We have rounded up the last ICF Slalom World Cup of the 2016 season. It has been another wicked journey chasing the concrete whitewater courses. It was a bit different compared to last year when everything was new and exciting! But I really enjoyed getting to know people better and try to focus more on delivering good training and racing.
The highlight of my slalom season wasn’t me racing, but watching the action at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
There was such a good atmosphere and I had an amazing time in Brazil!. It was a fantastic experience and inspiring seeing my friend ripping it out there and winning medals!
Prague was again our European base for this season. And it always lives up to our expectations ;) The course is rad for training, the city is alive and buzzing and there are amazing people around.
Being still a newbie in slalom, I raced on a couple new courses this year. It’s funny that I have been to most destinations, but usually because of creek races or passing by to head to the mountains for a river trip.
Instead with slalom we usually stop in the cities and bypass the mountains! Our first World Cup was a mix of both. Ivrea is a little town nestled at the base of the Italian Alps. Back in the days the Teva Outdoor Games were held up in the mountains, with this town being the base for gatherings. It was great coming back to this place in a different setting. The slalom course is one of the nicest in Europe as it has a feel of a natural river. I was stoked with my results in the first big race of the season, ending in thirteenth place just outside of the finals.
From there we had a loooooong but stunning drive towards the sunny south. The next World Cups where in Seu d’Urgell and Pau. The course in Seu is not my favorite, but the cities atmosphere and the tranquil lifestyle makes this one of my favorite events! My racing ended short, missing out on the semi-finals by just 0.01 seconds. In Pau I felt fatigue and after a not so successful race I was super ready for a break.
Lucky I did get the break but unfortunately not in the exact way I wanted it. I got a couple different little injuries and together with my Rio trip I couldn’t exercise for abouth six weeks. I didn’t feel super fit for the last World Cups and they felt as a bit of a struggle. In both races I ended up exactly in the same place as my bib number, so I guess I raced to my capacity. Prague was by far the best atmosphere and organization! Loads and loads of people came down to watch and brought an incredible atmosphere with them!
In the week before the race we had the River Side Cross in downtown Prague. This unique format of racing saw sixteen kayakers in town for the World Cup racing head to head in a fast paced event. We started off in our slalom boats from a 3.5 m ramp, racing head to head through a sequence of gates, shooting five bi-athalon targets before racing back to the finish line. Super chill atmosphere and such a nice way to finish the day, hanging around on the edge of the river in the center of Prague.
During each slalom event there was the new slalom-X race held. A boater cross race on a slalom whitewater course, consisting of five to seven gates with no more than two upstream. The race was usually held on Saturday, the day before the Women’s Semi-Finals. I raced in each event and had a lot of fun out there. Stoked to make four finals out of five races and walk away with a couple medals and trophies.
I haven't been much in my creek boat this season other than a very few times. But now it’s finally time to have a little break and soon get back into it in my Palm creeking gear and Dagger Mamba on the Wellerbrucke section in Oetz, Austria. I’m looking forward to catch up with the creek boaters and run some rivers!