Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Ergometer National contest of the Oslo Kajakk Klub

Last Saturday was held at the Oslo Kajakk Klub (Norway) the competition that starts the season at that country. As it is usual in such northern places, it was an indoor ergometer competition, raced over 200 metres and 1500 for Men, 200 and 1250 for Ladies. Most of the contestants were from the clubs around Oslo fjord, but some others from more distant places such as Stavanger or Kristiansand.

Although the main Norwegian stars were not at the start, some of the promising future paddlers of Norway measured their winter training on the ergometer, as they are Eivind Vold y Karl Anders Sletsjøe, among many others.
Finally, in the 200 m. Senior Men, victory was for Bendik Storm Iversen, from the Strand Kajakk Klub, with a great time of 0:37:44, heading over the locals Eivind Vold (current Junior Marathon European Champion) and Marius Guddahl Halvorsen.

In the 1500 distance, positions changed quite a lot, winnig the OKK representant Lars Hjemdal with a closed "sprint" victory over Karl Anders Sletsjøe. Thrid place was again for Marius Guddahl Halvorsen, the only one going on the podium on both distances.

Here you have a video of the Senior Men 200 metres and the full results:

200m Ungdom Ladies Klubb Time

1 Anna Sletsjøe Strand KK 0:52,28
2 Camilla Rozanski Flekkefjord KK 0:53,02
3 Ragna Belland Farsund KK 0:56,99
4 Lise Mathingsdal Farsund KK 0:59,23
5 Anna Belland Farsund KK 1:01,48
6 Susanne Rosåsen Farsund KK 1:02,64
7 Nida Grønbekk Asker 1:04,08
8 Sanne Langereis Flekkefjord KK 1:04,08

Monday, 30 January 2012

XVII International Regatta Pas de Calais

Yesterday, it took place at the French location of Saint Laurent - Blangy the seventeenth international regatta  Pas de Calais, competed in two legs, one 2000 metres morning trial in order to get qualyfied for the 200 metres finals in the afternoon, on a six lane course.

Competitors arrived from France, Spain, Belgium, Netehrlans, Germany, Great Britain or such far countries like Ucraine, Belarus, Uzbekistan or Senegal, offered a nice spectacle under a cold winter weather.

The races were disputed for all age and sex categories in K1 and C1 boats, with Nelo partnership, which will also held the second regatta in this format next March in Portugal. In the main categories, a world class podium at the Senior Men K1, with French Maxime Beaumont taking gold (picture above), silver for Spanish champion Ekaitz Saies and bronze for the French Cyrille Carré, leaving fourth an outstanding Xabier Ruiz de Aretxabaleta, who made second at the morning trial.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Varsity College Marine Surfski Series: Third race

Last Friday took place at Durban' bay the third race of the Varsity College Marine Surfski Series. This time, double boats were ahead of the individual, winning the race Luke and Adam Nisbet in a splendid time of 33'42", beating Mark Mulder - David Chaplin, seconds, and Brett Challenor - Brett Bartho, thirds. Just after them arrived the first individuals, with victory for U23 star Grant van der Walt, who left second last week's winner, Matthew Bouman. Third position was for the other van der Walt, Brandon.

Here it's the full list:

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Dusi Unlimited: News at 20 days to go

Just 20 days to go for the Dusi Unlimited 2012 and people is everyday more and more keen looking for it. At the Dusi official web there's an interview with the couple many think are the reference to beat: Hank McGregor and Len Jenkins. You can read it at this link.

On the other hand, not everything is good news. Hilary Pitchford winner of the Marathon Classic World Series 2011, broke her left hand yesterday after a fall while training. Bad luck for her and all our best wishes for a quick recovery.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Art at London 2012 Olympic Park

Not everything is training, sweating, weightlifting or making time trials. Canoeing, as every sport, is surrounded by infinite other aspects of life, invloving people of all kind and condition. Apart their individual job or expertise, everybody shares a common colective background as part of the human race, which includes main subjects like Philosophy. History, Literature or Art, among others. This sensibility may emerge wherever, whenever, and make us feel bit of emotion to ingratiate oneself with mankind.

Neville Gabie has taken a picture of the London 2012 Olympic Park workers recreating "Bathers at Asnières" (kayaker included), from Seurat, French pointillist painter from XIX century. Just lovely:

 Foto: Neville Gabie

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Mocke brothers finish in victory their Down Under tour

Last Sunday, as a dessert for Perth's surfski weekend (after Saturday's The Doctor), The Finn Coastal Challenge was held in a two-man discipline, with 26 km. along the coast splitted in two legs, one from Fremantle's Port Beach to City Beach and the second and final finishing at Sorrento Beach.

After Tim Jacobs' victory at The Doctor, there was some revenge aim at the Mocke brothers to beat the Australian couple Robinson /Jacobs, and it was right from the start that it was clear that these two couples were going to fight close for victory. Robinson was determined to keep leading the first leg, leaving no chance to Jasper Mocke of going ahead.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Kasper Bleibach, new world record in 200 m. indoor

This is the video of the world record set this last Sunday by Kasper Bleibach, from the Maribo Kajakklub, at the 200 m. in the ergometer. Congratulations, Kasper!

Monday, 23 January 2012

Varsity College Marine Surfski Series: Race 2

Last Friday took place at Durban Bay the second race of the Varsity College Marine Series 2012. This time, victory was for Matthew Bouman, who left second the winner of race nº 1, Herman Chalupsky, arrived one and a hlaf minute behind, with Mark Mulder in third position overall. The winner stopped the time in 34'36" after the 8 km. course.

Here is a video, too, if race number one, competed on January 13th:

And here is the list with the full standings of race nº 2:

Sunday, 22 January 2012

McGregor wins GT Drak Challenge

Hank McGregor claimed victory this morning for the third time in a row in K1 at the Global Trader Drak Challenge, after a closed win over Len Jenkins, his K2 partner for the Dusi Unlimited 2012. Third position was for the U23 paddler Grant van der Walt after a superb second stage this morning, where he strated fifth and passed over Ant Stott and his brother Brandon to set the best time on Sunday. His brother was fourth and Stott finally arrived sixth after losing a sprint arrival with Greg Louw.

After a first stage on Saturday with a very low level of water, after one week of almost no raining at all, this morning the Umkimzulu River showed a much better view, thanks to the continuous rain since Saturday afternoon and during the whole night.

Already on Saturday's stage, the race seemed to be reserved for two contenders, McGregor and Jenkins, who finished a side-by-side paddle over the 25 km. in 1h39'. The second stage time of this leading couple was beated by Grant van der Walt in one minute, but not enough to catch them and fight for victory.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Tim Jacobs wins The Doctor in Perth

Image: Hanson Media
Tim Jacobs has won today in Perth (AUS) The Doctor, third competition of the Surfski World Series 2012. The australian stopped the time in 1h50'10", with Jasper Mocke 34" behind and Dawid Mocke third at 1'44".

This is Jacobs' second victory in a row at this race, celebrated under very different conditions of those expected between Rottnest Island and Sorrento Beach. The wind named "The Doctor", which gives its name to the competition and makes the 27.5 km. course a perfect downwind, didn't show up this morning. The paddlers had then a really tough day under a heavy sun.

Friday, 20 January 2012

New Román kayak models out for sale today

Romás kayaks factory has today confirmed the rumours spread in the last two months about the development of a new K1 model to battle for the market in 2012. They are two Sprint models, one for the top racing paddlers (Sail IV) and another one adapted to the Masters needs (Romaster). Here is a link to Roman webpage.

I'll try to translate as accurate as possible the technical characteristics:

K1 Sail IV:
1 - Hull's bow has been modified to let the maximum lenght (5.20 m.) being under the water.
2 - Narrower cockpit in the attack zone.
3 - More room for the feet at the steering.
4 - Stern modified to give it a bigger volume than former models
The result to all these changes is a flatter gliding kayak that avoids the stern going underwater when accelerating.

Excellent kayak for marathon and collective races.
1 - Narrower cockpit in the attack zone.
2 - More room for the feet at the steering.
3 - Less curve at the lengthwise of the hull.
4 - Flatter hull under the cockpit, giving more stability for the Master paddler.
The result is a very comfortable and stable kayak without loosing an excellent gliding at high speed.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Activity grows down under

Cold winter up here in Europe, with everybody looking forward to first competitions as a nice way to warm up, and summer activity comes more and more intense in the southern hemisphere. This weekends there are two important dates, in Australia and South Africa, concentrating some of the best disciplines paddlers of both countries.

At Perth (Australia) there is a surfski and SUP competition, The Doctor, with a 27.5 km. downwind paddle that will have some of the current greatest surfski specialists looking for victory: Dawid and Jasper Mocke (winner of the Mandurah Duel last weekend), Tim Jacobs or the olympic champion Clint Robinson.

Meanwhile, at the Umkimzulu River, South Africa, the countdown for the Dusi goes thorugh the Global Trader Drak Challenge. Two stages to complete 63 km., one thousand contestants and some of the most fit downriver paddlers on the A batch, like McGregor, Jenkins, Mbanjwa, Mhlope, Zondi, van der Walt borthers and a long etc. In ladies, fight looks intense between Adie sisters, Abbey Ulansky, Robyn Kime or 2011 winner of the ICF World Series Hilary Pitchford.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Mbanjwa and Zondi victorious at Rietvlei Rumble

Thulani Mbanjwa and Sibonelo Zondi beated the main favourites Hank McGregor and Len Jenkins last Saturday in the Rietvlei Rumble competition, near Pretoria. It was a closed race between these two couples, decided in the last portage after an outstanding run by Mbanjwa and Zondi up the hill.

You can read in English all the information about the race at Team Best 4 Kayak Centre webpage

Monday, 16 January 2012

New South Wales Sprint Championships (Australia)

This last weekend took place in Sydney the NSW (New South Wales) Sprint Championship, first test of the australian season 2012, with a bunch of first line paddlers with their eyes in the olympic team for London Games. With a privileged international competition (the British Paul Wycherley and the Italian Sprint team, with Benassi on the lead), two stars were shining above them all: Alana Nicholls and Murray Stewart.

Inthe ladies competition, Alana Nicholls gave no choice to all their national team partners, winning all K1 distances (1000, 500 and 200). Only Naomi Flood in the 500 and Rachel Lovell and Jo Bridgen-Jones in 200 could come close to her, but with no chance of taking the first step of the podium. She has shown being very fit, but let's see if this shape is coming to her maybe a bit far from the season highlight in London this August.

Río Negro regatta 2012 for Pinta and Mozzicafredo

The 2012 edition of Río Negro regatta is over and the same picture again at the arrival to Viedma. Néstro Pinta and Martín Mozzicafredo celebrate their eleventh victory in a row as a couple, twelveth for each in their own account. The last stage was a "copy-paste" of the six before. Pinta and Mozzicafredo won with a hard attack at the last portage, leaving behind the Scalesi brothers, second, and Percaz - Soto, third, keeping them all that same position in the final overall standings. Bad day for the other couple fighting for the podium, Orellana - di Renzo, who finally got out of the picture just for 49 seconds after more than 14 hours of paddling.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Río Negro: current overall standings

Here are the current overall standings for Río Negro Regatta after 5 stages:

K2 SENIOR VARONES 5th stage Overall
N. Pinta - M. Mozzicafredo 2:15:28 10:20:45
F. Pércaz - M. Soto 2:15:32 10:26:02
S. Scalesi - JM Scalesi 2:15:52 10:26:07
P. Orellana - G. Di Renzo 2:16:38 10:26:32
J. Algañarás - J. Siriscevic 2:16:36 10:43:43
C. Penchulef - J. Penchulef 2:28:55 11:35:03
R. Gajardo - C. Vega 2:32:37 11:53:06
V. Silva  - F. Aguayo 2:36:17 11:58:42
M. Wright  - S.  Jones 2:35:54 12:12:13

Río Negro: 5th stage

Fifth stage and fifth victory in a row for the favourites Pinta - Mozzicafredo, who go straight for their eleventh victory, twelveth for each of them as individuals. Yesterday, with the arrival at General Conesa, after a 34 km. course in a terrible fight for the lead, the couple Percaz - Soto where about to make it, but finally paid the effort with a fall down to the fifth place. Pinta and Mozzicafredo stopped the clock in 2h.15'28", followed by Scalesi - Scalesi, Algañaraz - Sericevic and Orellana - di Renzo.

In the overall standings, Pinta Mozzicafredo are comfortably in the lead, but the fight seems to be tough for the second place, which right now is for Percaz - Soto (5'17" behind), followed very closed by Scalesi - Scalesi (5'22") and Orellana - di Renzo (5'47").

In K1 Senior, Daniel Dal-Bo gave another bite to his disadvantage after the rudder break in the third stage and won the stage after a strong paddle. He becomes closer to his rivals for the title in the overall, which is lead by David Ortega and Jonathan Calvo, second.

Today's stage will bring the paddlers down to Monte Bagual.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Rietvlei Rumble to celebrate this Saturday

Next Saturday, South African top paddlers have a date at Gauteng's Rietvlei Rumble, one of the last qualifyiers for Dusi batches. It's confirmed, as everybody suspected, that McGregor will team up with Len Jenkins to face the Dusi. Some of the best Dusi paddlers will be also at the start line: Dusi winners Andy Birkett and Jason Graham, the impressive U23 Kwanda Mhlope and Lance Kime, the former U23 world champion Brandon van der Walt and his partner Clinton Cook and the rising local paddlers Gavin Shuter and Alex Roberts, among many others.

This particular race is held at Rietvlei Dam, under 30 km., where 10 out of them belong to two tough portages through the surrounding prairies and hills. The other 20 km. will be raced in a flatwater course, divided in three stages of 3, 2 and 1 lap each at the circuit.

Río Negro: 4th stage

Pinta y Mozzicafredo keep leading Río Negro regatta for their eleventh overall win in a row. Yesterday, after a short (it was cutted down to 21 km.) but tough day, deserved a new partial win, while their rivals fight each other for a second position, so first look now rather far away for them.

The main novelty in this shortest course ever at Río Negro were the compulsory portages, which, along with the strong stream, made this stage particularly tough for the paddlers

In K1, Daniel Dal-Bo made a brilliant stage, cutting down 3 minutes to David Ortega and Jonathan Calvo, so in the overall is now 8 minutes behind his rivals. We'll see if the three stages left are space enough for him to go again into the lead or he will pay for the unlucky rudder break of the third stage.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Río Negro: day off

Tuesday was the day off for all the competitors at Río Negro, time to recover from the very long three first stages and preparing the last four heading Viedma.

We already got information about some messy finish for the K2s at the third stage. It was supposed to be completed upstream after turning a buoy, but the string attaching this one was broken by the strong stream and went down out of control. The three couples that came in the leading bunch then had no turn and the officials whistled indicating the end of the race downstream, when Pinta and Mozzicafredo where leading the group. That circumstance ended with a claim from Scalesi brothers, who alleged to be controlling their reserves for a final attack upstream, and a kind of fight (literally) at the bank among supporters of ones and others paddlers.

And Daniel Dal-Bo, who was comfortably leading the K1 until Monday, lost 16 minutes due to a break in his rudder and cable, who made him stop in order to fix it and paddle for the rest of the stage in a difficult situation. Now he will need some extra effort if he wants to take back the lead at the overall, now for David Ortega 11 minutes ahead.

Today Wednesday, the fourth stage will take the paddlers from Beltrán to Choele Choel, with a 35 km. distance.  

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Correction: Scalesi brothers

Since the first post about Río Negro regatta, we were referring the Scalesi brothers as uruguayans, when they actually are argentinians, from Viedma. We beg your pardon for this mistake and will make the correction in all the former references to them.

Río Negro: 3rd stage

The third and longest stage of the Río Negro regatta has come to an end and the favourite K2 couple, Pinta and Mozzicafredo, is still on the lead, closely controlling their rivals and beating them again in a closed sprint. This time, two other K2 were in the fight for the victory, those of Orellana - di Renzo and the Scalesi brothers, second and third at the finish line. In the general classification, Pinta and Mozzicafredo are comfortably in the lead with yesterday's rivals behind but in opposite order (Scalesi - Scalesi and Orellana - di Renzo).

But in K1 there has been an upside down twist after the breakdown of the former leader, Daniel Dal-Bo, who lost 16 minutes at the finish line. In this long stage, victory was for Jonathan Calvo, with new overall leader Diego Ortega closed behind and Emanuel Carnicero third, but with an eight minutes difference. In the overall, Former leader Dal-Bo has dropped down to third position, losing 11 minutes against new leader Ortega.

These are the results for the two main categories, K2 and K1 Men Senior:

K2-S WRIGHT, MICHAEL - JONES, SAMUEL 3,38,06 0,45,43
K1-S CALVO, JONATHAN 3,05,31 0,13,08
K1-S ORTEGA, DIEGO 3,06,10 0,13,47
K1-S CARNICERO, EMANUEL 3,13,58 0,21,35
K1-S MOREL, NORBERTO 3,18,46 0,26,23
K1-S ROMASANTA, ARIEL 3,21,28 0,29,05
K1-S DAL-BO, DANIEL 3,22,07 0,29,44
K1-S PEREZ, JORGE 3,22,47 0,30,24
K1-S VENTANA, MAXIMILIANO 3,25,49 0,33,26
K1-S VEGA , VICTOR HUGO 3,26,48 0,34,25
K1-S ZAMBRANO, HERMES 3,29,43 0,37,20
K1-S FERNANDEZ, MAURICIO 3,31,35 0,39,12
K1-S FEDERICO, NICOLAS 3,32,18 0,39,55
K1-S RIVAS, MAXIMILIANO 3,33,05 0,40,42
K2-S WRIGHT, MICHAEL - JONES, SAMUEL 8,34,30 1,25,45
K1-S ORTEGA, DIEGO 7,48,08 0,39,23
K1-S CALVO, JONATHAN 7,49,11 0,40,26
K1-S DAL-BO, DANIEL 7,59,37 0,50,52
K1-S ROMASANTA, ARIEL 8,04,41 0,55,56
K1-S CARNICERO, EMANUEL 8,06,24 0,57,39
K1-S MOREL, NORBERTO 8,15,34 1,06,49
K1-S VEGA , VICTOR HUGO 8,19,22 1,10,37
K1-S PEREZ, JORGE 8,24,32 1,15,47
K1-S FERNANDEZ, MAURICIO 8,33,07 1,24,22
K1-S VENTANA, MAXIMILIANO 8,34,07 1,25,22
K1-S ZAMBRANO, HERMES 8,35,13 1,26,28
K1-S FEDERICO, NICOLAS 8,48,22 1,39,37
K1-S RIVAS, MAXIMILIANO 8,49,38 1,40,53

Monday, 9 January 2012

German legend Birgit Fischer could come back for London 2012

As published today by ICF, legendary paddler Birgit Fischer is thinking about qualifying for the Olympics just one month away of turning 50.

8 Gold medals and 28 World championships record could become even greater with her seventh Olympic Games, which would set a new German record

You can read the full piece of news at ICF webpage

Mark Proctor's video from Lee Valley olympic course

British Olympic Team member Mark Proctor has broght through his webpage a video from last week's trainings on Lee Valley White Water olympic course. At 200 days from the Games, it looks that it will be spectacular:

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Río Negro: Stage 2

Sunday and second stage of Río Negro was completed between Neuquén and general Roca, 58 km. long. As it was in the frist stage, voctory came again for Néstor Pinta and Martín Mozzicafredo, who beated at sprint the uruguayan brothers Scalesi, this time in second position. A minute and a half behind, two other couples arrived to a closed finish, being third Pacual Orellana and Guillermo di Renzo, who relegated Fernando Percaz and Maximiliano Soto to fourth position.

In K1, Daniel Dal-Bo keeps leading the race, but with a closer Diego Ortega behind him. Almost two minutes behind arrived Jonatahn Calvo, third, and Ariel Romasanta, fourth.

So far, the general results are...

Río Negro: 1st stage

First stage for the Río Negro regatta is over, from Senillosa to Neuquén, and the main favourites, Nestor Pinta and Martín Mozzicafredo, have already set their first stone for a new victory by leading the race with a 2h.06'18" paddle (for 48 km., which talks about the stream strength), but not easily, just 4 secondas ahead of their main rivals, current K1 champion Fernando Percaz and his partner Maximiliano Soto. Third K2 at the finish line was the one from local paddlers Pascual Orellana and Guillermo di Renzo, 2'39" behind the leading group.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Varsity College Marine Surfski Series to start January 13th.

The southafrican summer is right now in frenzy activity, most of all the year after year raising surfski passion. One of the upcoming events are the Varsity College Marine Surfski Series, 10 surfski races to be at Durban bay almost every Friday evening from January to March. Under Hansa sponsorship and having the Lifesavers Club a new building since 2010, the competition has grown quickly and this years' entries are supposed to stablish a new record.

There are two distance courses: 4 km. for younger categories (the last of the series are going to be SA School Surfski Champs) and 8 km. for the main categories, were first line paddlers like...

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Río Negro regatta (II)

Only two days left por the start of the Río Negro regatta in Argentina and the entries are finally closed, as it is the wallpaper (by these lines). Tomorrow Friday 6th, boats measures and weights will be checked and the teams meeting at Neuquén will end the countdown to this 2012 edition.

Final entries consist of 188 paddlers on 112 boats. The main favourites, Néstor Pinta and martín Mozzicafredo, will have their rivals in K2s like those from Great Britain (Wright and Jones), the urugayans Scalesi brothers or current K1 champion Fernando Percaz and his partner Maximiliano Soto, without forgetting some...

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Flash news: Federico Vega not at start list for Río Negro

We just got confirmation that Federico "Kiko" Vega had finally cancelled his trip to Argentina and he won't be next Saturday on the race for starting 2012 leading the ICF World Classic Marathon Series. Let's see who's taking the 100 points for the K1 winner of this race and is on the lead at least until second World Series race in mid February, the Dusi Unlimited.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Río Negro starts on Saturday 7th

Next Saturday starts in Argentina the 2012 regatta of Río Negro, one of the most mythical races in the international calendar. With seven days of competition btetween Senillosa (Neuquén) y Viedma, its lenght and toughness have made it a place to stay among the big challenges for every long distance paddler.

The race will start next Satruday January 7th with a first stage of 48 km. from Senillosa to Neuquén. From that point, another six days (only Tuesday 10th as a rest) will make the whole way down to Viedma, with a total distance of 307 km.

This year, the organization has planned also compulsory portages, which will make the competition much more attractive and closed to the spectators, but even tougher for the paddlers.