The Hurley Classic is an international event at Hurley weir on the river Thames in the UK. It is one of my favourite competitions that I have been to and if you’ve not been I definitely think you should try it out. It is not just a freestyle event, even if you’re a beginner it is good to go to. There are lots of fun things there as well as the freestyle competition including SUP, Boater X, Ergo and the rolling competition.
Saturday morning was the ‘Paddle with the Stars’ for under eighteens. It is really cool as you get to meet some of the best kayakers in the world and get to paddle with them. I was in Quim Fontane Maso’s group – can’t get better than the current World Champion! You also have a chance to do rafting and paddleboarding, plenty of advice on boat fitting and care of your body, including protecting your ears, and kit.
Saturday was the team freestyle. Team freestyle is where three paddlers do tricks but they all have to be on the wave at the same time for the tricks to score and trust me it is easier said than done. My team were all cadets – we didn’t care that we were the youngest and the smallest – we were all really excited to be competing together even though it was snowing.
Sunday was the main Hurley Classic competition. It was a jam session (where a group of people all queue up and take it in turns to go in the feature). I was in heat seven with Harry Price. In the wave I managed to score a couple of tricks but I think I could have done better. The cold made the competition ten times harder. My Palm kit keeps the water out but doesn’t stop the freezing cold water on your face.
I am super happy to have come first in the cadet category (fourteen and under) and scored 83 points despite the freezing weather. I very much recommend going to the Hurley Classic as it is one of my favourite competitions I have ever competed in.