Tuesday 17 July 2012

Spanish National Team wins the International K4 Regatta at Valladolid and Sanabria (Spain)

The Spanish K4 composed by Emilio Merchán, Jorge Alonso, Walter Bouzán y Álvaro F. Fiuza claimed victory at the two international races held this last weekend at Valladolid and Sanabria Lake (Spain), with the concurrence of other 5 boats from the National teams of Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, Portugal and Great Britain and about 30 of different clubs from all Spain.

Photo: Federación de Piragüismo de Castilla y León
On Saturday, under a perfect canoeing weather, from the start it was clear that Spain and the Czech Republic were the two dominant teams, with many world medals in their boats. Germany and Portugal were behind fighting for a good place on the wash while Great Britain and Poland were losing a few meters, enough not to be able to keep the pace of the strong leaders.

That was mainly the situation for the first lap and a half of the two laps of the race, paddled over 5,000 metres. But going up the river to the finish line, it happened that at the corner the course had at half distance, the two first K4 faced other two boats going down. A few very tense seconds after, they managed not to crash with the Czechs and the Spaniards going each on a different side. That was seized by the Spanish team to turn a bit right and try to let the Czechs out of the wash, making them push hard to recover the gap. Then, facing the finish line, the Spanish were already ahead and managed to keep the position in a long final sprint.
 Portugal took then the third place on the podium by leaving Germany behind at one of the turns.

At this link are the results of the K4 at Valladolid.

On Sunday, activity moved to Sanabria Lake, home of one of the most traditional regattas of the Spanish calendar. Races were here schedule in three big groups: individuals, doubles and finally the K4, which had a rather similar script to Saturday's race. But this time, at the first turn at the Moras Island, the Czech Republic went too wide, losing 30 or 40 metres with Spain and Portugal, this time in the leading group. The Czechs manage to come back at the end of the first lap, but then it was Spain who had some reserves for the final sprint and they used them pushing very hard at the last turn. So victory for Spain (Merchán, Alonso, Bouzán, Fiuza), second place for the Czech Republic (Adam, Odvarko, Mojzisek, Mladek) and third for Portugal (Tomaz, Faria, Pinto, Gomes).

Great races in a beautiful morning at Sanabria Lake. The Senior, Junior and Master K4 start showed more than 30 boats.

About the other two regattas, del Teso brothers claimed victory in the K2 after a closed finish with Jonathan Tye and Stuart West, representing Great Britain, while in third position arrived the young couple from Aranjuez by Adrián Martín and Benjamín Rodríguez, who left out of the podium one of the favorite boats, Omar Calzón and Vicente Tortajada (Piraguamadrid).

The K1 and C1 race was probably the most beautiful in the morning, with more than 300 boats at the start line. The young Spanish sprinter Carlos Garrote made a terribly fast start, making everybody around sweat to get on the wash. Finally, a group of ten was established with José María Pariente setting the pace and David Rdguez. Dorado, Emilio Merchán and Carlos Garrote on the first wash, while the rest of them were fighting for the second wash.

That was mainly the situation for the end of first lap and all the second one until the last turn where, with just 500 metres to go, Merchán was leading. Then, David R. Dorado pushed very hard and Pariente tried the same on the other side. But Merchán didn't get nervous and waited to his moment. When he appeared to be overpassed, pushed hard again and left Pariente behind, while only Dorado was resisting his sprint. But no change at the end and victory went to Merchán, with Dorado in second postition and Pariente taking third place. The other three components of the six boats leading group were all of them U23, so Carlos Garrote, who was comfortably paddling on the V wash, didn't want to go into the main sprint and just tried to assure the U23 victory, looking back to keep his advantage over Javier López and Guillermo Fidalgo, second and third in their category, closing the front bunch at the finish line.

It was also remarkable the victory in Women's category of the U23 Nuria Villacé, who fought neck to neck with most of the senior men and got the absolute victory over the also U23 Sheila Sáez and Raquel Carbajo, first senior and teammate of Villacé (Pisuerga Valladolid), who got the victory with afterwards in K2.

At this link you can check all the results of the 50th International Sanabria Lake Regatta. Sorry that they are a bit messy, as some of the sheets are repeated and mixed, but that's how I got the from the organization and I couldn't manage to fix them up.

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