Thursday, 28 June 2012

Marathon World Cup in Denmark (part II): World Champions Bouzán and Fiuza give no chance

As it’s usual, Sunday was the day for the doubles. Again a grey morning that even ended with some rain during the seniors race. Along the morning, the first victories went to James Allen and George Barnicoat (GBR) in the Junior Men K2, the local Emma Jørgensen and Emilie A. Petersen (DEN) in the Junior Women K2, Mattias Ebhardt and Jens Martens (GER) in the Senior C2 and Fay Lamph and Lizzie Broughton (GBR) in the Senior Women K2. In this last race, the main favorites, Italians Cicali and Alberti, both medalists in the K1 the day before, couldn’t finish the race.

It was time then for the very competitive race of the Senior Men K2, with a few powerful boats but two main favorites, which were Walter Bouzán and Álvaro F. Fiuza (ESP), current World Champions for two years in a row, and Romain Marcaud and Edwin Lucas (FRA), current European Champions.

The start, facing a straight line of 2 km. until the first turn, was very quickly and the favorites wanted to take a good place at the front of the group. Marcaud-Lucas were setting the pace, while some couples had troubles to find the good wash and that even finished with some touches that were repeated in the first turn. Norwegians and British were mostly affected, but finally they could join the main group again arriving aat the first portage.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Marathon World Cup in Denmark (part I): Spanish Iván Alonso claims gold in K1

Last weekend was held at Lake Bagsværd (Copenhague, Denmark) the Marathon World Cup 2012, as a prelude for the Marathon World Championships that will take place at the same spot next year 2013, getting the relay from Rome 2012. And once again, Spain had a strong presence in the final standings, claiming gold in both main categories, the senior Men K1 and K2, through Iván Alonso and the couple Walter Bouzán-Álvaro Fiuza, current world champions for two years in a row. But despite some absences, like South Africa or Hungary, the battle was hard, with many tight endings along the weekend.

On the right, Morten Minde (NOR) leads a crowded group at Lake Bagsværd

With an early start on Saturday, the juniors already gave the crowd a nice race. In the K1 Men, seven boats were in a close fight for the whole race, but finally finished with a sprint between the four on the lead and medals went to Casper Pretzmann (DEN), gold; Miguel Llorens (ESP), silver; and Hynek Chroust (CZE), bronze. In the Women race, another local victory in a tight finish, with Amalie Thomsen (DEN) claiming gold, Amy Ward (GBR) went for silver and Carolina Massagues (ESP) took bronze.

After the juniors it was turn for the canoeists. In a pretty windy day, some had troubles, most of all at turns and the portage entry, where wind blowed sidewards. Then, current U23 world champion, Spanish Manuel Garrido, fell in the water and had to give up, while Nuno Barros (POR) showed a strong performance that finally gave him a comfortable gold medal, followed by Matthias Erbhardt (GER) in silver and Jakub Brezina (CZE) in bronze.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Tomorrow starts the Marathon World Cup 2012 at Copenhaguen

M. Garrido (ESP), training portages today Jens Thybo]
From 22 June to 24 June, on Lake Bagsvaerd (Denmark), 165 of the World’s best canoe and kayak paddlers will meet in competition at World Cup Marathon 2012 and struggle for medals under the International Canoe Federation, ICF.

Paddlers from 19 nations have already registered, being Denmark, as home nation, the one with the biggest number of contestants, participating with a national team of 25 paddlers who will fight to the last drop of blood to win metal and honour on home ground. World Cup Marathon is a rehearsal for the World Championships event in September 2013 which has been granted The Danish Canoe Federation (DKF), by the  ICF. This event will also take place on Lake Bagsvaerd.

DKF arranges both the World Championships and the World Cup in cooperation with Gladsaxe and Lyngby-Taarbaek municipalities, Wonderful Copenhagen and ICF.
In order to make World Cup a unique experience for competitors, spectators and the press, the organizers have chosen to construct a circular route by the lake so that all races can be followed from the lake shore from start to finish. 

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Manuel Busto and Emilio Llamedo in K2 and David R. Dorado in K1, winners at Spanish Rivers Cup Race 2

Under a heavy sun and hot weather, last Saturday it was held at River Tajo, Aranjuez (Spain), the 40th edition of the Raphel del Tajo, second race of the Spanish Rivers Cup, where the paddlers compete over 18 km. (9 upstream and then back downstream) with two compulsory portages.
Winners Busto and Llamedo

Before the race everybody was looking forward to one of the bests K2 entry lists of the year, after the Sella Descent. Despite some non-showing boats, at the start line we could see top Spanish couples like Busto-Llamedo, Alonso-Guerrero (in their expected return to the K2), Merchán-Baños, Carril-Peiteado, Moreno-Valle, Portela-Martínez, Pérez-Hernández, Salas-Martínez, Morillas-Poyatos, Santos-Machado.

The start was extremely quickly, headed by Julio Moreno and Juan Antonio Valle, who made a leading group which started losing components after the first flatwater kilometres. Some of them, who decided going on a Sprint kayak (under the hull rudder) had problems trying to avoid the weed concentrated at the banks when trying to seize them going upstream, and a couple of the top K2 decided to give up when the weed was already too much to kep on going. That was the case for Portela-Martínez or Merchán-Baños. Meanwhile, the leading bunch, after 5 kilometres, was facing the pure river itself upstream, with some tricky curves of strong stream who made them go one by one approaching the bank as much as possible. It was then when the ten times marathon world champion Manuel Busto and his new partner Emilio Llamedo (Piragüismo Astur) opened a small gap. As soon as they realized their contestants were in problems to keep the pace, they made a strong push towards the first portage, just a hundred metres before the turn to complete the race downstream. At this point, the prosecutors were just two boats, now, those composed by Alonso-Guerrero (Palentino) and Moreno-Valle (Iuxtanam).

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Bram Brandjes and Eef Haaze, Dutch champions over 5.000 metres

Eef Haaze
Last weekend were held on the Drontemeer waters (Kampen - Holland), the National Championships over 5.000 metres (and shorter distances for lower ages categories). Saturday was a cold and rainy day, with strong winds up to force 5-6, which suppsoed an aditional effort for the contestants, some of them falling in and having to be rescued. Sunday was a more fair day and the good weather allowed many spectators to come by the shores enjoying the races.

Winner in the women senior category became Eef Haaze, race which had also competing the American national team paddler Jen Burke, special guest at the race.

At Men's senior category, Joep van Bakel was leading for most part of the race, but with national team member Bram Brandjes on his wash, he looked like confident on his chances at the sprint, as it finally was, beating van Bakel in a strong final push and becoming Dutch champion.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Great Britain and Belgium present their Sprint teams for London 2012

Maxime Richard will paddle the K1 200 for Belgium
The national teams going to London Summer Games keep being announced, so today we present the British and Belgian paddlers selected to defend their colours at Eton Dorney venue in August.

Yesterday, at the olympic venue itself, the nine paddlers (by the way, this morning the Team GB has confirmed one more quota place given to their women team) selected to compete for the Union Jack were introduced to the media and public audience. Belgium too has already got an official list of three paddlers for just two boats qualified, but with a very high level.

The British team seized the sunny day yesterday at Eton Dorney to present their Sprint team, which so far, waiting for the fifth woman place, to be announced on June 25th, is composed by:

Thursday, 14 June 2012

David Florence and Maialen Chourraut, encouraging golds at Cardiff Slalom World Cup

Last weekend it was hel at Cardiff (Wales, the first Slalom World Cup of 2012, where British David Florence emerged as the event star with two golds in C1 and C2, together with his teammate Richard Hounslow. In the women competition, the Spanish olympic hope Maialen Chourraut took a well deserved gold that puts her in the top bets for a medal in August at London Games.

Copyright: Albert Edmonds - AEPhotos

Not only paddlers, but organizers has also to give their best to go on with the World Cup after cancellation of Day 1 on Friday, due to poor weather conditions, with very strong wind and rain, so timing was really tight on Saturday to race in one day both heats and semifinals in all disciplines.

Spanish Maialen Chourraut didn’t go through Saturday with her best feelings in the venue, but still managed to quailify tenth in the heats and then set a 7 seconds quicker time in the semifinals, despite a 2 seconds penalty which left her third. 

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Hank McGregor and Alexa Cole claim gold twice at the SA Marathon Championships

Hank McGregor reached this last weekend his sixth South African Marathon Championship by winning two golds at the K1 and the K2 competitions, while Alexa Cole made exactly the same in both disciplines at the women's races. This way, both got two tickets for the next Marathon World Championships to be held at Rome in September, as this championships worked too as SA national trials.

Photo: Orka paddles
Under a cold and rainy weather at Mofam Dam, closed to Cape Town, the races were not particularly crowded, due to the start of the winter season in the Southern hemisphere, but quality of the contestants was really high. At the start line, a clear favorite, current world champion Hank McGregor, and a good bunch of aspirants, including world medalist Len Jenkins Jr., the Mocke brothers, experienced Graeme Solomon or the recent winner of the surfski Eurochallenge Simon van Gysen.

Not much action for the first half of the race, with a solid group on the lead, but all of them with an eye on McGregor's movements, as everybody was concerned that he was the one to control the pace.

Friday, 8 June 2012

South Africa and Denmark Olympic paddlers announced

This week has seen the first official lists of olympic paddlers going to London 2012 Summer Olympics. As it was clear from some months ago, not without polemics, South Africa will be with only two paddlers, both in the women single competition: Bridgitte Hartley at the K1 500 and Tiffany Kruger at the K1 200.

Also Denmark has officialy announced the paddling competing at the spots earned by their National Team. No surprises, but some tough debate has been around for the last two weeks about the K1 200 spot. The paddlers going to London are:

K1 500 Women: Henriette Engel Hansen
K1 200 Men:      Kasper Bleibach
K1 1.000 Men:   Rene Holten Poulsen
K2 1.000 Men:   Kim Wraae Knudsen
                           Emil Stær
K4 1.000 Men:   Kasper Bleibach
                           Rene Holten Poulsen
                           Kim Wraae Knudsen
                           Emil Stær
You can read the full news in English about this debate at our friend web of the Danish Paddling Magazine (news 1 and news 2)

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Nicole Reinhardt to miss the Olympic Games

Current World Champion in the Women K1 500 discipline, Nicole Reinhardt, will sadly become the first and sonorous absence at the Olympic Games to celebrate in London. Yesterday, German canoe Federation confirmed that, in agreement with the paddler, Reinhardt will not represent Germany at the European Championships in Zagreb nor London Games, as her shoulder injury does not seem to be recovered in time.

Having suffered from fevers and infections through the whole winter, which already made her not to paddle the first national trials, a few weeks ago he also suffered a serious shoulder injury. Despite an intensive treatment to be able to paddle at World Cup 2 in Duisburg, which worked too as last national German trials, finally she couldn’t compete. She was even paddling at Duisburg’s venue for the warm up before the K1 500 heats, but the pain made her refuse and try not to make her shoulder worst by paddlling the race. 

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Kajaksporten i fokus: all the Danish canoeing panorama in one web

This has been a very busy week and all our activity maybe has not been reflected in news on our web. Simply there's work to do in the shadow, but not less important. A big part of our success this last few days comes thanks to our friends of the Danish web "Kajaksporten i fokus: The Danish Paddling Magazine".

This web is 100% recommendable, giving all the ionformation of the Danish canoeing panorama, one of the most exciting in Northern Europe, not only because of the historical success of their paddlers being a rather small country (a large number of world and olympic medals crown their shelves), but also because they are in some way a role model about club managing. You can think about Maribo Kajakklub, for instance, from which I'm proud owner of a racing shirt. Who of us with some years of paddling on our shoulders won't remember legends like Thor Nielsen, Lars Koch (I still remember the first time I spotted him on a K1, at Crestuma in 1995, and at my barely 21 years old I got amazed as nowadays the youngers would do with our Manuel Busto),...