Monday, November 18, 2013

Hurley Classic 2013 - Quick Wrap Up

Theres something about Hurley (photo by AEphotos)

After a crazy few months at work. Its finally time for me to head back on the road and start kayaking full time again.

The action kicked off this weekend with the SAS Hurley Classic. Held on the River Thames the Hurley Classic saw paddlers gather together from all over the World to compete in the fun freestyle and whitewater weekend.

Super Final Action

Saturday started with the GB team selections on the hole gate. Then the 8 ball boater cross took place with 4 paddlers at a time flying down the super step launch ramp and round a course of bouys whilst being blocked and battled by '8 ballers'. After the boater cross finals it was back to the wave this time for a fun floodlit super final. The day finished off with the TVFreestylers awards and a big banquet by the side of the river. Nouria Neuman dominated the womens class, Brandon Hepburn stood out in the mens in his first event as a senior with Alan Ward showing us how it was done both in the boater cross and on the wave. I had a fun day entering the freestyle in C1 and K1 and was stoaked to be awarded the 'International Paddler of the Year" award.

Mixing it up with a bit of C1

Sunday kicked off early and it was Hurley Classic time. Heat after heat paddlers battled away on the wave and hole in a big Jam style format, throwing down heaps of move. After 140 paddlers had taken part in over 8 hours of freestyle it was time for the finals. Again under floodlights the finals were awesome with paddlers and spectators filling the bridge and bring the night alive. This years Hurley classic had so many top paddlers from all around it was insane. It was almost like a World Championship finals with the standard and number of International paddlers around. I was the only Brit in the finals and after one of my best ever wave comp rides was very happy to win my first Hurley Classic and first ever freestyle wave competition. In the mens it was crazily close with the lead constantly switching through each round. In the end it was Stephen Wright who took the Classic title home for the first time to the USA.

Stephen flying high and clean on Saturday night

An awesome weekend of fun for all involved. Massive thank you to Jacko and the entire team who pulled together and made it a such a successful and fun event.

Everyone gathers to watch from the bridge
(photo by SAS Hurley Classic)

As I sit in the airport departure lounge with Den about to board a plane to Uganda to train on the White Nile we are already putting together run plans and ideas for next years Hurley Classic. Jacko's already announced it will be a big one, as will be its 25th!!! year.

Womens Classic Finalists

Full results, more pictures and videos from all the classes and events can be found on and the SAS Hurley Classic facebook page.