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.