Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Hout Bay. Even Tuesdays have their own series in South Africa

As everyone knows, when in our Northern hemisphere we are dedicated to intense (and cold) preseason workout, the action does not stop in the Southern Hemisphere. Australia, South Africa and Argentina are getting on top of their summer seasons. Out of these countries, South Africa has undoubtedly the frenziest competition panorama with massive participation of paddlers. Even to the point that in many places there's not enough with the weekend races and Thursdays time trials (which are weekly in most of the clubs in the country, something not usual for us, Spaniards), so in Cape Town Tuesdays also have their own surfski league.

The Hout Bay Tuesday Series are held since 2004 and are 20 races of about 10 km in Hout Bay, on the Atlantic side of the Cape, at the back of Fish Hoek.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Sean Rice wins the New Balance Miller's Run of the CT Series under superb conditions

The seventh race of the Cape Town Vodacom surfski series, New Balance prize, was again ruled by the current world champion Sean Rice, over the course of the classic Miller's Run. It was the delight of all participants, as the South East wind appeared in all its strength on False Bay and the 12 kilometer run turned into a manual of what should always be a race surfski : big swells, wind, sun and fun.

In the absence of Jasper Mocke (which was competing in Durban the 50 Miler with McGregor) and Dawid Mocke, who paddled doubles with Lewis Pugh, Sean Rice made ​​valid his favorite role, not missing the lead until the finish line at the beach in Fish Hoek. After him. Tom Schilperoort and Kenny Rice completed the podium. Kenny was also first junior and arrived fourth overall after the SS2 of Mocke and Pugh. It's not low level synptom to see a junior in the top three. Behind him were very good paddlers like Flanagan, van der Walt or Notten. A couple of months ago someone who knows a lot about this told me to "watch out Kenny if it's windy, he's as good as his brother in downwind conditions".

In women, new victory for Nikki Mocke, this time over Kim van Gysen and Bianca Beavitt, who pushed this time out of the podium Kirsten Flanagan, first junior and fourth overall.

You can see all the results at this link and the spectacular new video:

Friday, 29 November 2013

Sean Rice brings home victory at Camps Bay, sixth race of the Vodacom Cape Town Surfski Series

Last Sunday it was held a classic Spring surfski race in Cape Town, the Natural Camps Bay Clash, on the Atlantic side of the city.

The field was rather strong. After coming back from Hong Kong, the big stars attempt to fine tune their form for the big upcoming event of the Cape Point Challenge. This time, Jasper Mocke and Sean Rice had a nice neck to neck race, while Dawid Mocke and Brandon van der Walt fell back from the lead on a course with little wind and quite bumpy. Under these conditions, the physical strength of Sean Rice was finally decisive, opening in the last stretch a gap wide enough to enter the finish line alone and to be the only paddler under 50 minutes. Behind him, Jasper and Dawid Mocke completed the podium.

Brandon van der Walt, fourth overall, was the winner U21 (age division of the races), followed by Dom Notten and Craig Flanagan. In junior, victory for Kenny Rice, while Graeme Solomon won the veterans category and was fifth overall. Look in the video at his surfski, developed by Carbonology Sport in collaboration with Graeme's company in Cape Town, Bamboo Warehouse. Indeed, it is built in carbon and bamboo, giving it that classic (and classy) wooden aspect and weighing only 11.5 kg. Beautiful prototype. We do not know if it will continue to be produced, since its maintenance must be very careful, as it was always with wooden kayaks, but the truth is that we love it.

In women, victory for Nikki Mocke, with a big gap over Bianca Beavitt, second, and the junior Kirsten Flanagan, third, who entered sprinting to decide the two remaining podium positions.

You can check the results at this link and see the always colorful race video below ( by the way, it goes an Olympic champion , see if you find it):

Thursday, 21 November 2013

McGregor wins the Steelcase Dragon Run in Hong Kong over a great field

Although at this point in the week we still have no official results or pictures photos of the race (at least we haven't found them), we have been able to gather some information about one of the surfski races with more caché of the season, the Steelcase Dragon Run in Hong Kong.

With most of the best discipline paddlers, the 24 kilometer race had three very different phases. A first in which all the favorites, mainly Australians and South Africans, formed a compact group heading the first turn, with the wind coming from the left. A big bunch of paddlers seeking protection aside of the opponents of the always uncomfortable side waves.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Tomas Slovak and Cyrille Carré win the Ardèche Marathon in France. Kiko Vega takes the singles title.

The moments before the start. Photo: Canoë-Kayak Magazine
After the cancellation due to flood conditions in 2012, it was held last Saturday a new edition of the International Marathon of Ardeche, in the French region of Rhône-Alpes , on a medium-low water level, which was no obstacle for a great show.

1,472 paddlers gathered under a fine sunny day that made the delight of competitors and spectators. Among the favorites, big names in the international scene, with all sights set on the current world champion and Olympic medalist in K1 1000m Max Hoff, who returned to his first discipline (river descent) with his teammate Tobias Bong. Having already won the Ardèche three times with Stiefenhofer , he tried again this time commanding a K2 that...

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Vodacom Cape Town Surfski Series: Big names on the podium

As summer season comes slowly to Cape Town, the canoeing scene turns its gaze to the ocean. The Lifesavers Club of Fish Hoek is responsible for organizing the Cape Town surfski series, sponsored by Vodacom, with races almost every two weeks in different spots around the area in both the Atlantic and Indic side. These races are a good prelude to the big event coming at the end of December, the Cape Point Challenge. Gradually, the best surfski paddlers will test themselves and the opponents getting ready for the big event .

In this occasion, the fourth race of the series (Seaforth Restaurant prix) was a nice fight between world champion Sean Rice, Dawid Mocke and Tom Schilperoort, but after the turn, in the downwind section (perfect conditions for it, in the video you can clearly see the great scenario with winds of about 25 knots), Rice showed his quality and claimed the win. Mocke and Schilperoort followed him in that order. 4th and 5th ​​were two young values as Kenny Rice and Craig Flanagan..

In women, very young participation, with victory for Kim van Gysen followed by Bianca Haw and Kirsten Flanagan, three names to keep in mind in the future of this discipline.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Twelve countries competed at the Panamerican Sprint Championships in Puerto Rico

Kevin and Samuel Figueroa (Puerto Rico). Photo: Federación Portorriqueña

This last weekend it was held in Ponce (Puerto Rico) the Panamerican Sprint Championships, gathering paddlers from twelve countries of  the new continent. The dates of the championship, somewhat far in time from the peaks of the season, made them good testing ground for young paddlers, which mixed with others well experienced in international competitions.

Without any doubt, the star of the championships in advance was the Ecuadorian César de Cesare, who won gold in his favorite event, the K1 200, leaving the silver to Edson Silva (Brazil), which nevertheless managed to take revenge on K2, where pairing with Hans Mallman took gold and left silver to de Cesare and Yautung Cueva. The bronze went to Mexico through Carlos Montalvo in K1 and Canadians Austin Denman and Jacob Sosna claimed it in K2 in very tight arrivals.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Mruzek and Odvarko in K2 and Tomas Slovak in K1, winners of the Cesky Krumlov River Marathon

This last weekend, with a double session on Friday and Saturday, the Cesky Krumlov River Marathon was held in the Czech Republic, race included into the ICF Marathon Classic Series 2013. While the marathon was held on Saturday over a distance of 36 kilometers , on Friday there was a Sprint competition as an appetizer on the stretch of river that runs through the center of the city, just 250 meters long but with a weir shot included. The winners in this discipline were Richard Hala and Jonatan Sramek in K2 and Tomas Slovak in K1, all of them just arrived from paddling the Fish at South Africa.

Mruzek and Odvarko leading the marathon race. Pic: Jan Homolka
On Saturday, almost three hundred boats gathered on the water of Cesky Krumlov river to face the descent all the way down to the town of the same name. Many contestants, as usual, made it on RR kayaks, but every year there are more who are encouraged to do so on the increasingly popular tables SUP (Stand Up Paddle) as well as in large canoes and all kind of plastics, including canoes with a crew of nine members. Noteworthy is the participation and festive atmosphere at these Central European competitions , as with the French Ardèche or the Irish Liffey, without going any further. One aspect, leisure and tourism, that in Spain is trying to be exploited by the Miño and Cinca Descents, among others, although it is true that the basis of target audience is not comparable.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Spain take the doubles medals two by two in Men while Jeannette Løvborg and Henriette Engel Hansen claim the world title at home

Sunday, September 22nd, was the final day of the ICF Marathon World Championships in Copenhagen. After the emotions experienced in the previous two days, there were high expectations  when at 9:30 started the Women Senior K2 and Men Senior C2.

However, the first surprise jumped out just before the first kilometer. And never better said, because in the K2 of ones of the favorites for the medals, South Africans Michele Eray and Bridgitte Hartley , one of the rudder roulette screws jumped out, leaving them off the race. So the first leading bunch, facing the first portage, included one K2 from each of the following teams: Danish, Hungarian, Czech, British and Spanish Nuria Villacé and Raquel Carbajo. The other Spanish crew, formed by the very young and Begoña Lazcano and Amaia Benavente, was forced to leave after having done most of the first round in that group due to some sickness suffered by Lazcano. A pity, but a boat to keep in mind for the future and not just at Marathon, but also at Sprint.

Csay/Bara lead one of the portages with Løvborg/Hansen behind. Pic: Jan N
Meanwhile , ahead the selection started from the first portage . It was clear that the Hungarian crew of Renata Csay/Alexandra Bara and the Danish of Jeannette Løvborg/Henriette Engel Hansen were step by step tightening the rope, so after one third of the race thay both remained ahead just along with the Czechs Anna Adamova (Kova now) and Lenka Hrochova, the only ones who could keep on their wash. Behind, the chase group was led by the current European gold and silver medalists, Lizzie Lamph and Fay Broughton (GBR) and Nuria Villacé and Raquel Carbajo (ESP), who were for a long part of the race pulling from a group that included some other strong boats, like the Italiana Anna Alberti and Stefania Cicali and the Belgians and Lize Broekx and Hermien Peters, among others. In the last laps, British and Spaniards managed tu pull away and the fourth place went finally to Lamph/Broughton (GBR).

Monday, 30 September 2013

Csay, McGregor and Kavar were the Marathon World Champions in singles

Very similar races the Women Senior K1 and the Men Senior C1. In both two pairs of paddlers took the lead from the first lap. Twelve times world champion Renata Csay (HUN) and Anna Kova (CZE) quickly opened a gap that went up to one minute in just two laps. The Italians Stefania Cicali and Anna Alberti took the responsibility in the chase group, but never managed to hold the gap. U23 champion Teneale Hatton (NZL) dropped from the group at half race, maybe not recovered 100% of her race on Friday, but made a great comeback and was again in the fight for the bronze medal after the last portage.

Renata Csay in the center, yellow boat. Picture: Jan N
Meanwhile, Renata Csay pulled away from Anna Kova in the fifth portage and made a solo last lap, entering the finish line with more than one minute of advantage. Anna Kova got the silver medal and Stefania Cicali, after a good sixth portage, entered in third position leading the group of five she had led for most of the race.

Antonio Campos (ESP) and Marton Kavar (HUN) decided in the C1 race that they didn’d want a large group around and pushed hard from the start, managing to make the gap bigger on every lap over a group of four that was more into the fight for bronze than into the chase for the leaders. Not far from them, Tamas Kiss (HUN) and David Mosquera (ESP) were fighting for bronze without losing the perspective of a virtual comeback to the leading par, but after 4 laps it was clear that gold and silver were unreachable. 

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Hatton, Amorim and Birkett, new marathon world champions U23 after superb races

The Canoe Marathon World Championships kicked off with the Junior and U23 events on Friday 20th at Lake Bagsværd in Copenhagen.

In the junior competition, Hungary smashed the field, claiming three golds out of three races with Tamara Takacs in K1 Women, Adam Petra in K1 Men and Kristof Khaut in C1 Men. 

Raquel Carbajo leads the race with Hatton (in black) and Brun-Lie (in white). Photo: Jan N (DKF)

2 hours later, in perfect, glassy conditions, the U23 K1 Women, and C1 men, set off. After the first lap it was clear that Teneale Hatton (NZL), recently crowned 5000m world champion, wanted to set the pace in order to have the race under her control. After the second portage the front group was reduced to three paddlers: Hatton, Agnes Brun-Lie (NOR) and Raquel Carbajo (ESP), opening a gap of around 30 seconds over a group of six paddlers including Susanna Cicali (ITA), Noami Horvath (HUN) and Nuria Villace (ESP) and Lize Broekx (BEL), among others. The three leaders were careful to maintain the gap, each taking turns at the front to keep everything under control until the last lap. 

Friday, 9 August 2013

Sella Descent: Bouzán and Fiuza impose again their law in 2013 and Busto adds another title to his legend

Walter Bouzán and Álvaro F. Fiuza Sella won for the fourth consecutive time in the year of their announced retirement as K2. Along with the new victory of Manuel Busto in K1, it seems that future generations will still have to wait for their time to pass over the great figures of this river, with other great veterans like Rafael Carril, Julio Martínez and Emilio Merchán getting on the podium in both disciplines (and no sign of wanting to get off of it).

Photo: Fotoyos
Following the protocol of the opening ceremony, this time with speech by Angela Pumariega, sailing Olympic champion in London 2012, and the always exciting song Asturias Patria Querida in the voices of the entire audience, Walter and Fiuza made a pristine start taking an excellent position at the front, next to the boat of Kiko Vega and Luis Amado Pérez. However, it soon became clear that Walter and Fiuza didn't want to miss the opportunity they had after having got a few precious meters over other favorites like Merchán/Alonso, Martínez/Becerro or Llamedo/Ramalho, who were forced to start a nig comeback in the first kilometers after a capsize at the start.

Monday, 17 June 2013

René H. Poulsen smashes the field at European Sprint Championships

In collaboration with Sportscene (Photos: Carolyn J. Cooper)

canoe kayak sprint rene poulsen european championships 2013 eca montemor portugal sportscene wrap up results 

After a sunny but rather windy weekend in Montemor-o-Velho (Portugal), Danish paddler René Poulsen has become one of the stars of the European Sprint Championships having won three medals, winning both K1 1,000 and 500 metres and adding a bronze medal in the 5,000 metres, rounding out one of his best weekends ever.

Monday, 10 June 2013

European Marathon Championships: Final day chronicle

In collaboration with Sportscene. Photos by Carolyn J. Cooper

Today was the day for K2 and C2, starting with the K2 Senior Women and the C2 early in the morning, in wet and fresh weather in Vila Verde, Portugal.
From the very start of the Women’s K2 it was seen that the English crew of Fay Lamph and Lizzie Broughton were attacking the race with determination. They were the only ones just focused on the K2, not having competed in K1 before, and that made the difference between them and the rest of the field. Only the U23 Spanish pair of Raquel Carbajo and Nuria Villacé could keep up with their pace, while the favorite Hungarian crews were together in the second group, slowly losing seconds. At the halfway point the difference was already about a minute.

canoe kayak marathon vila verde portugal european championships eca 2013 sportscene k2 c2 The two crews in the front seemed to take it easy; the Danish Jeanette Løvborg and Annemia Pretzmann caught up to the second group while Hungarians Petra Tóth and Edina Csernák dropped behind. This meant the Danish were now fighting for bronze with the other Hungarian pair of Alexandra Bara and Vanda Kiszli.

Everything looked quiet until the fifth portage when Carbajo and Villacé, with their water pump not working, tried to empty the kayak while running and pushed the British against the fences. For a moment there was some tension; the judges were just in front but they agreed the action was unintentional and let the Spanish go with no penalty. However, the issue helped the prosecutors close the gap a little. During the last lap they were only around 30 seconds behind the leaders. At the last portage, Lamph and Broughton re-entered the water with decisiveness and took off while the Spaniards stopped to empty water from their K2. No final sprint was needed to see the British claim the European title and Carbajo and Villacé arrived in the silver medal position about fifty meters behind. In the sprint for the bronze medal, Bara and Kiszli took it for Hungary ahead of the Danish Løvborg and Pretzmann after keeping the 10 meter gap made up in the portage.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

European Marathon Championships: Saturday's races chronicle

In collaboration with Sportscene

In the Senior C1, current World Champion Antonio Campos (ESP), decided to control the race from the very start, followed by his teammate Manuel Garrido and German Matthias Erbhardt, who fell off the group by the first portage. It was then a head to head race, with the two Spanish paddlers controlling the race with only a difference of around 100m. They maintained this for many kilometres while Erbhardt was caught by Jakub Brezina (CZE), making another head to head race. But this was not going to rival the two frontrunners who knew that being from the same country, they just needed some cooperation to get gold and silver. They continued an easy pace until the fifth lap. With just one and a half laps to go, Antonio Campos pushed really hard and managed to drop Garrido from his wash to make the final part of the race his own and claim gold in a race full of power and determination. Manuel Garrido got silver and Matthias Erbhardt (GER) managed to get the bronze, leaving Brezina off the podium.

eca european championships canoe kayak marathon portugal 2013 sportscene vila de prado verde icfIn the Women’s K1 race, Gwendoline Morel (FRA), a sprint specialist, had a tremendous start but favourites Susanna Cicali (ITA) and Hungarians Edina Csernák and Alexandra Bara, quickly came up to the lead with Lenka Hrochova (CZE) and Jeanette Løvborg (DEN) suffering the second wash. They fell off the group at the first portage, but in the third lap, Cicali quit the race and Hrochova managed to gain the lead, with Løvborg having a solo race less than a minute behind. But at the fifth portage, Løvborg made a nice comeback and closed the gap to just 15 seconds, because Hrochova had problems at the put in and lost some precious metres from the Hungarians.

In the last portage, Bara and Hrochova pushed very hard and Csernák had to watch them run away leaving her in bronze. Just after the last kilometre, both leaders had a very long sprint with gold going to Alexandra Bara (HUN) and silver to Lenka Hrochova (CZE).

The last race of the day was the Senior Men’s K1. There was a good field with world champions and medalists like Iván Alonso (ESP), current world champion: José Ramalho (POR), current European champion; Istvan Salga and Mate Petrovics (HUN); Ben Brown (GBR); Emilio Merchán (ESP); Mathias Hamar (NOR) and Joep van Bakel (NED).

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Dusi article at Spanish Canoeing Federation Magazine "Aguas Vivas"

Yesterday it was published by the Spanish Canoeing Federation an article by Elite Kayak writer Gonzalo Melero about Dusi Canoe Marathon. We will be collaborating with the Magazine Aguas Vivas from now on writing about the big international events, showing them to Spanish paddlers and kayak lovers, who sometimes are not very familiar with those races abroad.

Here's a link to the magazine in Spanish: Aguas Vivas (article in page 38 and following).

And this is the English translation:

It is a quiet October evening, with the warm austral spring just started. The city of Pietermaritzburg, in the state of Kwazulu-Natal (South Africa), invites you to walk its extensive parks filled with the bright violet of jacaranda flowers. Children play, couples talk in the shade of a palm tree, a man with briefcase loosens his tie while walking slowly back home and two elderly men in a bank see time going by without major concern... and in the middle of this bucolic scene, two guys pass running at full speed with a K2 on shoulders. No one bats an eye. But we, foreigners, tend to stay staring them with incredulity and then think that the problem is that they are late to store the kayak at the hangar in Camps Drift, Natal Canoe Club headquarters, just a few hundred meters away. "No, they are training for Dusi," says one of the locals.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Sprint World Cup 2 in Racice (CZE) pops up promising top paddlers

Racice (CZE) held the second Sprint World Cup 2013 last weekend. It was confirmed back on track the best Ken Wallace, who seems in this 2013 willing to make everyone forget last season. He won the 500 with conviction and in 1000, with Poulsen winner and Yurenia again in silver, the Australian starred in one of the comebacks of the Cup, going in the last meters from 7th to 3th place with a final quarter of 49 seconds, leaving Hoff at the gates of podium.

In K2 200 a new victory of the unbeatable (so far this year) Postrigay and Dyachenko, who day after day recruit new fans in love with their absolute mastery on this race. However, the 500 is still a bit long distance for them and, after a very quick first partial, they finished second on overpassed by the Portuguese Pimenta and Silva, who are performing at a high level after last summer's Olympic silver.

Lisa Carrington (NZL). Photo: Balint Vekassy
In the women's K1, Lisa Carrington ruled the short races. It seems that paddlers from the Southern Hemisphere are in better shape due to their high season during the European winter, because although Carrington took the 200 as expected, also dominated the 500 over the Germans. It is also true that on this occasion the Hungarian team was not racing in Racice and that could be felt in some of the races, as Hungarian Women always are in the bets for the medals.

But now we can focus more on new values ​​who are slowly looming on the international scene.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Spanish Marathon trials decided the team to compete at the Europeans in Portugal

David Rodriguez Dorado and Jorge Alonso will compete along with Emilio Merchán and Iván Alonso in the K2 Spanish Senior team for the European Marathon Championships to be held in Portugal in the first week of June. Meanwhile, Emilio Merchán will also join his K2 partner Iván Alonso in the K1.

After the selective trials held this weekend in Zamora, due to cancellation of Spanish Cup last April, which had toe served as a selection test, some of the best
Spanish marathon paddlers competed for the remaining sopots in the team. Remember that the world champions of the past 2012 in Rome and the square had acquired the spot in property, so Iván Alonso, both in K1 and K2 with Merchán, Eva Barrios in the Women Senior K1 (due to her change of category this year), Antonio Campos in Senior C1 and the C2 couple Graña-Ferro left just one spot in play at these trials.

In the K1 race, 5 contestants which formed a compact group: Emilio Merchán, Xabier Ruiz de
Aretxabaleta, David R. Dorado and Borja Estomba did the full marathon together, while Vicente Tortajada could not complete it. The victory went to Merchán in a close sprint against Aretxabaleta, who was again just one second away from the national team, as it happened two weeks ago in the 5,000 meters. A true pity for the brave paddler from San Sebastián, who surely will keep on trying. Just a few seconds behind, David R. Dorado got the third place over Borja Estomba.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Sprint World Cup 1 at Szeged started the Sprint international season

Postrigay and Dyachenko. Source: Planet Canoe TV
May is the month of the Sprint World Cups, which this year are held, consecutively, in Szeged (HUN), Racice (CZE) and Poznan (POL).

After the first Cup in Szeged last weekend, many new names in the preliminary series, as we're in a post-Olympic year in which many of the stars are given a break and federations (most, but unfortunately not all ...) provide an opportunity for young talents to be get experienced in major international competitions.

In many races victories of the favorites, including the amazing couple of Postrigay and Dyachenko in the K2 200 men, the Russian pair who wowed us all getting gold at London 2012 with a real display of power and in this 2013 seem to behave the same way. Only 24 and 22 years old, respectively, which seem to augur an Olympic cycle where they will be the couple to beat.

Max Hoff won the K1 1,000 over a strong field who included Yurenia and Poulsen, silver and bronze in that order. Ken Wallace did not have his best day, sixth, but the Australian took revenge the best possible way in the 500, winning in his preferred distance with a final comeback "Wallace Trademark", entering the photo finish ahead of Hungarian Dombvári, who, along with the Czech Havel, bronze, took advantage of Poulsen's collapse in the final meters.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

New values Cooper, Arévalo and Toro start to claim a main role at Spanish Sprint trials

Marcus Cooper. Photo: Fotoyos
After the dispute last weekend of national trials and Spanish Cup over 200 and 500 metres, teams that will represent us in the European and World Championships this year are taking shape.

Although we can not speak of being many surprises, it is true that we are gradually witnessing a generational change which is always healthy and invigorating, ensuring a continuity that, well managed, should consolidate our position on the international podiums.

In the K1 200 trial, thrilling duel between Saúl Craviotto and Carlos Arévalo. The latter began with a good start winning the first leg out of three, but the current Olympic medalist reacted forcing the tie in a photo finish second leg. In the third and final leg, and with only Arévalo and Craviotto on the venue, Craviotto won by inches, preserving the spot for the national team in this discipline.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

South Africans rule at the Eurochallenge

Left to right: Sean Rice, Dawid Mocke and Jasper Mocke
This past weekend was held at Villajoyosa (Spain) the Eurochallenge 2013 of surfski. Crowded field, but it was missed some more foreign participation, which in previous years had been abundant. Anyway, that foreign participation was of very high quality, as evidenced by the podium conquered by South African stars, all of them from Fish Hoek, Sean Rice, Dawid Mocke and Jasper Mocke.

That was the order in both races, the downwind North course on Saturday, of the two prepared depending on weather conditions. 20 kilometer run in line along the coast heading Southwest and finishing in Villajoyosa. And the classical race on Sunday.

Sean Rice, recent winner of the South African trials, both in 1,000 meters and surfski, stood alone doing much of the race at the downwind. As recognized after by Dawid Mocke, trying to follow him was a ticket to get sore muscles. Rice got a three minutes advantage over Dawid Mocke and five over Jasper. Walter Bouzán came in fourth place very closed to Jasper Mocke and heading the European field, where the Dutchman Joep van Bakel was fifth and Daniel Sanchez Viloria, who arrived as second Spanish, added himself to Walter in the list of our representatives in the Surfski World Championships to be held this coming July in Portugal.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Sean Rice and Michelle Eder Burn, new South African Surfski Champions

It was held last weekend the South African Surfski Championships, this time in the town of East London, where the warm waters of the Indic Ocean didn't show the downwind all the competitors usually love to paddle. Sean Rice, just two weeks after winning the K1 1,000 of the South African sprint trials, was the winner of the event and then he becomes South African surfski champion, something that, in his words, had been dreaming for a long time.

Good weather with weak wind made the race hard and very tactical, disputed parallel to the coast along 19 km. The virtual absence of large swells made a matter of vital importance seeking the more favorable currents. The fact of the recent floods in the area made the race even more difficult, since in the search for the good current, many of them were caused by big water rivers and dragged branches and lots of stuff that could become a serious obstacle.

After the start, marked by the absence of the Mocke brothers, who were disputing the Defis Kayak Race in the French Caribbean ($7,000 prize for the winner had something to do with it), the leading group was formed by several strong men of the scene South Africa, including Hank McGregor, Grant van der Walt, his brother Brandon, Matt Bouman, Tom Schilperoort and Sean Rice.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

César de Cesare, main character at the Southamerican Sprint Championships in Chile

César de Cesare at the London 2012 Olympics.
After the Canoeing South American Championship, held last week in the Chilean city of Valparaiso, South American national federations have been able to configure their teams in preparation for the upcoming World Cups. With the absence of Argentines Correa and Rezola, already preparing World Cups and World Championship, wanting to improve this year the magnificent 5th place from London 2012, the star was undoubtedly the Ecuatorian César de Cesare, who won with authority K1 200 final (sadly with just 4 participants) and repeating the gold medal in the K2 with Yautung Cueva.

De Cesare is attempting this year to forget the bad taste left after not being in the London Olympic final as everybody expected, where he could only manage to become fourth in the B final. He certainly has his eyes on the World Championships at Duisburg in August, where he will try to get back into the A final and who knows if claiming a medal.

Monday, 29 April 2013

Spanish Marathon Cup cancelled

Very windy conditions have made this last weekend the Spanish Marathon Cup to be cancelled. The races, which had to be competed all along Saturday and Sunday at the lake of As Pontes (Galicia), were already in danger when during Friday a very strong North wind started to blow and predictions were not good at all for the weekend. On Saturday morning, weather was rainy and very cold (about 2ºC at 9:00), but wind seemed fair enough to start with the Masters races, scheduled for 9:30. The course was shortened almost half kilometre per lap to avoid some dangerous places if wind started to blow again. An it did, at half race wind was coming strong again and waves started to rise up, making some parts of the circuit actually suitable for surfskis, most of all the side of the finish line and portage.

K1s waiting for the decision of Spanish Federation and organizers on Saturday morning

With the senior races scheduled for 11:30, everybody could see them having a bad time when trying to warm up, with 15 knots wind and some heavy rain which suddenly became hail.

In a quick team meeting, the Spanish Federation decided to cancel the qualification trial for the European Championships, but the race could maybe be postponed to the afternoon so the Cup could be competed. But just half an hour later, the K1 and C1 races were definitely cancelled as predictions were bad enough for the whole day. On Sunday morning K2 and C2 races would make a try at 9 AM. But Sunday morning showed the same face as Saturday and Spanish Cup was definitely cancelled.

Now, a new National Team selection trial must be scheduled, probably next weekend, to be able to make the team going to the European Championships in Portugal in early June.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Tim Brabants retires from international competition

This entry should have been devoted to the Nottingham British National Regatta, which officially started the sprint calendar in the islands to select the international team that will represent GB in the European and World Championships. Nothing out of the ordinary, with K1 200 Men for favorite McKeever, while Rachel Cawthorn won the Women 200 and Jonathan Boyton (in the absence of Paul Wycherley for a shoulder injury) was the one this time disputed the 1,000 to Tim Brabants, relegating him to the silver medal.

If you have the holy patience to go looking at the results of the 300 races, here it is the resulting pdf madness.

However, on Monday some breaking news eclipsed everything else when Tim Brabants announced its retirement from the high level competition. Despite having met the criteria to join the national team this year, Brabants took the difficult decision at the prospect that reached his age (36 years old) he has passed his best moment and is unlikely to improve his level, so he doesn't want to close doors to new paddlers who will now have the opportunity to get experienced in the national team and be eligible in the future to achieve the success he has already achieved.

Brabants will now practice his profession, doctor, where he hopes to get specialized in emergency care.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Cubelos keeps being the representative of Spain at the K1 1,000 by winning Spanish Cup

Cubelos, Hernanz and Llamedo during the A final. Picture: La Voz de Galicia
After 1,000m Spanish Cup, held this weekend at the dam of Verducido (Galicia), Francisco Cubelos has managed to retain his titularity in the K1 1,000 to represent Spain in the three most important international championships to be held in 2013: European Championships at Montemor-o-Velho (POR), the World Championships at Duisburg (GER) and the Mediterranean Games at Mersin (TUR).

On a very headwindy field, the races were very tough. Imagine that the winning time was 4'04'', when Cubelos himself won on the same venue the pre-Olympic selective for Poznan 2012 in 3'31''. Maybe that environment is what made possible some surprises (although some are less so), as the bronze medal of Emilio Llamedo, who managed to sneak into the podium beating some of the best specialists in the country, like Diego Cosgaya who was finally fourth. Llamedo proved to be in great shape after winning the 5,000 in Seville. This time he was surpassed by the two main favorites Cubelos and Hernanz. This last one kept being a safe bet in his rendez-vous with the podium over 1,000 (he also took silver in the K2 with his new teammate Borja Prieto), but recognized afterwards being a bit disappointed taking so many silvers in the last competitions.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Olympic medalist Fernando Pimenta, Portuguese 5,000m champion for the fifth time

Fernando Pimenta, Portuguese Champion over 5,000 meters 2013
It was held last weekend at the High Performance Centre of Montemor-o-Velho (POR) a new edition of the Portuguese National Championship over 5,000 meters with a new record of contestants.
In total, twenty races were held in different categories, with a special attraction in the senior category, to see in action the recent Olympic silver medalists Pimenta and Silva, in their first official competition of 2013.

There were no surprises in gold, which went to Fernando Pimenta (Club Nautico Ponte de Lima), who won the race with a time of 20'21''23 and beated in the final sprint David Fernandes (Naval Club Funchal ) and Alfredo Faria (Gemeses). It is already the fifth national title in this speciality for young Pimenta, only 23 years old. His partner in the Olympic K2, Emanuel Silva, was fifth. José Ramalho, another of the big names,  withdrew and didn't finished the race.

In C1, Pimenta's teammate Samuel Amorim was the winner in the photo finish, as only 15 cents was the difference with silver medalist, Rui Lacerda, both of Nautico Ponte de Lima.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Charles Evans: forgotten biography of a late ‘60s Marathon paddler (II): Sella Descent video 1968

If you remember our quest  about Dr. Charles Evans (in this article by Nick Harding in Sportscene), slowly we are finding new clues and documents about his pass through Spain. Yesterday, thanks to Juan Manuel Feliz, winner in K2 of the Sella Descent in 1968, we got this old piece of the official news that every week were broadcasted in cinemas around Spain by Franco's dictatorship. In it, after minute 7:00, we can see in colour images a report on the Sella Descent, where Feliz & Gutiérrez win the K2 and Dr. Charles Evans (#57) wins in K1. Dr. Evans has already watched it yesterday, at his home, and was so happy with it, as it's the first time he has seen himself paddling in motion. And that makes us all so happy too.

As a curiosity, in the Spain of the late '60s, canoeing was sharing the news with Julio Iglesias and the stadium Santiago Bernabéu... At least, pictoresque.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Joep van Bakel keeps winning at the Easter Cup in Eindhoven

Last Sunday a new marathon race was born in Holland, the Easter Cup, with a course of 28 km. (with one portage) from Tilburg to Eindhoven. Organized by the local club EKV Beatrix, where the finish line was installed, it also had other two shorter courses for Women, Juniors and U16. Participants form Belgium and Germany joined the Dutch paddlers coming back from the Neerpelt Marathon.

There was a compact first part of the race, with a group of six paddlers, including two Germans and one Belgian. After the first portage, Joep van Bakel (NED) and Corrijn Dries (BEL) broke away, doing the rest of the race together and finishing with the victory of van Bakel at the sprint. Behind, the other four paddlers were Tonny Benschop (NED), Stefan Fiekers (GER), Steffen Luessing (GER) and Olaf Heijne (NED).

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Jonas Saelens is the new Belgian Marathon Champion in a race won by Dutch Joep van Bakel at Neerpelt

Left to right: van Bakel, Cremers, Saelens and Broekx. Pic: Marc Faes (
On Saturday it was held at Neerpelt the Kempen Marathon, flagged as Belgian Championships 2013. In a very cold day, the race was open, but first Belgian in each category earned the national title.

At the Men Senior race, over 22 km., a group of four paddlers was leading the race, including three Belgians (Tom Cremers, Toon Broekx and Jonas Saelens) and Dutch champion Joep van Bakel. But the race was broken after the second portage (out of three). It was then when Toon Broekx suffered of cramps in his legs, due to the cold and lost a lot of time until he recovered. Joep van Bakel then saw his opportunitty going onto the water to push hard, leaving behind Cremers and Saelens.

Friday, 29 March 2013

Preview of the 41st Amsterdam Waterland Marathon

Proofreading: Rosalyn Lawrence

In less than a month the 41st Amsterdam Waterland Marathon will take place. On the 20th of April we will see a diverse group of world class athletes taking on the challenge of beating each other and the track record set by Manuel Busto Fernandez, who has won the Waterland marathon twice.
Tournament director and ex -European Champion Edwin de Nijs shares his expectations of the upcoming episode of the ICF Classic Marathon series:

"For the senior men’s competition I expect a very tough race for the world class athletes as well as for all others, due to the great variety of international paddlers. Our Dutch representative Joep van Bakel, who finished in 6th place at the last Marathon World Championships, will be challenged by the Swedish Jacob Holst, his training buddy Rasmus Jaruta, the Hungarian Gyula Bauer, Thomas Jezek and Spanish Miquel Adsera.

The Swedish athletes are expected to be very fit since they are practicing an extensive training program in Florida as we speak. They will need to be fit if they want to take on the challenge of beating Thomas Jezek, who in the past has won several medals at European and World Championship races.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Laurens Pannecoucke wins the Gent marathon under the snow

Belgian Olympian paddler Laurens Pannecoucke won this weekends marathon race at Gent (Belgium) under heavy weather conditions, with strong wind, snow and around 0ºC degrees.

Not the best weather for a paddle at Gent... Photo: Olaf Heijne
The senior race, of 26 km., was leaded from the vey start by a group of four paddlers, including Pannecoucke, Bram Brandjes (NED), Joep van Bakel (NED) and Florian Wölke (GER), who were in a compact paddle for most of the race. But at the fifth portage, Pannecoucke and van Bakel pushed hard and went on their own for the last 8 km. There, no surprise with the victory of Pannecoucke, showing his sprint skills over a superb van Bakel. Three minutes later, Brandjes was also beating Wölke in the fight for third position on the podium. More than 6 minutes from the first paddlers began to arrive a larger group also well known marathon paddlers as Jonas Saelens, Erik Verduyckt or Tom Cremers, not having their best day under the extreme conditions.

In the Women's race, victory for Hermien Peters (BEL), who ended in a sprint final with her junior teammate Karolien Plas, winner in her category. And a well known family name winning too at the Men Junior race, with comfortable victory of Dries Broekx (BEL) with more than three minutes over the second position, which went to James Russel (GBR)

Something similar for the Masters, over 18 km., where Olaf Heijne (NED) took control of the race along with Dirk de Visscher (BEL), claiming Heijne the final victory at the sprint by just one second, finishing in a very good time of 1h41'59".

You can check the results at this link.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Tono Campos is the new Spanish Winter C1 Champion over 5,000 metres

The C1 Man Senior served on Sunday morning in Seville to verify, as it happened in the K1 Women, that a new generation of canoeists is on the track to follow the great paddlers already established. Many U23 paddlers and good times in the race.

Campos followed by Romero. Photo: Fotoyos
After a clean enough start, considering they were 70 paddlers (although not without two or three capsizes, as usual in this discipline), the seeded paddlers were grouped on the left side of the channel to slowly become a reduced group of four paddlers in the return to the first turn at the finish line. Diego Romero commanded the race with Sánchez and Campos on the side washes while the young U23 Alan Ávila was hardly keeping the diamond wash, which he lost just by the third kilometre of race, paying the big effort of keeping the strong pace of the big ones.

A little further back, Manuel Garrido tried to close the gap lost after a poor start and came vigorously about 50 meters behind of Ávila, who tried desperately to return to the leading group, but with no success.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Eva Barrios again in a gold medal performance at Spanish Winter Champs

Very high level was seen in Sunday's final of the Senior Women K1, where Eva Barrios gave another example of her great form and won a deserved gold medal in a hotly contested race.

Barrios, in white, on the wash of Contreras. Foto: Fotoyos
After Saturday's 2,000, fifty paddlers started the race and immediately formed a large group ahead with all the favorites for the title. Alternation of several paddlers in the lead, as Laura Pedruelo, Ana Isabel Martinez Contreras or Sanjurjo, but without tightening the race so much that the group had just being diminished. On the wash always seemed comfortable Eva Barrios, who tended not to spend too much force while Ainara Portela looked to have trouble catching the last wave and suffered on the back of the group, which closed the Majorcan Elena Monleón. Further back was a second group whith Mary Soria, Raquel Carbajo, Carla Pérez, Tania María Fernández and Corbera, among others.

The two short laps, in front of the large crowd that filled the banks of the CAR of La Cartuja, accentuated the feeling that Eva Barrios was keeping her bullets for later, while Contreras and Pedruelo were taking turns on the mark. On the second wash were also unknown the intentions of Begoña Lazkano, which seemed to be waiting for her time, while Ana Martinez seemed already be paying the effort after setting the pace all the first lap.