We weren’t going to Natural games due to the long 1600km drive in fact we’d just arrived in Wildalpen in Austria close to Slovakia. We checked our emails and Mathieu Dumoulin had sent us a message saying that Guillaume the guy who makes the Guigui-Prod kayaks offered to pay our fuel to come to Millau. We had no excuses not to go now so over the next 3 days we drove through Italy to the coast all the way to Millau.
As soon as we left Austria our 2 months of rain finally stopped and the sun got brighter and hotter. The journey there was so good, we stopped off to swim in two different seas and ate some great seafood. We really enjoyed seeing how the landscape changed along the way, starting in the Mountains all the way to the sea and then through to the Tarn region in France to some more Mountains it was really spectacular to see.
The Natural Games is a huge international multi-sport festival held over 4 days featuring MTB, Kayak, Paragliding and Climbing with big Concerts every night from popular artists drawing in over 25,000 visitors. There was some really cool sports on show, with huge crashes and tricks on the Mountain Bikes events, some sick acrobatics from the Paragliders and some super impressive technical climbing on show.
The freestyle kayak event had over 45 entrants in the men’s and the standard was high, with some sick paddling from Gerd, both Mathieu’s, Casper and a few other french & spanish guys who I don’t know the names. They’re using different rules here so it was a little confusing to work out how you were doing until you saw the scoresheet and in quarters even then it was a suprise 😉 My rides went well enough on the first day anyhow winning the Prelims & Quarters and got 4th in the Semi’s. Finals came on the Sunday and I was looking forward to a tough competition with Gerd, Mathieu Dumouiln, Mathieu Coldobella and one other French Kayaker all competing in the final. I Had a good first ride of 1200 which gave me the first and then I bettered it on my second ride with a 1300 point ride. The end result was me 1st, Mathieu Coldobella 2nd, Mathieu Dumoulin 3rd & right behind him with 50 points difference was Gerd Serrasolses in 4th place.
We stayed in Millau for one more day with Mathieu Dumoulin who took us to a fun, chilled out after party with Natural Games volunteers. Thank you to Guiaumme for getting us to come to such a great event and thanks to Mathieu Dumoulin for looking after us so well in Millau and giving us such a good time here.
After an awesome two month roadtrip we’re on the way to the west coast of France for a one week beach holiday without kayaking & competing before Katya fly’s home to Russia and I go back to work for a few months in the UK! :-s
Pringle & Katya