Rock Island World Cup Round Up – Go Euro’s!

So the first event of the 2012 World Cup has just finished here in the USA.

The feature in Rock Island was very very tough and no one had much time on the water to practice, which meant quite a lot of surprises from the favourites and some unexpected successes for others.

From the beginning this World Cup it was going to be a battle between the Europeans and the North Americans. For this play spot in Rock Island the Jackson group were definitely favourites with this being their home spot.

They were very consistent in practice, you can see that they know this feature better than anyone else even this level is very unusual for them.

For myself it’s only been 3 weeks since I broke my Collarbone so my biggest hope was that I could compete at all, I knew I probably wasn’t likely to be at the top but I did manage to get a few moves and was very happy to make it to Quarter Finals and finish 17th.

Everything was going smoothly for the North Americans until today when things didn’t go to their plan. In the men’s Semi Finals, Nick Troutman just missed the cut for top 5 after winning the previous two rounds. Then European Junior Girls took the first two places in their final with Nuria from Spain winning.

In Women’s the unpredictable nature of the feature claimed Claire O’Hara current World Champion and Ruth Gordon Ebens former World Champion as casualties in the semis so it was only Nina Csonkova left from the European team in the Final. She got 2nd having pretty consistent rides but no one could really compete with Emily Jackson here who had impressive rides every time to take the Win.

Watching the men’s finals was a real pleasure with the Europeans really getting behind Quim and Peter. For quite a while Quim from Spain was leading with a score over 600 but Dane and EJ was going very hard, with Dane finally taking the lead from Quim with 750points. It looked like this result would stick until Peters last ride when he put himself together and really showed his skill and control to get a 900+point ride.

The sudden change in the European crowds mood was lifted to the sky as we almost lost hope of a win here until Peter last ride. Dane was last to go and had looked on fire here, he knew Peters score and must have felt under pressure. He flushed early in his last ride, this feature isn’t quite retainable, the paddle back up takes 20 seconds so he didn’t have time to really recover when he got back in the hole.

This meant of course that here on the Jackson’s home spot the European teams hero of the moment Peter Csonka took the win with Dane 2nd and Quim 3rd. Gold and Bronze goes to Europe, for us it doesn’t really matter who wins this World Cup, it matters where he’s from. I really want the Europeans to continue to show what we’re capable of here. Hopefully I will be in shape for the last event in 2 weeks time.

For now Congratulations to Peter! We all felt like we’d shared a part of this victory, it was very well deserved.

The Pigeon river World Cup starts in two days, probably without any practice but is much more retentive and consistent apparently, it might all be a different story.


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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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