Monday, July 09, 2012

European Championships 2012 – Heats

Claire O setting up for a Mcnasty

Its another hot day in Lienz. My heats are at 3pm so I chill and swim and try to stay relaxed and cool. 3Pm quickly comes and its time to go. Dens there with me as I put together 2 ok runs.

Den helps me stay focused for each run

I get off the water feeling confident (ish) I hope i've done enough to get through to the next round. Its 2 rides both count and the top 10 out of 25 go through to the semi finals. Theres no room for error at this stage as every second counts. The results are in and i've made it through in 2nd place behind current European Champion Marlene Devinze from France. I'm super relieved and happy with this result. Unfortunately my GB team mate Emily Wall wasn't so lucky after struggling with a shoulder injury all week she just misses out of the semi finals as does another top contender Katya Kulkonova from Russia.

Marlene flys high in her heats

Next up its the squirt mens heats. I help the lads plan their runs and watch how they use the venue to gain their points, planning my competition run in my head as they go. I haven't mentioned much about squirt boating yet as up until today I wasn’t sure if there would be an official event and wether I would go. But today I found out not only is there going to be an official mens event there is also enough paddlers to have an official ladies class so I am defiantly in. The competition is going to take place on a 100m stretch, so we can try utilise a number of small eddies for mystery’s as well as the freestyle feature and flow. Everywhere is going to be pretty rocky and shallow so the competition is going to be tough especially for those of us in squirt boats as a lot of paddlers have entered in freestyle boats this year so its going to be quite tough but also a good show. 

Claire O helping Ben with his rides
Todays other events include the Jnr Mens where the GB lads finished in the top 4 places, C1 where Adam takes the top spot and Jack Gunter made it through, OC1 where Paul and Josh finish top 2 and Squirt Mens where all the lads are through with Ben Aldred in first place.

Brandon drops in to compete in his first major international event

All in all a great start to the event for Team GB.

Adam gets huge bonus on all his moves and progress into the semi finals in 1st place