Sunday, June 26, 2011

Double Gold ... I can't believe I just won two World Championships

What an incredible event.

Yesterday I competed in two World Championships freestyle kayaking and squirt boating and I won gold in both. Even as I write this I still can't believe it I won two Gold medals!!!! After many years of hard training I am the World Champion in ladies squirt boating for the second time and the World Champion in ladies freestyle kayaking.

Not only this my team mate James Pringle Bebbington is the World Champion in the men’s freestyle kayaking event. Oh my god this is unreal!!!

I have just been on the most amazing journey. I set myself the challenge of training hard to be the best that I can be in freestyle kayaking. This challenge saw me start competitive freestyle in 2001 and brought me into squirt boat kayaking in 2006. In 2007 I won the silver medal in squirt boating at the World Championship which further fuelled my desire to be better and keep training. In 2009 I won the World Championships in squirt boating in Thun an incredible feat. I had trained to be able to complete almost all of the moves, smoothly and almost effortlessly and showcased it at the event. This gave me some excitement and satisfaction but also trigged a will to do the same in freestyle.

I kept training in squirt boating working on the hardest and most complex moves making slow but rewarding progress through hours of training, whilst at the same time working with my coach Dennis Newton to master the complex art of freestyle. In 2010 I felt amazing as this hard work again started to pay off. I began to be able to perform moves I had thought impossible only a few years before. I was getting stronger and fitter on and off the water and loved the excitement of achieving each training goal and finally being able to throw a whole variety of moves. I had heard and seen the American and Canadian girls Emily Jackson and Ruth Gordan pushing the boundaries and was loving being part of the British developments alongside my team mate Emily Wall.

In 2010 at the European Championships I put my new found freestyle skills to the test and won the silver medal. Super stoaked I was fuelled with more excitement and energy to train and push some of the bigger moves. In October things really came together when preparing for the British Championships I realised that for the first time ever in the freestyle class I had too many moves to choose from and was actually in the position where I would have to plan and work out a run and leave some moves out of my routine. In training I was pulling off 800 point rides containing some of the most complex and difficult moves. The event came and I had chance to put this to the test under competition pressure. I didn't score everything and I didn't win but it was the most amazing feeling being able to try all these exciting moves. Again I was fired up and ready to train more. I had a dream that I would compete in the World Championship finals and that I would be able to challenge the best paddlers in the World with some of these move complex moves in a ride.

Yesterday I had this opportunity. Yesterday the dream came true. I made the finals in both events and in a flurry of flips and turns. I won two Worlds!!!

And now 24hrs on I feel more fired up to get out there and learn than ever before. I still know in both freestyle and squirt there are moves I still can't do. There are moves I could perform bigger, smoother and more consistently, with more practice.

I guess this is one of the great things about our sport, about freestyle. There is always more out there, more challenges, more fun, more moves. I love this sport and I am so happy that I am on this journey. I am enjoying every minute and look forward to enjoying loads more...

Thank you to everyone who has shared this journey with me.

Thank you the organisers and everyone involved in the 2011 ICF World Freestyle Kayaking Championships it was an absolute incredible event.

And well done to all the competitors and medal winners.

Loads of photos, videos and reports can be found on