GB Team Selection Races #1 and #2

This past weekend saw the start of the 2013 GB Team selection series, this year the series is comprised of 4 races with your best 3 results being combined for your overall score. The first two races were this weekend in Nottingham and the next two are in a fortnight on the Lee Valley Olympic venue in London. Off the back of our Olympic medal last year we're pre-selected for the senior team this year but we've decided to use the selection race series as a warm up for the international season.

This year the series is shaping up to showcase some extremely exciting racing with more fast boats in each category than there are places on the team. Its goood to see GB canoe slalom in such a positive place with talent depth across all five categories.

Over this first weekend there was some incredibly tight racing and really high quality performances under pressure in all classes but for brevity I'll stick to the C2 racing here. Check out the GB Canoeing website and online results for more information on the race.

Day one of racing on Saturday saw really good race conditions with very little wind and one of the warmest days of the year so far. The course was pretty fair with some tricky moves. The race format was best run counts and we got off to a decent start with a solid clean run on our first run which saw us leading after first runs. On second runs we went pretty hard at it to try and improve but for every bit we did better the next bit seemed a little worse so in the end our time was nearly the same. Unfortunately we picked up a 2sec penalty for hitting gate 2 so we had to rely on our first run which was happily enough to hold onto a narrow lead and take the first race win. The next crews were all pretty tight together with good runs from all of them but the order was Burgess/Pitt, Quinn/Tatchell and then Davies/Lister.

Race Two on Sunday was a bit of a battle for everyone with very high winds gusting and moving the poles around constantly. The race format was semi-final/final which meant the first run was just a qualifier and the second run would count for overall result. We started the day with a good solid clean run to win the Semi but then we failed to build on this in the Final. Our time in the final would have been enough to win but unfortunately we had collected 4secs of time penalties which pushed us down to 3rd. Burgess/Pitt delivered a solid run to take the win, well done to them :-). They were followed closely by Davies/Lister in second and then Quinn/Tatchell were knocked down to 4th by some costly time penalties.

Overall it was a decent weekend of racing for us with some frustration that we failed to improve our second runs on both days and in particular in the final on Sunday. The frustration was softened by the super tasty prizes provided by our favourite Chocolatiers, Chocolate Utopia of Nottingham, and it'll also give us something to work on for the coming weeks.

Next up we are heading down to Lee Valley tomorrow for some training to get ready for races three and four in a fortnights time. It promises to be another very exciting weekend of racing with all to play for in every class. if you are interested in spectating tickets are available from the GB Canoeing website, check out the link at the bottom.

Just before I sign off I'd like to mention that Tim Brabants has announced his retirement today. He's been a total canoeing legend and has had an incredibly impressive career. Over the years we haven't seen too much of what the flatwater athletes get up to in training since our programs are based out of different venues and have very different travel schedules. When Etienne and I first moved to Nottingham to attend University in 1997 Tim used to train in the same gym as us at the National Water Sports Centre here in Nottingham. We both have vivid memories of being blown away by the gym training he put himself through, he's an absolute beast and became a benchmark for professionalism within our program as well. We'd like to wish him all the best for the future!

Cheers Tim

(Posted on the 15th Apr 2013)
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