7th at World Cup 1

The Finals day in Pau was a truly historic one for the sport of canoe slalom with two athletes on the podium in two different categories for the first time at a World Cup competition. Our team mate David Florence won Bronze in C2 with Rich Hounslow and also Bronze on his own in C1. Fabien Lefevre took the silver medal in C2 with his partner and also bagged a bronze medal in MK1. Another unusual sight was seeing two mens kayaks on the third step of the podium since Fabien had exactly the same total as Dejan Kralj from Slovenia. A BIG well done to Dave, Fabien and all the other medallists, check the official website below for full results.

We didn't have our best day of racing. The finals course was quite a bit trickier than qualification and our lack of training on time on the course definitely hampered our preparation. Being off relatively early in the Semi it was hard to decide how to do a couple of moves with only limited information so we went for a pretty safe option. We executed our plan pretty well and with one touch were happy to make it through to the final in 7th. Our finals run was a bit of a misfire. With more information we were committed to a more aggressive plan but struggled right from the start. We kept getting caught in swirly water and collected 3 touches along the way to finish a slightly disappointing 7th.

Overall the race in Pau was very impressive with roasting hot weather and lots of spectators filling what is an incredible venue. It's difficult to know what to say about the water there. It's very exciting to watch and paddle on but it's inconsistency makes it seem too much of an uneven playing field for the competitors. Watching the other finals it was frustrating to see paddlers on really good runs fall foul of the changing water conditions. Campbell Walsh in particular was on a flying finals run until he got really bad water in the last upstream gate and he was by no means the only one.

We're in Bratislava now, the river Danube is very very high and it looks like the race might be in jeopardy, more news on that soon hopefully.

Cheers Tim

(Posted on the 29th Jun 2009)
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