It has been a fun road, traveling around the slalom race circuit and I’m stoked to finish the World Cup season with a sweet weekend!
Last weekend we wrapped up the World Cup Final, which was held on the State de Eaux vives in Pau. This race was the final decider for the overall score of the Canoe slalom World Cup series. Pau held on a good show, attracting lots of spectators to the festival area.
But before Pau we were racing in Seu d’Urgell, on the slalom course build for the ’92 Olympic Games in Barcelona. Seu is a picturesque city with markets going off in the morning, siesta’s at mid-day, tapas in the late arvo and dinner not starting before ten. The city got swamped by kayakers enjoying the Spanish lifestyle!
A heat wave was rolling in bringing the temperatures up to fourty degrees during the day! Thirty minutes down the road of Seu there where some awesome natural pools, where we tried to escape from the heat and enjoy summer!
To me the whitewater course in Seu is different to any other course I have been to so far. The water is shallow, quite flat and it looks fairly easy from the bank. But once on the water I had a lot of trouble keeping my boat dry and I found the course very challenging.
During the week it got much better and I was starting to feel a bit more confident and ready to race. Unfortunately I did not had the best day on the river, making a lot of mistakes and not running the boat smooth and dry. I was ready to move on to Pau, with bigger whitewater!
It was my first time in Pau and I enjoyed the vibes of the city and more so the whitewater course! The water is flowing fast and super nice! This course definitely suited me a lot more! I was stoked to qualify for my second semi-finals this season in 25th place.
The course they set for the semi-finals was a lot harder than qualifiers, but I loved it! There where some sick moves which were challenging but flowing! I had an alright run with a couple mistakes here and there and I almost rolled on the bottom section of the course, losing a couple valuable seconds.
So not the greatest run ever, but I was stoked finishing the last race of my first World Cup Season in the 18th place!
On Saturday after the slalom qualifiers, French top extreme paddler Eric Dequil organised a boater X on the course. With all the slalom spectators still at the course, the bank was lined up with spectators, cameras and phones out, ready to see some carnage or at least a change from what they had seen already.
They made the race more interesting by putting some tight gates in the course, a mandatory eskimo roll and having everybody racing in the same boat. At first I was scrapped off the race, as some of the other chicks who made the slalom semi-finals cancelled out of the race, which made them assume that I wasn’t racing either. I was a little disappointed rocking up in my kayak gear not seeing my name in any of the heats.
Lucky for me there was one no show at the start line and I was able to take up her spot at the very last minute. It was fun racing down the course in plastic boats during the slalom World Cup and I was stoked to take the win, winning one of the kayaks we raced in.
Overlanding to Prague – a 2,100 km trip, there was no better way to start it than with a French barbeque on the coast with these legends.