European Championships – Lienz, Austria

The European Championships in Lienz, Austria are just over now. The hole was good, albeit tough & flushy which made for some good fighting in the competition. For me the competition went almost perfectly.

Fresh from the World Cup win I was feeling very strong going into Lienz. I finished 1st in Prelims, Quarters & Semi’s with Mathieu Dumoulin always just behind me so I was preparing for a fight in the finals between me and him.

However in the final the water dropped making the hole more sticky. This put Peter Csonka into the running now he could stay in the hole better than at the higher flushier level.

After the 1st round of the final I was in 1st with an ok run but knew I needed better. 2nd runs came & Peter Csonka had a great run getting 986 points which left me with two rides in which to beat that score, my 1st attempt I got 875 just missing one of my Phonic’s & had a sweet backloop but just out of time and my last attempt I was going well but didn’t get my last few moves getting 850. Leaving Peter the champion with me in 2nd place losing by 109 points difference and then Mathieu Dumoulin 3rd.

I was pleased to get 2nd but still I was disappointed I didn’t get the runs I wanted in the final. I’m looking forward to the Worlds in Plattling, I think its going to be some very good fighting for 1st place with such good competitors in Europe going into the battle in some very good carbon kayaks 😉

For the women’s there was also a very strong fight for the top position. Marlene from France with her Guigui kayak was looking pretty good in her practice rides getting big Loops & space godzillas however in the first few rounds she was doing well but was getting to stressed by the competition.

When the finals came around though Marlene seemed to have got over this and pulled out a big first run of 303 points with entry move linked to air loop. So the rest of the girls were trying to beat this score but no-one managed.

Katya had been getting rides with Airloop, Cartwheel & Splitwheel quite consistently in practice, She seems to get better & better with every competition experience she has and this time was very consistently getting at least big loops in every ride but still not quite showing what she can really do. However she made the final and was pretty happy to get 5th place in her first European Championships.

The organisers put on a great event with slick timing throughout. They even put on the best opening ceremony I’ve ever been to in the Castle near by that had free food & a free bar for all competitors.

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Pringle & Katya

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About James Bebbington

2011 ICF World Freestyle Kayak Champion & 2011 ICF World Cup Freestyle Kayak Champion Passionate about Kayaking, Travel, Nature, Dreams, Raw Food & the Beauty of Life. Don't give up on your dreams, listen to your heart!
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