I am pretty satisfied how the slalom season panned out as a freshy! :) Earlier this year I made the decision to switch direction and chase the slalom dream, racing most of the international circuit. It has been a fun and challenging road and I’m satisfied with the progress I have made this year.
Although slalom courses aren’t always built in the most exciting and interesting places, it made me travel to new parts of the world, I’ve made new friends around the globe and challenged myself in a totally different aspect of kayaking. I’m blessed I have been able to walk down this road and enjoyed every moment of it!
I started the racing season with no expectation and I’m stoked I was capable of pulling off some good race runs at the right time. As I’m in my slalom debut I’m not really result focus, instead I just want to preform the best I can. But making two semi-finals this year definitely gave me motivation and a feeling of achievement.
The World Championships was the most important race this year. If you ended up within the first 15 nations you secured a ticket for your country for the Olympic Games 2016 in Rio de Janeiro! I knew it was going to be very hard for me as all the top paddlers were there, but I also believed it wasn’t impossible. My focus wasn’t set on making a spot for the Netherlands but pulling of a good solid run and see what happens than.
I got a fifty second penalty in my first run, so it all came down to my second run. The course was pretty straight, which I knew was going to be harder for me to do well on. I was very satisfied with my second run, but an early two seconds penalty in gate nine pushed me away from the semi-finals. With only fourty-nine hundredth3s of seconds short I ended the race in 33rd place.
I was happy with the race and stoked I came so close! It’s funny that I wasn’t guttered any single moment as I pulled of a good run and performed well, but the ‘If I only hadn’t touched’ or ‘only fourty-nine hundredths of seconds’ always goes through your mind … but I guess that is what canoe slalom is all about.
We still have one more shot to try gain an Olympic ticket for Holland, which is at the Europeans next year in Slovakia. It’s going to be touch and go, but it’s a fun challenge and I’m keen to give it another shot next year. Whatever happens I’m keen to follow this road and rocking my unique Palm Equipment slalom gear on the artificial ditches! :)
It’s now time to dust off my creek boat, pack my whitewater gear and head over to Sickline for some real whitewater :) See ya all there!
About the author
About the author
With her father running a kayak school and an older brother and sister already hooked on paddling, Martina had pretty much no choice than to become a kayaker. She grew up in the small seaside village of Schoorl, just to the north of Amsterdam, spending her teenage summers working as a kayak instructor for her father or following the European freestyle circuit.