Japan World Rafting Championships
Well its all over, all kiwi teams got a podium finish so all in all a successful campaign.
Youth Women Silver, Junior Men Bronze,Open Women Silver, Masters men Bronze and Masters Women Gold. Have to say that Japan and the Japanese have made this an amazing event. The place was beautiful, the river perfect and the people are the most polite friendly and hospitable I have come across.... so thankyou Japan.Still got the blog of our mission below.
About 40 of us kiwis over here in Tokushima Pref. on the beautiful Yoshinogawa.
Kelsey and her crew have been here for nearly a week so know their way around Myoshi City already.
My team got together finally yesterday. A bit of a mission getting here with our bags,paddles and gear in transit for a couple days longer than us.
Got on the water today (Tuesday) and blew the cobwebs out on our official Sprint/ head 2 head training day.
Always good to see the teams measuring each other up in these training days, lots of peacocks out there!
Another day training tomorrow. In the slalom rapid. Just two runs down the rapid and a guessing game on where the gates will be.
Another great day on the river and again a lot of strutting of stuff ahead of the actual competitions, this time on the slalom course. An awesome course, the highest grade we have seen slalom on for a while, but looks like most teams will handle.
Not much to report until the competitions start on Friday. Will try and get some photos tomorrow.
Here you go. A couple photos from the main drop on the slalom
First day of competition was absolutely awesome. The sprints were all very close times and then the head 2 head had some exciting battles and a couple of surprise outcomes.
The kiwis had a great day with medals in all categories and a gold in junior men and masters women.
Kelsey's youth women team took silver in both the sprint and the head 2 head so an exciting jostle for overall position in their slalom today. They will be sitting at 1st overall right now I think.
PaulE's team ,NZ masters also have two silvers but the golds were both won by Japan so they are in the lead overall.
In the end a good day at the junior and youth slalom. All of them were a bit disappointed that the races weren't held on a bigger rapid but it was challenging enough for them all.
The girls first run was pretty disappointing and then to top the morning off they were taken into custody for doing bombs on the way to the take out. After some fast talking from coach Nick and a bollocking for the girls they made their way back to the top to pull off a silver medal run. The Russians first run taking Gold.
The best viewing for most of us was on the big screen so quite a good atmosphere at West West, the base. The same footage is live on Facebook, look for the link below
A bunch of ex tully guides were hanging at the back of the prizegiving, 3 of us with kids in the comp. Me and my old mate Tresto had our daughters on the podium at the same time, nz and Nippon. Cool.
Master's and open turn at 10am Sunday.
Well not a good day for us in the Masters Men tean at the slalom today. We blew a gate in our first run which cost us dearly and we had to put all our cards on the second run. And we had a great run... unfortunately the river level had changed throughout the day and the times from the first run remained the winning ones! So unfortunately no podium for us in the Slalom, 4th place for us. Japan took gold, well on line to take the championship, our old nemesis Czec boys silver and the Brazilians had a blinder to take Bronze.
A bit gutting, we had just watched our mate Sam Sutton take out the Sickline... again... and were psyched to have a sick line ourselves... nope.
Big Day Monday, all on the line now with the Downriver race, its going to be massive!
Yes it was a big day, and as usual a whirlwind of partying, ceremony and goodbyes for the 24 hours after the finish line.
We were beaten well and truly by the Japanese Masters team who once again posted the fastest time of the day... overall. Those boys were the fastest overall all week so pretty awesome team. The Czech boys have been trying to beat us and have been good competition since 2013, so well done to them too.
Anyway, mission complete, I won't divulge all of the sordid details of the nights festivities so I'll sign off here.