Sunday, August 24, 2014

Ottawa Life

As I watch another beautiful sunset over the boats, river and fields in the distance, I have chance to reflect on an awesome summer and take in the reality that it is almost over. I have now been at the Ottawa training on the river for 5 weeks. In that time I have paddled with so many people and learnt so much it feels like I have been here longer but in some ways I feel like I arrived only yesterday.

Beautiful Ottawa sunsets

The levels this summer have been unusual. We have had a lot of rain so the river has been high meaning Garb (the feature that will host the ICF World Championships in 2015) has not been in much. So most of my training time has been split between Corner Wave, Baby Face and Push Button some of the other awesome and well known waves on the river.

Magical moment on the river

With a focus on worlds I have been trying to focus on developing and improving my newer moves. This has meant an epic number of crashes and wipeouts and lots of flushing as I have been doing a large number of dedicated and focused training sessions. Admist the crashes I have had moments of brilliance nailing some new moves. Enough to keep me going and enough to finally feel that am beginning to lean how to paddle on waves.

Flying high on Garb

'It takes over 10,000 attempts to even begin to master a new move'
Tyler Curtis

Trying to figure out the new moves

'Practice makes permanent. Perfect practice makes perfect.'
The moves I have been working on include airscrews, pistol flips, clean blunts and front and back pan ams. As with every stage and element of kayaking learning them is a long process but one which I very much enjoy. As well as trying new moves I have also surfed a lot of new waves including S-Bend, Upper No Name, Corner Wave and Habitat 67.

Falling Creek Camp kids surfing Habit67

As well as training I have also had the chance to take part in a lot of other awesome adventures. At the beginning of the trip I competed in the Jimi Cup squirt boating gathering and got my first 21 second Smoothie ride. Then I went on a quick trip to Quebec City and Montreal to see Jez and the Falling Creek Camp lads and surf the Habitat 67 wave. Since then its mostly been non stop Ottawa Valley adventures including catching up with loads of friends from around the world, kayaking, squirt boating, supping and speed boat trips up the river blasting up the rapids and jumping of big cliffs, twilight sunrise and sunset boating sessions and river trips, lots of time on the water and off the water adventures with the awesome young boaters and coaching team that are the OKS Keener, movie nights, music festivals, bbq… the list goes on and on.

Magical underwater moments at the Jimi Cup

This 40 foot jump is good to go

Fun times as Pirates at the awesome new Turtles movies

4 wheeling to the river

Look who came to play

Open mic night at the White Water Brewery

Hearing tales from Jez and the FCC crew from the Magpie

Life in the Valley is awesome. I can't believe I only have 1 week left. I'm looking forward to making the most of every minute of it and i'm already looking forward to coming back again for Worlds next summer. But first up more training and then the chance to test it all out at the Canada Cup event next weekend.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Super Technical

Claire O training at Nottingham (photo by Peak UK)

As the sunsets over the valley after another day out on the warm waters of the Ottawa I have finally had a chance to take a break from surfing the epic waves on my doorstep to put together a wrap up video from the last 8 months.

Focusing on my squirt boating and freestyle technical skills. This video is a super technical wrap up of my favourite and most difficult moves.

I have been training hard and with the help of my coach Dennis Newton, my personal trainer Abel Doudnik and a lot of friends to push my level in the sport forwards. I have huge steps forward in my hole boating and in my squirt boating and now here on the Ottawa I am applying that progression and learning into my wave boating too.

The first 1min 30 is squirt boating the next 1min 30 is freestyle. I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed learning and throwing it.