The last two days have been quite hard work. The water has got higher and higher and yesterday we raced the long distance race 'the classic' at 120 cumics (which is a fair chunk of water).
My race was in the morning and thankfully the bit I was nervous about (the sprint course) went well. Within the first few strokes of the start you were into meaty water and pretty much it didn't stop for the next 5 to 6 minutes, at which point the water got calmer. All categories from men, women, and canoe classes had a challenge to get down the river and ae of the top names struggled.
For me, I ended up coming 21st. I certainly wanted to come higher up the field but as the water rose so did the style of the race and who it suited. Te race was own and lost on the bottom half the course. Although I put everything in I did spin out on one of the rapids which lost time. There are lots of positives to take from the race so I need to focus on those. Some good results from Team GB with the C2 getting within a minute of the winners and the men placed well with Nicky Cresser coming in at 18th.
Some might ask what does it feel like to finish a challenging course, or race at a world championships, well I think this might sum it up!
For so much hard work, emotion flying around, you finial and then it's over and you think what just happened! Bits of te race are a blurr and it almost feels like an anti climax!
So after all racing was over the team went out for a meal with their hosts. I don't think any of us were expecting a 6 course meal at the top of a mountain. After many filled themselves up on the second course of pasta and spaghetti carbonara. When the ribs, sausage and roast potatoes came out we all looked at each other!!!
The ride down from the mountain retreat was more eventful for some than others. I took the sedate switchbacks in the mini bus where those that joined our host in his defender went off roading! I can confirm te defender lives up to its name in off roading as a few of them looked a little shell shocked when they reached the accommodation and perhaps a little nautious!
So that well brings me to today ... Hmm and what a wake up call I had!
It all started as normal, wake up, have breakfast, get in paddling kit, go to river, get on and paddle ... And then ... Boooom!
Unfortunately my paddle broke :o) and after trying to roll on both sides and wondering why it didn't work, then reverting to a hand roll... I ended up exiting my boat. Something I hve not had to do since 2006. It was a nasty, long long swim and something I would not wish on anyone (specially as it was a long continuous grade 4) and one that did freak me out a bit, as I engulfed a fair bit of water. Thankfully I didn't loose my boat and have a story to tell, I'm a little black and blue and have a rater sore head. So today for me was a bit of a blurr and spent sleeping. Whether I paddle or not tomorrow that is the question ... One I shall have to answer in the morning. Paddling and competing at this level is never easy and sometimes you never know what will be thrown at you to deal with.
Before I sign off, a congratulations to the men's team for getting a 7th place in the team event, also to our masters who raced today also!
Now for me it is back to the land of nod .. But il leave you with a colourful picture of my thigh.
Well you have to laugh, purple legs is a new trend isn't it?