World Championship GOLD!!!

So as you can probably guess by now Worlds for me had a pretty dream ending taking home the Gold Medal in Mens K1!!!

Throughout the event i’d not really paddled at the level i knew i could, my problem i knew i was being too relaxed, not aggressive enough, finals i focused on pumping myself up as hard as i could and getting ready to have the fight of my life.

First ride didn’t go my way but i was feeling more myself for sure. 2nd ride I just gave it everything i had and got 1020 the leading score at that point but definately not unbeatable so 3rd ride i went even harder, i didn’t go as big as my 2nd ride but squeezed in a few extra moves to get 1053 points.

Then i had to watch as 4 great kayakers Gerd, Nick, Stephen and Peter all went and gave it there all trying to beat my score, they all paddled great and Peter who is a deadly competitor and amazing kayaker very nearly got me but finally luck and timing went my way and I took the win!!!

I never felt so good as when the results came out and I could see everyones faces, all my friends, family, Katya and many of the people who helped and supported me over the years all around enjoying the moment and then all the GB team piling on top of me and sinking me and seeing how happy and emotional Terry Best who has been a friend and supporter for years was so so nice. Then seeing Guigui’s face after finally one of his amazing designs the Easymix 2008 got to the top!

The whole experience was one of the best moments in my life!

Standing on the podium it was exactly how it looked when i visualized it

The whole event was such a fun time always something going on, great people, perfect water levels the whole event Robson, the ICF and the judging team did a great job pulling it off!

Big props should also go out to GB’s Claire O’hara who won Gold in Squirt and Womens K1 and Palm’s Bren Orton who took the Bronze in the Junior Mens!

Below are the videos of my final rides and Photo Galleries from the day:-

On off day we had on Friday they had a some additional events like King of the Wave and an SUP race as well as the Teva Big air comp. Katya kills it in this and took the joint win with huge Airloops and Godzilla’s ahead of all the boys tied only to team Germany who did a loop with 3 Kayaks tied together all at once!!!! check the photos:-

The journey I took to this point is pretty unusual. I loved kayaking since i was 12 and loved to freestyle kayak almost as long. After competing for most of my junior years i’d had a few success’s but lost my way a bit about 4 years ago when I got a bit distracted by the party scene, I had a great time then but forgot what it was that i really wanted to do with my life.

I was working as a video Kayaker on the Nile for with NRE working for Davey O’hara with my buddy Anton and I was having a great time there on the river everyday partying every night but at the same time i felt not truly happy.

I was missing something. About 3 month after i moved to Uganda I met Katya and together we at first went harder than ever in the bar but she also was so fired up on Freestyle that I began to find my fire for it again and gradually my focus went off the bar and back onto being in my boat surfing, catching air and throwing tricks at this point i saw how Peter Csonka was training hard and kicking ass and i really admired his focus and determination. It was then I decided I was going to be a World Champion one day.

So we left Uganda started to compete and train hard. Over time we got more and more successful in our competing and this last two years have been amazing with a win at last  years World Cup, 2nd in the Europeans and now the World Champs Gold. It really has been the best couple years.

We train hard and have done lots of work to get to this point and Katya has been the best coach you could have.
She  also introduced me to many new ideas and approaches to life, we eat only raw fruit and vegetables for a start, we hardly drink any more and we meditate daily all these aspects she introduced me too have had a profound effect on my happiness and kayaking. Life is for enjoying and improving yourself, this is what makes it so fun.

My next goals are to keep improving as a person, get my wave kayaking to the same level as my hole kayaking, keep competing on the highest levels, help Katya to get her goals, see more new places and to keep pushing ourselves and our kayaking as far as we can!

Now I have so many people to thank really for getting me to this point: Shep, Sneaky, Terry and the whole Best family, Pete Caterall, Hippy dave, Tim Ward, Jacko, Pete astles, Sam ward and Dennis Newton, Matt Chadder and Dickie. Wigan Canoeing Groups Eric Bradbury, Bob Andrews and Will Potts. Elton, Tim, Simon and Sophie from Reaseheath College.

All the Uganda/ NRE/ KTN crew particularly Davey, Timmy, Jamie, Jane, Will, Fraggle & Ian…

My friends who made this year so good and fun Aniol and Gerd Serrasolses, Martin Koll, Emily Wall, Bartosz, Irish Tom, Mathieu, Sam Ward and Anton Immler & everyone who was at the WW GP event.

Guigui for making the best freestyle Kayaks out there!

EJ, Mathieu Dumoulin, Peter Csonka, Rush Sturges, Pat Camblin and all the Tribe athletes and GB/ Palm’s Cheesy for giving me continued inspiration and ambition.

My Sponsors Mark Burch at Brookbank Canoe Stores, Cheesy and everyone at Palm Equipment for the amazing kit and Arnd and everyone at Teva Shoes. Warrington Sports Council. Thanks to them all for giving me the opportunity to train full time in pursuit of my goals!

The biggest thanks though go to my Mum, Dad & Katya their the ones who shaped my life the way it has and are my biggest supporters!

So happy right now, Do only what you enjoy most!

James Bebbington


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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