Sunday, May 16, 2010

Latest News...

This year I am once again competing in both freestyle kayaking and squirt boating having one places on both teams at the British team selections in October.

Whats been happening since the Worlds?

Training from September to February was focused on fitness. I spent alot of time in the gym, at the Village Hotel and Leisure Centre, building up my cardio endurance and all round strength. I also spent alot of time at Leeds Met university swimming in their pool and out and about running around Leeds.

With the snow all across the country and temperatures pretty cold I opted for a few months off the water. This rest allowed my body and mind to unwind after the Worlds.

Since March I have been back out on the water where I have been engaged in the first phase of training for the 2011 World Championships.

Sweet water Coaching

This year I have been amazingly lucky to have the support of Sweetwater Coaching.

Dennis Newton is one of the top freestyle coaches in the World and has been putting
me through my paces. Dennis has put together a structured long term development plan to help me mentally and physical reach my peak in time for the 2011 Worlds.

The Difference that Dennis coaching and approach has made to my freestyle paddling in unbelievable. I am already well on my way to learning some of the harder, higher scoring freestyle moves.

The next 6 weeks

With my freestyle training well underway it is now time to focus some attention back into squirt boating. On Monday volcanic ash allowing I will be travelling out to the USA with Tom ‘Mav’ Bailey and Team GB’s Chris Jones to train once again at the home of squirt boating in West Virginia.

During our 2 weeks stateside we are planning to try and hit all the West Virginia squirt spots; fascination alley, halls of karma, mellow ledge... and attend the 2010 Bubbler Gathering of Friends event.

Following on from West Virginia I will be heading back to the UK to pick up a brand new VW T5 from the VW Van Centre West Yorkshire and then I’ll be driving straight out to Europe. Where I will be competing in freestyle kayak and squirt boat kayak at the World Cup event in Platting, Germany, 3rd – 6th June, and then the European Championships in Lienz, Austria, 16th – 19th June. After the European Championships I will be spending a few days relaxing and paddling on the Soca river in Slovinia before returning back to the UK.

Please keep checking back for all the news over the 6 weeks.

‘To fly on Monday or not to fly on Monday! That is the question!’

‘To fly on Monday or not to fly on Monday! That is the question!’

New 2010 Jackson Star

I have just received delivery of my brand new GB team coloured Linear 2010 Jackson Star.

Over the last few months I have been testing out the 2010 star series. The stars have always been unbelievably well designed freestyle kayaks. Their simple but well thought out designs have been shaped to allow paddlers to learn easily and quickly.

The boats are unique in that they are forgiving, allowing paddlers to develop without constantly being punished for every little mistake, yet explosive, allowing the moves to be performed with dynamic power and character that make them really stand out.

The 2009 star has always been perfect for learning moves as it is exceptionally well balanced from end to end. The 2010 star however is quite different it ‘s shorter design makes it less balanced end to end , cartwheeling is a little harder and requires an adaptive technique, but it is faster on a wave and goes absolutely huge on air moves in holes.

This boat just fly’s!

The 2010 range comes in two different specs. The cross link boat is made of stronger, lighter plastic and comes with the sweet cheek and happy feet system. The linear boat is slightly heavier as it comes with a fixed hull stiffener seat, foam footrests and a foam seat pad.

Thanks to Aaron and square rock for sorting me out with the new boats.

VW Van Centre West Yorkshire sponsor Claire O’Hara in 2010

I still can’t believe that it’s true; the team at VW Van Centre West Yorkshire have just been in touch to say that they will be sponsoring me for the World Cup and European Championships in June 2010.

In 2009 I was very fortunate to receive massive support from the VW Vane Centre West Yorkshire who helped me safely get to the World Freestyle Kayaking Championships in Switzerland by sponsoring me with a fully logo’d and customised VW Transporter.

This year they are once again supporting me providing me once again with brand new fully logo’d and customised VW T5. Thank you so much to everyone at VW Van Centre West Yorkshire.

Thank You

Photos of the van will be updated on the 1st June. :o)
(Stickers and logos by Austhorpe signs, Leeds)