Sunday, June 20, 2010

Claire O'Hara wins Silver Medal at the European Championships 2010

What a day!!!
In a close fought final yesterday I won the Silver Medal in the Ladies European Freestyle Kayaking Championships 2010.

Congratulations to my team mates who also competed and won medals in the finals:

James Bebbington Silver (Mens)
James Benns Silver (Junior Mens)

Fiona Jarvie Bronze (Ladies)
Brendon Orton Bronze (Junior Mens)

Stu Parry 4th place (C1)

Sam Anderson 5th place (Mens)

Squirt Boating results...

James Reeves 1st place
Jamie Austen 2nd place
Josh Gosling 3rd place

More details on the event can be found at

I will post a full update on the days events soon

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Awesome day for Team GB in Lienz

Lienz view from castle

Last night the competitiors and organisers gathered at the Lienz castle for the official opening ceremony of the European Freestyle Kayaking Championships 2010.

Team GB Senior and Junior Ladies (Gabby, Rachel, Nicky, Claire, Flea, Jenny and Sally)
The results are in for the first day of competition at the 2010 European Championships here in Lienz;

Paul King Cartwheeling

The OC1s were first to the water and opened the event in style with Team GB's Paul King battling hard to complete his technical run of cartwheels and splits, just missing out on the finals.

International C1 clan
(inl Paul UK, Orky Ireland, Kev Ireland)

Next up were the junior men and the British lads stole the show with some huge scoring rides, finishing Brendon Orton 1st, James Benns 2nd, Rhyss Roberts 4th and James Weight in 12th.

James Benns Huge Space Godzilla

I was up first in the ladies event. A slow start in my first run meant I had a lot to do in my second run. Again I started off pretty slow but I managed to pull it together in the last 25 secs nailing most of my planned run. It was then a waiting game, I sat and watched and cheered on the rest of my team mates and competitors. The results came out and I had finished 2nd putting me through to the semi finals in a great position. Flea Jarvie also did really well finishing 7th place. Unfortunately Jenny Chrimes and Nicola Beeby just missed out on the semi final cut.

Claire O setting up for the next move

Last up it was the C1s turn. Again the GB lads took to the feature in style and dominated the event with some well planned and executed runs. With all 3 making into the semi finals; Stu Parry 2nd, Adam Ramadam 4th and Lee Pyke in 5th.

Adam Ramdan throws down a massive loop

All in all an awesome day on the water for Team GB. Massive thanks have to go to the team coaches Sam Ward and Ross Montandon for their hard work and support all day.

Team GB 2010

Up tomorrow are the Junior Ladies and the Senior Men, fingers crossed that the good luck continues and we have even more British paddlers through to the next round.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

European Championships 2010 Training

With less than a week left before the Europeans training is in full swing out here in Austria. Over the last few week competitors have steadily been arriving in the town of Lienz to train. I arrived on Saturday with team mates Nicky Beeby, Gabby Bates and Adam Ramadan to begin training.

The features is a calm and tranquil looking but feisty and very tricky hole on the River Drove situated just upstream of the centre of town. It is set in a beautiful valley amid an array of snow capped mountains. The river is glacial and freezing cold but the weather is gorgeous and the setting and scenery unreal. We are staying 2 mins drive away from the feature at Camping Falken where we have set up base camp alongside the Irish. The van is proving a fantastic hub for the GB team at the wave and at the campsite providing a focal point for the British team.

We have been on the water three sessions a day for the last week trying to adapt and learn how to make the most of this very testing feature. Most hole moves go but scoring them is proving very hard (difficult to complete moves precisely to the description in the rules).

Yesterday the organisers released the competition running order, with over 170 competitors from 21 countries it looks like it is going to be a pretty impressive event. Official team training starts on Monday. I will be competing in the ladies freestyle heats on Wednesday, with the semi’s on Friday and the finals on Saturday. The squirt boating event will be running on Saturday, the venue is still to be confirmed.

I will keep you updated on all the news over the next week

Platting Freestyle Kayaking World Cup 2010... Cancelled due to rain!!!

Arriving back from the USA on Monday morning I picked up a brand new VW T5 fully logo’d and kitted out from the VW Van Centre West Yorkshire and set off to Europe for the World Cup and European Championships 2010. Loaded up for the full four weeks with a whole array of boating, camping and training kit we drove through night stopping in France to sleep in luxury and comfort in the van.

First stop for us was the World Cup event in Plattling, Germany. This year World Cup Series comprised of two events. Training in America meant that I missed the first event in Augsburg, Germany so we went straight to Plattling to join the mass of international paddlers for the second stage of the series.

Plattling is an awesome play spot situated on a river wide weir that creates a perfect hole at most levels. It has been the venue for a number of international events and in the summer of 2011 it will be host to the World Freestyle Kayaking Championships. Our plan was to compete in the World Cup event and at the same time suss out the venue and feature for the next year World Championship event.

Last week Germany had some of its heaviest rain in recent years. The rain had caused almost all of the rivers to go into flood conditions with some bursting their banks and causing chaos in a number of villages and towns. The rain brought amazing white water kayaking runs and some of Europe’s top play boating waves into play. Kayakers across Germany were loving this rare water opportunity, except for the World’s top 100+ competitive freestyle paddlers who were sat in a cafe in Plattling waiting for the river to drop so they could begin to train!'

We arrived late on Wednesday to a very grey and wet town. The river was high and the feature had turned from a hole to wave. We jumped on for a quick paddle and caught up with the rest of the British team. We found out the water we had just waded out through had, only a few days before, been the campsite and were shown the platform a foot or two underwater where the judges tent was supposed to have been.

It had been raining non-stop since Monday and most of the paddlers, who had travelled from as far away as Japan, Canada and the USA to compete had abandoned their tents and moved into hotels in the town to escape the rain. We paddled for a few hours enjoying the unexpected wave before setting up camp, at the new campsite a crowed muddy field set between the main road and the flood barrier banking, and heading into town for food.
The word was the rain would soon stop and the river would drop so we could begin to train.

We woke up Thursday morning to the sound of rain still banging on the roof of the van. The river was higher now, it was well up in the trees. The wave was no longer there, instead a raging torrent of water passed by us at rocket speed. The event schedule was revised and start dates changed. The event organisers stayed hopefully but as the rain continued the plan to start the competition the next morning became more of an unlikely dream. We all sat waiting watching the rain. Friday morning came and the river was higher still. Eventually at 7pm Friday evening the discission was made. The Plattling World Cup was to be cancelled.

This was disappointing but not that suprising news. We packed up and headed over to Augsberg for a quick paddle, whilst others hit the big flood waves. In Plattling the end of event party and prize giving event crowned Team GB’s James ‘Pringle’ Bebbington (Augsberg event winner) as the World Cup Winner 2010.