It was a picture perfect racing day yesterday for both the racers and the spectators. Clear skies, mild breeze, warm temps, and a great race. With the top athletes from 13 countries competing, it was quite the race. The men’s kayak class had 55 competitors, 30 in the women’s class, 22 in the C1 class, and there were 10 C2s.

Everyone did their first run, then a lunch break, and then everyone did their second runs. Lots of nerves being strained as the single spot for the Olympic team is a tough challenge for anyone.

In the men’s kayak class Scott Mann had a great run that looked like a winner on his first run. Eric Hurd and Scott Parsons were only 1 second behind and .04 seconds apart, with David Ford from Canada just behind that. I was in 27th after first runs, in the top 50%, but not exactly in striking distance for the win. On second runs, Everyone laid down great runs, but Scott Parsons blazed the whole course and picked up the second on Scott Mann and pulled out the win by a fraction of a second! It was an awesome race! For many people this first day was a warm up for the Pan American Championships Race today. I ended up 27th yesterday, but for me, today is the big day. So many of the best paddlers, and from 13 countries. What a great way to test the slalom skills I developed in the 80’s and 90’s from off the couch in the new millennium. I must admit Scotty’s run yesterday made me want to bring my slalom skills up to todays standards!

In the women’s Class- Caroline Queen won first runs and stayed in the lead for second runs to take the win. Zuzana Vanha was second with Heather Corrie (raced on the British team from in the 90s but racing for USA now was third). Emily was 19th place but missed a gate on her first run. She did awesome in the big drop scooting on top of the hole like it wasn’t there. She seemed to have a great time at it.

In the C1 Class it was Larimer and Dennis. Dennis had a blazing first run but a slower second run while Larimer’s runs were consistent and pulled out the win on day one.

The course was:

Downstream in 1 and 2 on the left side of a hole, then an upstream on the right on the same wire so a hole surf. Then an up on the left in the pocket eddy and a down on the left that created a tough choice between going wide around a hole or tight. A dive into the eddy gate into tight offsets for 6,7,8 and then a double up in the second drop for 9,10 and then a hard offset series for 11,12,13, 14, into an up right at 15. 16,17 where cool downstream gates in the wave train and into a diagonal hole that feeds you into the upstream on the left above the big drop. the big drop had a down on the left and then below it a down on the right which is opposite of the current making for a boof right in the middle and then back on the left edge to prevent flipping and then finally a down in 21 near the finish line. Great course.

For a PDF of results and a course map click here.

Great stuff! Look for improving results for Emily and I as our international slalom experience just increased 100% in recent days. Just in time for Pan Am Champs too!

EJ