Monday, July 09, 2012

Finals Day

It only feels like yesterday that the competition started and now its almost over. Its super strange sitting out and watching the finals from the side. I wish all the competitors well and for the first time in a long time watch the final show.
Its a strange feeling sitting out of the finals
Up first its the squirt men. Its a tight fight between Bartosh (POL) and Thomas (POL) in their play boats and Ben in his squirt boat. They battle hard but Ben puts his skills to the test nailing a sweet mystery move and sequence of tricky wu's and one armed bandits to take the win. His first International medal, he is the new European Champion. Helmut from Germany also makes the final, his first final, in a squirt boat and puts down some impressive runs just missing his mystery finishing in 5th place.

New European Squirt Mens Champion Ben Aldred
The junior women's is next. Nuria Fontane steels the show with a commanding 200 point run. Jen and Kim in their first European Championships throw some impressive runs but just miss out on the medals. They are definitely paddlers to watch out for in the future.

Kim lines up for her 45 sec run
In the junior mens the GB boys dominate. Bren Orton, a force to watch out, once again throws massive, consistent, technical runs taking his first ever Gold, with James Benns not far behind in 2nd and Sam Stephenson going huge to win the Bronze.

Den celebrates with the Junior Mens finalists
In C1 its defending European Champion Lukas Cerbinka (CZE) that takes the win and in the ladies Marlenne Denzines (FRA) continues her outstanding performance with another set of huge space godzillas and loops to take the win. Closely followed by Nina (SVK) and Maria (SWE).

The judges watch over the athletes as they perform
The event finishes with the mens finals and its an impressive battle and showcase of different styles. Defending champion Peter Chonka is badly injured so can't really contend as his normally would finishing in 5th place. This year instead its Spain’s young paddler Quim Fontane who sets the bar and steels the show with the biggest run of the entire event a massive 1,170 point run. Seb and Pring can't quite match it, on the day, finishing 2nd and 3rd respectively, still with some massive runs and James Weight is his first international finals throws big to take 4th place.

James Weight goes huge during his final runs
The event finishes with a great Scnitzel dinner, prize giving celebration and party in the town. All in all a great event and another fantastic set of performances and results for Team GB.

Claire O and Marlene celebrate their wins
Massive thanks has to go to Thomas and the team of judges. organisers and officials who helped put on and run the event. The town of Lienz and everyone at Camping Falken for hosting us. All the supporters, family and friends or coming along and supporting us. But mostly the GB support team who give up their time to help us perform and reach our best at these big events.

2012 GB European Medallists
Team Manager          Dave Newport
Ass Team Manager   Tim Ward
Head Judge                Pete Harper
Judge                         Paul Shepard
Coaches                    Dennis Newton and Sam Ward
Physio                       CatherineWarren
ICF Representative   Terry Best

and the BCU Freestyle Committee and everyone else who helps with the team trainings and events in the UK

Celebrating with my mum
Also a massive special thanks to Den and of course my Mum.