Women’s Prelims & Men’s Quarters – Upsets & Glory!

Palm’s Katya going huge to take her semi finals place!

Yesterday was a long day of competition we had the Women’s Prelims & Mens Quarters. The standard was fierce, the battle was on and inevitably it was the first day that we suffered some unexpected casualties from the main contenders in both classes…

Women’s Prelims – Cut to 10

For the women’s Palm’s Katya Kulkova & Anne Hubner both made the cut. Katya faltered a little bit at the start of her ride but then pit her self together beautifully to comfortably take her place in the next round, I feel she’s right on the verge of being able to take a medal this time if she shows anywhere near what I know she can do.




The biggest star though of the women’s was GB’s current World Champion Claire O’hara, she placed first and her 2nd ride of 800+ was spectacular and I think her best competition ride ever so she’s definitely a hot favourite for the win here if she can keep it up.

Also making it was Ruth Gordon Ebens in 2nd, Japanese girl Hitomi, SVK’s Nina Csonkova, Adrienne from the USA, Elaine Campbbell from the USA, NZ’s Courtney Kerin and finally Islay Crosbie from GB (not in the correct order see results below).


But the first unexpected casualty was Marlene Devillez from France, the double European champion, she’d had some great practice rides but competition is a fickle beast and sometimes no matter how good you are or how hard you try things just don’t go your way.














Mens Quarters – Cut to 10

The men’s quarters was insane, some of the best freestyle paddling ever seen in competition.




Dane Jackson went huge and Clean to get 3106, Mathieu Dumoulin with his beautiful linked sequences really stole the show to get 2616 and Peter Csonka powered his way to a huge score of 2369! Needless to say they all killed it and finished top 3 😉





Palm & GB’s Bren Orton & Alan Ward also made the cut, performing what they needed to under intense competition. Please cheer them on and give them all the support you can in the next round. They’re both capable of making finals but with this standard of competition it’s going to be tough even at your best.




I do promise to get some better photos of them today though since i’m not competing now 😉

My friend and recent Dagger paddler Tomasz Czaplicki from Poland easily made it, he’s a paddler who has been so good for years and somehow always misses out in the big events. With the Jitsu though it looks like he’s in his element and going for glory!


For myself it just wasn’t to be this time, I’d been getting rides over 1700 in practice and almost every time over 1000, I didn’t feel nervous or pressure, I’m the strongest and fittest I’ve ever been, my skills are by far the best they’ve ever been, I have the best boat and the best kit available but for some reason I didn’t show anywhere near my best this event. I came 11th just missing the semi’s by 13 points… I’m not really upset at all, I know what to do to make myself unbeatable again and this just makes me more determined.

Full Mens Results: http://www.noc.com/scoreboard/pdfs/OFFICIAL%20QUARTERS%20K-1%20Men%20Results.pdf

I have had some great help from Dennis Newton my coach who has really pushed my kayaking to a new level this year, and with such great sponsors as Palm, Dagger & Teva supporting me I’m using the best of the best in all areas of equipment. I’m enjoying myself kayaking and competing more than ever, even this event I really enjoyed. I just feel like this event was to teach me how to lose properly and now it’s my chance to take my skills to a new level and be the best I can be.


Anyhow follow the semi’s live tonight! Please cheer on anyone who looks to be flying as they deserve your support, the GB paddlers & my lovely wife Katya!

Yesterdays Recap Video:

Big thanks to my sponsors for supporting me and to Dennis my coach! Sorry it didn’t work out this time 😉



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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