Today was yet another busy day with lots of racing going on. The water would you believe it went up, lol! It seems to be the in joke of wondering what the level of the river might be ... Mostly high or higher or just huge! Today the river was running at 140 cumics, well that is what I am told.
I wish I could report back and say how my racing went but unfortunately for me my worlds campaign was over early. My 'little' epic yesterday cost me dearly (not just in loosing a paddle).
I woke up and was like a zombie and sat at the breakfast table putting spoon falls of shreddies into my mouth like a robot. I knew I had to get food into me but I was really not bothered by it. I knew I had to make a choice in terms of paddling. I opted to test my nerves and body out on the slightly calmer stretch (just some grade 2). Initially my nerves and confidence were in bits and I soon returned to the bank and once again have myself a talking to. I got out chatted with Carl and then decided I needed to try again. This time my mind was in the right place but unfortunately my body wasn't. As I put the first few strokes in and tried to work my way upstream the whole of my right side hurt. I thought and told myself to ignore it ... But it then just started to make me feel quite sick and I winced at each right hand stroke. I turned my boat eventually and paddled down the current and broke out next to the bank ... I knew at that point the decision had been made for me. My worlds campaign was over. I was and am still gutted. It is not how I saw it ending. However, I knew with the level and commitment needed to paddle on the sprint course was not what my body could do. After staring at the waves for a while I told myself that I needed to look forward and not backwards. Still flipping hard to do that though.
So I headed up to the sprint course to watch the racing. Well that was my intention, I actually lay on the grass in the shade and slept and was woken every so often to let me know when one of the boys raced (I'd then walk over and shout up up up up as loud as I could and then go back for another snooze). At which point I knew the right decision had been made. From the racing I did see, all classes were struggling and getting bashes about in the water. A number of boats took some heavy damage!
There were some notable performance from Team GB, Nicky Cresser reached the final tomorrow (top 15 went through) and the C2 boys got a solid first run in. Their second they decided to go all out but as the water was rising and was punishing the energy ran out for them and they took on which turned them over. Some of the top men, women and canoes all got munched at some point. I have never seen so many people take the safest line and creep down the side of the river or seen so many spin out of boats. Racing was very tough and the water punishing, well I knew that having swum in it the previous day and I am colourful to prove it.
Having lost my appetite I did manage to enjoy some ice cream. In fact I ended up having four ice creams today. It was a hot stuffy day in the mid to high 30s. The day ended with sitting in a gelato bar... Yep in Italy it seems you don't have beer and see a burger place ... They are sophisticated and have ice cream parlours that sell beer with patisseries ...
I was dragged out with some of the boys who have now finished racing for the championships.
Although the championships is over for me, I will take away with me the memory of a good river!!! I'll remember the bruises and my adventurous epic, the injury I'm carrying I hope will ease and allow me to paddle soon ... If not il be back in the UK much sooner than planned :o( but more than anything the hunger I have to race is ever brighter!!!
Thank you to those who have sent me emails and text messages to brighten my day. I did feel and still do feel a bit of a failure in not being able to fulfil my ambitions. However, sometimes things are thrown at you that are unexpected.
More racing tomorrow and I will definitely be more with it in terms of cheering them down. Tomorrow sees the finals for all classes and some team racing.
However, time for more sleep for me!