fastest time in the women competition that day – unluckily both runs counted in the female competition. So I stayed with my fifth place which was finally not too bad with all the Freestyle I did during the months before.
Adidas Sickline Race 2013, photo: Manuel Arnu
Doing a lot of studying since Sickline and some kayak courses on the weekends I was only able to do two short trips so far. One weekend I spend in Kuchl (AUT) to see if the wave there is still good to paddle and last weekend I went to the annual Hurley-Classic Freestyle event (UK).
Hurley Classic 2013, photo: Nouria Newman
As it is getting quite cold now in Europe and paddling outside is not one of the most fun activitys to imagine at the moment I figured that now would probably be the best time to work on my own homepage to start my own coaching business – et voilá! So sitting on my ass pretty much the whole day I really start looking forward to my this winters kayaking trip to Chile for Christmas holidays!
Rio Palguin, January 2013, photo: Stefan Motz
Big thanks to Palm Equipment for the for the excellent paddling kit with its perfect design which keeps me warm and dry while I am on the water!
I have now been using Palm’s Luna PFD for about a year and after some rigorous product testing on and around many different rivers, countries, and scenarios I feel like I have put it through enough to have a good idea of its performance. I work predominantly as a raft guide, safety/photo kayaker, and kayak instructor as well as kayaking for fun and get in a race here and there when I can. I spend a lot of time wearing a PFD so it’s pretty important for me to have one that is both comfortable and functional.
Enjoying the slides on the Ula River in Sjoa
The Luna PFD gives you good freedom of movement which makes it great to race in…
Bit of carnage, upside down raft, no worries the Luna PFD will float you back to the surface
Good for raft guiding
Even if you’re guiding backwards
Doesn’t ride up when your swimming making it a great PFD to go for a swim in
Unrestricting for kayaking allowing you to get your boof on
Also room enough to get a good tuck on if you’re running bigger drops
Even if you want to dress up in a Santa suit and run down the river the Luna PFD wont let you down!
So in conclusion, I love the Luna PFD, it is by far the best PFD I’ve ever owned (previous PFD’s include Hydraulics River Pro, Stohlquist Descent and Palm AMP vest which I also liked a lot). I was impressed by how well it fits to your body shape, it feels like it hugs you when you’re swimming which none of my previous PFD’s have done very well. I like the mesh inner ‘boob hold in’ thingys which are great for preventing you accidentally flashing people when you bomb off a drop only wearing a bikini cause its so nice and warm. The front pocket is roomy enough to easily fit your basic rescue kit (sling, 3 carabiners, 2 prusik cords, knife, chocolate bar) while also being compact enough that it doesn’t make it difficult to get back on your upside down raft if you’ve flipped.
Also finally and most importantly it has awesome buoyancy. I spend a lot of time swimming, mostly for fun on the Kaituna river because we like to swim down the grade 3 section when its warm, good fitness and also good practice for rescues. The Luna is great for river swimming in that it doesn’t ride up or restrict your movement but it floats you very well. I also had one involuntary swim in Norway where I got a big beat down in a rather small but very sticky hole and after fighting it for a good few minutes I decided it wasn’t letting go, pulled tab, and popped up in time to make quite an epic swim to catch a small eddy before being swept over a big ledge hole. I was very pleased with the PFD’s performance in this situation because it floated me quickly to the surface allowing me to make the eddy in time. Thanks Palm for putting in the hard yards and designing an awesome women’s PFD!!!
Yes, I know World Championships were months ago, apologies but I feel its worth mentioning some things, especially now that I have had plenty of time to reflect on the experience as a whole. I have not represented Ireland in any other sports before so this was a unique and really cool experience for me. I believe in the old proverb that pictures (with captions ) tell a thousand words. So after you scroll through my favourite photos that summarise our trip maybe you’ll be ready to read some more ramblings about what the World Championships are really about and who made it all possible for us. (Photos predominantly by David O’Sullivan and Barry Loughnane)
I started my trip at my home away from home, RiverRun Rafting in the Ottawa Valley
Clay, Coach Dave and Flo-Dog made fantastic travel buddies for the long journey south
Although I did have a favourite…
Highways cut through the stunning scenery of North Carolina, not what we were expecting from south-eastern USA
Arriving at the NOC and deciding to take the cheap option a little way off the beaten track…
Fun times! food always tastes better from an open fire!
Team mates begin to arrive and the local culture is sampled…
Very well sampled…
Oh wait we did lots of training too
Shane Little KJM loving his new Palm gear! Coach Dave was always on hand to give us video feedback during our training sessions. Legend!
Patriotism for the flag grew stronger as the competition day advanced
We found ways to relax in the days before the competition, it wasn’t hard in paradise!
Opening Ceremony was a blast! The whole town of Bryson turned out to see us march!
We even had a team mascot! Team GB and Palm paddler Bren Orton
Training was heating up and we kept each other focused on hitting the rides we had visualized in our heads
Competition day, there was a real togetherness within this group and you could feel that everybody on the team even though they were your competitors, wanted you to do really well. We supported each other shamelessly
Staying focused for my rides
The Dagger Jitsu dishing me out some nice air
Happy with my rides and pointing to the stand where my team mates were cheering, their support helped me greatly. (Photo by Pringle)
My rides at world championships earned me 37th position which I was pretty content with for my first major competition but being at worlds also showed me the standard of the top athletes, even to break into the top 20 would take an incredible amount of commitment and training. I hope I can continue to push on in the right direction. However more important then the competition for me was the people I was there with. There was definitely no team that spent as much time together as a group helping each other and having the ‘craic’ then the Irish team, we are all great friends and that was what made it such a great experience for all of us. We also got on great with many members of the other international teams and I know personally I made about 10 promises to visit people in different countries to go and paddle with them soon! That is for me what the world championships are all about.
I would firstly like to thank my parents who went along with what they didn’t understand in me for a long time, their support was the reason I was able to compete in NOC this year. Now they know more and are beginning to understand why I love paddling as much as I do. After that Roger McClure our team manager did an unreal job organising and keeping us all in line with a smile on his face, definitely one of the lads! Shane Cronin, owner of progressive distribution helped me a lot in getting me kitted out with Palm equipment, Dagger kayaks and AT paddles, this top of the range equipment has definitely brought my paddling up a level. Snowy Robertson and Chris Gragtmans from Dagger kayaks who are legends of the highest order. Lastly but not least I would like to thank the Irish Freestyle committee and Canoeing Ireland whose financial support was definitely needed and very much appreciated. Freestyle kayaking is on the up in Ireland this will be shown by the fierce competition for places on the European Championships team this year.
Since being back in Ireland I have taken up residence in the University of Limerick which is a great base to keep paddling and progressing. I’m also ecstatic that our plans to keep the Irish Whitewater Race League going for a second year have come to fruition. With the first of 6 races kicking off at the unmissable New Years paddler festival in Kerry, its a great time to be a kayaker in Ireland.
GalwayFest 2014 is also on the weekend of the 1st and 2nd of March. It emerged as the aftermath of too much talking by myself and Barry Loughnane in a pub in the small town of Buncrana in 2011 and is now an event going from strength to strength, we are hoping to accommodate more then the 110 racers we had last year when we bring it back for its 3rd year on the trot.
Poster from GalwayFest 2013
Anyways I’ll leave you with a couple of preview edits of our first two scheduled races for the Irish Whitewater Race League 2014.
A glorious Autumn morning welcomed 140 competitors to Hurley
The Hurley Classic has been running for 24 years now, it’s one of freestyle’s most iconic events held in europe and best of all it’s held on a feature worthy of it’s reputation.
Hurley itself is a dynamic wave/ hole where all moves are possible, not always that easy to land but spectacular definitely. Jacko the event organiser has put a lot of work in this last few years to grow the event getting more and more top paddlers from around the World to come over and see if they can steal the classic crown from the locals!
This time Jacko excelled himself with nearly all of europe’s top paddlers coming over and even Stephen Wright from America.
The main idea is to unite the Uk paddling community with the rest of the ww community from around the World for an exciting, fun end of season showdown on an exciting feature to see who can provide the best spectacle.
This year we had quite a few events going on such as the Saturday GB team selection & night time super final, the epic boatercross, the Palm pin up photo contest and of course the main event the Classic on the Sunday. Jacko even threw a delicious banquet in the massive heated tent by the wave for all the competitors!
The saturday was for most people a warm up comp for the Sunday classic, but for the few who are trying to make the team to compete at the Europeans it was serious Because it’s a selection event for a hole contest, we were restricted during the heats to only use the hole gate which made for a very very tricky contest.
Best of the Brits was Palm/ Gb’s Alan Ward who battled his way to 3rd place in an extremely tough final showing the best of what the Thames Valley can produce. 2nd went to my Dagger team mate Tomasz Czaplicki and 1st with incredible rides was the french powerhouse Sebastian Devred with a incredible last ride !
Tomasz Czaplicki – Poland
Sebastian Devred – France
In the women’s frances slalom superstar Nouria Newman won the super-final showing amazing adaptability and Palm’s Katya came in 4th.
This years boatercross was amped up a notch with an even bigger & steeper launch ramp followed by paddling around a marked out course across the flow of the wave whilst Rob Harris shot at you with a water canon then back again around the other buoy before a sprint to the finish all the while the two kayakers in body armour called ”8 Ballers” tried to stop you in your tracks.
In the men’s Palm’s Alan Ward added another great performance to steal the win ahead of Austria’s Marcel Bloder and Slovakia’s Peter Csonka after 5 gruelling rounds.
In the women’s there were no surprises as France’s Nouria Newman easily sailed to victory! ahead of Palm’s Anne Hübner, & Gb’s Paula Volkmer (not 100% on the womens 2nd & 3rd, so please correct me if i’m wrong.)
Nouria with her 1st place boater cross £!
In the classic you get 20 minutes with 10 people getting as many rides as they can. The aim is to do as many different moves as possible. The top 5 go though to a final with the full 3 gates open (it was on 2 for the rest of the weekend) to get 3 45 second rides with your best one counting to decide the winner.
GB’s top performers were Palm’s star performer Alan Ward who just missed the final in 6th followed by Doug Cooper and Palm’s Bren Orton.
For the super-final the lock keeper opened up the weir to give us a perfect retentive 3 gates which let us really see what some of the World’s best could do. It was very close as everyone had amazing rides but in the end Stephen Wright of the USA took the win with moves i’ve never seen stuck before on Hurley (pistol flips on demand), 2nd went to Spain’s Euro champ Quim Fontane Maso and 3rd to Frances Mathieu Dumoulin.
Quim Fontane Maso – Catalonia
Alan Ward – GB
Sebastian Devred – France
Mathieu Dumoulin – France
Event winner Stephen Wright – USA
Men’s Classic Podoum: Stephen 1st, Quim 2nd, Mathieu 3rd
In the women’s GB’s Claire O’hara had the ride of her life to take the win ahead of Slovakia’s NIna Csonkova in 2nd and Frances Marlene Devillez in 3rd.
A big thank you must go to Jacko and all the volunteers who organised and ran the event, it was a true showcase of the top of our sport uniting all ages, sexes and abilities in a common love of kayaking! It was amazing having so much talent come over to the UK just for one event and I think everyone left feeling that it was a fun trip. Next year is the 25th edition so it’ll be a big one so you’d better get preparing for it
Event organiser Jacko closing the classic.
Palm’s Anne Hübner gives us her thoughts on the Classic:
Palm’s Anne Hübner’s impressions
It was my first time going to England for a kayak event. Usually before a kayak trip everybody is jealous but not this time. I got told about the bad and cold weather I will find in the UK and so on. And finally everybody was right – the weather during the event was cold and grey and the wave was only on two gates which wasn’t my favourite. Anyway, friday offered a beautiful sunny autumn-day and I got an awesome session on friday on three gates which was already worth to fly over. Great to see so much enthusiasm for Freestyle Kayaking in the UK and thanks to everybody who helped to make the Hurley Classic such a great event!”
A few words from Local hero, Palm’s Alan Ward:
The SAS Hurley Classic was an incredible event with competitors coming from all over the world to invade a quiet and unsuspecting rural village in Berkshire at the weekend. Every year the organisers (Jacko and friends) step the competition up a notch, which included an incredible 8 ball boaterX competition, a huge heated marquee and the biggest banquet to date.
Most of the top ten men and women in the world competed over the weekend for the coveted title of SAS Hurley Classic Champion and the show did not disappoint with two floodlit finals and breathtaking heats all weekend on a variety of different gate set ups.
It’s one of the oldest competitions in freestyle kayaking and next year celebrates its 25th year, so with our help may the SAS Hurley Classic grow and grow!
Many thanks to Jacko and the team,
See you next year,
See if you can find yourself in our photo dump below
This months coaching dispatches will looks at eddy turns coming from the flow into calmer water.
We want to ensure that we can perform a wide eddy turn to get ourselves across a thick eddy line, to get ourselves safely at the bank and to not block the entrance to the eddy for the next person. Your friends won’t take too kindly to you being in the way at that must make eddy above the portage! In a nut shell I think there are 3 key things to bear in mind.
We must think ahead and plan. Our history of travel or momentum must be towards the eddy (blue line) and not downstream, hence traveling laterally across the river into the eddy (green line). This will prevent bouncing off the eddy line and carrying on down river (red line). The sketch below shows this history of travel.
As we cross the eddy line we need to ensure the boat is not knocked off line by the eddy line whilst keeping the kayak as flat as possible. Edging the boat now will only encourage the boat to turn super fast and spin on the spot and not penetrate into the eddy. There is also a difference between holding the kayak on line and performing a sweep stroke at the end line which again encourages the boat to spin on the eddy line.
As the boat starts to turn upstream, a forward paddle stroke on the inside of the turn will lengthen the turn further and give you support. You can follow this stroke on into a stern squeeze to control the end of the turn.
Good posture throughout is key, as the strength for your forward strokes, balance during the turbulence of the eddy line and your control of the stern squeeze comes from your core. Practice and varied environments is needed for robust skills but these ideas are a pathway to perfect eddy turns.
Our final training weekend before we all fly out to New Zealand was epic. As always it started with (for some) a horrible drive early in the morning, this time to get to the National White Water Course in Nottingham. We were also lucky enough to have Coach Dave back with us again after his enforced absence by work. We rocked up, put our game faces on and got warmed up for out first session of the weekend – a sprint session in our sprint formation. Many of us had been ill in the past month so we were a little concerned that this would have a negative effect on our performance. We needn’t have worried.
One of our favorites: Happy Cat Angry Cat. Only works if you make the noises
Keanu Reeves looks really cool when he does this…we don’t quite pull it off.
Flat Water Warm ups are important too.
The training we have been doing really showed up as we managed to knock a big lump of seconds off our time compared to earlier in the year. The raft looked and felt strong and the ladies flew down the course.
Everyone is so in time.
After the main part of the session was over we had a go at practicing what we would do if we snap a paddle during a run. Last year in Lipno at the R6 Euro Champs we were amazed at one of the men’s team who snapped a paddle but recovered their spare and only missed one stroke!! So we had a go! This sort of thing is really important for a team to practice. If we know what is going to happen we wont panic and we will have a better chance of not letting it damage our race. After a go on the water we had a go on dry land!
See the paddle tied in the back, Just in case…
I think all this training has made the girls go a bit crazy…they don’t even realise they arn’t on the water…Awkward!! – Bry goes for the switch.
We then had a stop for feeding time and then onto Slalom. Dave, Nerys and Bry set us a problem solving session. Problem was it was a tough problem and we took a long time to solve it! Slalom is a discipline that has such an impact. It can be really positive, but it can, if you let it, lead to frustration and negativity. But we are a close knit team and despite some lows we always manage to find the positive and come away feeling good about a session. This session was tough on our brains but we conquered it, solved the problems and nailed the run.
Walking and talking the course. Thinking about the problem we need to solve.
Doing everything we can to make the boat go where we want.
Finishing on a high and a pep talk by Coach Dave.
We ended the day in the most brilliant way we could. We had decided to do a flat water endurance from Nottingham down river to HPP. Except just as we got the raft on the water, the heavens opened. And I mean they OPENED! Along with the rain came a HUGE thunder and lightning storm. This made it so exciting for us racing down the river, but I’m sure poor Coach Dave was having other thoughts as he ran alongside us on the river bank!! I’m sure he doesn’t realise what he signed up to sometimes! But the Raft felt incredible, strong and one big unit. We were all pretty broken at the end. A good sign that we gave it our all.
Proud to represent Great Britain.
We went back for a yummy dinner and chat with Etienne-Olympic-God-Stott about tapering and planning our training week in NZ. Then we all went to bed. Cream Crackered.
It was a bright and early get up the next morning for some more Slalom. This time it was a race course session with 12 gates – 4 upstream gates and 8 downstream gates. We had some good runs and it was a positive session.
Making big moves requires alot of effort – Nezza hanging out the raft!
All eyes on the next gate.
Boofing to keep the nose up so we don’t get full of water and slowed down.
Why can’t Nottingham HPP have an escalator?!!!
Slalom is a real lesson in team work. Each person has a different ‘eye’ on the course so everyone has to come to some agreement of how we want to make a certain move. But the main thing is having full commitment to moving yourself around the poles. This can result in some interesting acrobatics some times!!
Punting off the side/rocks is not illegal. It can give you just the push you need
Getting around a pole means moving around the raft. Also being on the upstream side in a hole means to need to move your bum as well, otherwise EVERYONE gets wet!
Team talks. Having 7 people with 7 different ideas can be tricky, but it is important to listen to everyone and then come up with a plan.
This is why we have to do so much core strength work!!
Driving out of a move with speed.
Bry asked us all to go and get a watch and Nezza came back wit ha matching one to Bry! I think their partnership has now reached a telepathic level!!
Our second and final session of the weekend was Head to Head. And lucky enough for us the lovely GBR Masters Men’s team were on hand! We did 4 H2H races with an upstream pole to go around (to give them a fighting chance ) in the middle of the course. We beat them on 3 of the 4 runs (they did some ‘illegal maneouvering’ on the 4th) and they won the 4th. It was fantastic. Nothing like a bit of a battle to get everyone fired up!
Hill Sprints warm up…not sure how Nezza can smile
H2H Starts with a held start, then it is fastest wins.
It leads to some awesome battles…technically you are meant to be looking for ‘future water’ but often your future water happens to be the other teams boat/paddle/hand…
The one time the Masters got ahead of us…they look pretty angry. Well they were beaten by Women 3 times!!
The breakout round a pole in the middle of the course made it even more exciting!
The boys must have decided the pole wasn’t worth the effort
DONT LET THEM GET AWAY!
It’s alright, we didn’t
And that was it.
We are going to have the biggest contingent ever at this years World’s. The Senior Men and Women (that’s us), the Master’s Team, the Youth team and the Junior Team. It is going to be unbelievably exciting!
The next time we see each other all together will be for The 2013 World Rafting Chapionships in New Zealand. As a team we have never been fitter, stronger or hungrier than we are now to bring you all home some gold. Keep an eye on our Facebook Page GB Womens Raft Team or the Palm Facebook page for updates. WISH US LUCK!!
A MASSIVE thankyou must go to Palm for helping us get to this point. Without their support we wouldn’t look half as good as we do. They really are inspirational when it comes to promoting women in sport. Also thanks to our other sponsors 9Bar, Teva and Bamboo Clothing and Capita.
And another HUGE thankyou must go to our Partners, Husbands, Boyfriends, Children and families for all the support and encouragement. We won’t let you down.