Emma Garcia Riberaygua from Andorra (small country in between Spain and France in the Pyrenees Mountains) will start off the competition today in the Women’s class. Today the preliminary rounds begin for Women, Squirt men and women, and C1. 25% of the class rounded up to the nearest 5 people will make it through to the next round. Tomorrow the Junior Men, Junior Women, OC1, and Men’s Kayak will do their prelims.
Water levels are looking awesome. Over 200 CMS (6000 CFS) flowing down the Isar River. The hole is giving up wave and hole moves. What a contrast to the low water we had last week (140 cms or 3700 cfs) where the rocks were the primary challenge and very non-retentive. Hard to say what will happen this week for water, but overcast skies and cool weather and a SOAKED ground should keep us in good water for the entire competition. With that said, I expect varying water levels and athletes will have to adjust to the changes as they go. The hole was closed for opening ceremonies last night, which was packed with over 200 athletes from 25 countries and tons of spectators, government officials, ICF officials, organizers, volunteers, families, etc. Cannons shot off in the crowd waking everyone up during the speeches and kicked off the live music and street party that went late into the night. It was easy to see which countries were out late as everyone had their team uniforms on. Team Austria won the party last night (for better or worse) according to my sources. I did not win the party last night as I was in bed by 10:30 pm getting my sleep. Starting this event off tired is hard to get over, I have found as the days are long and the excitement levels are high. Just watching your team compete and cheering for them gets your adrenaline rushing and tires you out. Trying not to think about your ride over and over all day in advance takes focus.
Live coverage will begin today, with Twitter posts all day, followed by summary articles of each class. Look for v ideo feeds, photos, etc.., right here at Jackson Kayak.com.
Good luck to all competitors today and all week! The finals are Saturday evening- Semi-Finals for men are on Saturday morning, so the Men’s class will have a hardcore day on Saturday. This year’s cut from 10 to 5 will be brutal, leaving 5 people behind that could potentially win. That is the nature of competition, however. Weed out until there are only three people on the podium, one on top, one on the second rung, and one on the third rung, and everyone else watching them from the crowd.
See you soon!