Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Worlds photos

I finally got a few of the photos taken of the worlds so thought I would post a few up.
All photos thanks to Adrian Durrant

Sunday, 27 September 2009

First week back paddling

This was my first week back paddling after the worlds. I gave it a week or 2 to recover from the various minor pains etc after 2 weeks of solid paddling! Even my elbow injury seems mostly recovered though I still have to wear a bandage.

I spent 3 days canoe camping around Strangford lough in the North. The weather was perfect for it with plenty of sunshine, clear skies and little rain. The only problem was the strong enough tides in the area I was paddling in! Strangford was rich with wildlife, there was seals and various seabirds everywhere though spotting a black swan was a very wierd experience. I would love to know how that ended up there.
I then moved up to the North coast for a day of surfing at whiterocks in my C1 playboat. The surf was pretty clean for most of the day with waves between 4 and 8ft depending on what part of the beach you surfed on. The only problem was occasionally the waves dumped resulting in some very long and deep wipeouts, the C1 does not have the speed to power through waves meaning I got hit much more than usual. I wish I had brought one of the squirt boats with me, it has been a long time since I surfed in one and it is nice having the ability to duck-dive and carve almost as well as the surfers.

Today I went down for the session planned on the sluice, it was planned as a freestyle development day with free coaching and was great craic with instruction happening and music at the feature. Having 3 C1 paddlers there for a change was also nice.
Now all that remains is getting the new squirt boat out somewhere decent and getting some downtime!

Sunday, 6 September 2009

End of the worlds

The freestyle worlds is unfortunately over :-(
All the medal ceremonies etc happened today along with all the finals for the various events. It is amazing how quickly everything just shuts up and ends. The boat store which had held hundreds of boats is now entirely empty and all the stalls were gone a matter of hours after close of play. It is very strange after 2 weeks of solid boating and competitions for it all to be over. The rafting high ender competition was good fun with team Ireland coming 4th. Unfortunately I missed the big air ramp due to having a stomach bug but saw the footage of the Irish guys throwing huge moves.

We did try to check out a seam that was rumoured to be within reach of thun as the competition squirt venue was not offering decent downtime. 4 of us went out to look at what seemed to be an amazing seam. It did turn out to be pretty decent offering up head under mysteries even for those of us using paddles but was too much hassle due to a complete lack of an eddy to be much fun. Looks like I will have to wait till I am home for some decent downtime. Its a pity as I quite enjoy confluence seams (my home spot is a confluence). The guys decided to name the spot wishful thinking as it is so close to being a good spot but just not quite good enough!

Anyway I should really start packing. We fly home in the morning unfortunately, I really don't want to go as the worlds has been a great experience and Switzerland itself is an amazing country. On the other hand some stress free boating with no competitions involved is certainly in order. Lets hope I get plenty in during the next few weeks.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

worlds results

I am now finished competing in the worlds. I had a pretty poor go in the C1 event, however considering how difficult I was finding the wave and how much trouble I was having catching it I am happy enough with my performance.

In the squirt event I managed to make the semi finals, the only Irish competitor to do so! Overall I finished 9th. The finals are tomorrow so the top 5 places are yet to be decided.
Now all the less serious events get to be tried like the big air ramp and the rafting high ender etc. It is good being finished with the competing finally. It has been a tough few days running up to 4 training sessions a day and will be nice now to go kayaking without the stress of worrying how I am doing.
Anyway now I am free to celebrate! Having spent the last few nights going to bed early and watching what I am doing it will be nice to go out and have some fun and enjoy the rest of my paddling time in Switzerland.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Competing at last!

I just got off the water after a small night session. The queue is still ridiculous with 30 minute waits between goes on the wave. This is pretty crap for me as in the C1 I spend little time on the wave, I dont have the power to muscle my way onto the wave or to stay on it if I start flushing.

Today was the Senior men's K1 prelims with some pretty good rides from the Irish guys and some very loud supporting!

Unfortunately now I am quite tired, I had 4 sessions on the water yesterday 2 of which were C1 and 2 in squirt. This culminated in a midnight squirtboating session on the main wave which was great fun. Squirt boats did really well on the crappy green wave, its probably one of the most fun days of paddling I have had.

Anyway I am being sensible tonight and heading to bed early. I have a 10:25 heat tomorrow for the C1 event which is great as I can get it out of the way early with little faffing about. I compete in the squirt event on thursday at some stage.

Well done to our K1 lads for some great paddling in a very tough event today!