Murau Wildwater Junior and U23 World Championships are now successfully completed. Team GB had a great time at an outstanding competition.
In the Sprint racing we had the exitement of racing through the centre of the picturesque Austrian town. It was a great finale with the Sprint individual events - Calum Gingell put in an extremely strong performance in the sprint finishing in 8th place overall - a massive improvement on his 15th place at the end of the heats the previous day.
Calum's view ” This has been an absolutely fantastic experience. It’s been a good experience. It’s been an opportunity to practice the same river at different levels and has proved interesting during competition as well.”
We had equally tight racing in the Ladies U23 C1, with Rachel Houston only just missing out on a Bronze medal. Rachel did really well, learning from the huge challenge the team had with water levels rising from 25 Cumecs to 145 Cumecs between the Friday and Monday with huge trees being washed down the course (dropping back to around 55-45 Cumecs durning the event as the river gradually returned to normal!)
Rachel said: “It has been a really good week. It’s been a great opportunity to come out and practice the water at so many varying levels. River reading skills were definitely tested in the classic. Enjoyed the fluctuating river levels – it’s like three rivers in one – a bargain. I now know the difference between crocodiles and trees."
We has some oh-so-close moments where a few hundredths of a second really mattered, reinforcing the competitiveness of the racing. In Canoe Singles U23 Ryan Hunt moved up the rankings in both Classic and Sprint. Will Fotheringham in C1 Juniors wasn't able to repeat his outstanding first run in the heats and so narrowly missed out on the finals. Both Jodie Ball and Lois Leaver also narrowly missed out on the finals by the narrowest of margins, and have learned so much from the event.
Ryan said of the event: “ being out at the U23 worlds has given me a fantastic opportunity to paddle on some very big water and with C1 paddlers from other countries. The support from paddlers and coaches all over the world is superb and these competitions provide experience and opportunities that are difficult to rival.
In the team events everyone delivered creditable performances - with lots of room for thought about how to improve for next year. All our Athletes did Team GB proud.
Phil Dean as Team Manager and Mags Dilai did a fantastic job managing the team. We also had a huge amount of parental and coaching support which made a huge difference.
Some views from the Parents, which we all I think share: “It has been a physical and emotional roller coaster as always but lots of determination and resilience from all. What a great team.” ; “It has been fantastic to have new paddlers and parents involved. It has provided an excellent opportunity for paddlers on much higher water levels than usual, that we rarely get back home, and I’m really glad that paddlers have absolutely maximised the opportunity to practice in such conditions.” ; “unless it’s over the phone box at Aberfeldfy we can’t compete with these water levels at home"
Everyone has made new friends and new connections within the Wildwater Community and planning for next year has already started.
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