Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Nookie Team Rider Chris Harvey takes Bronze at World Kayak Surf Championships
The last week i've been in Spain, competing at the World Kayak Surf Championships. Conditions have been tough with small messy surf but i've managed to pull out some good performances and made it through to the finals which were held on Sunday morning. Conditions were great with light winds, sunshine and 8ft surf. I've been struggling with cold and flu this week but managed to get myself fired up for the final heat. With the world's best competitors, the 4 man heat was always going to be extremely tough. 2 USA team surfers, the European champion and myself (the only UK competitor in the final) all fighting for the 2008 world title. My 'game plan' was to go out and enjoy the heat. It was exciting to be in such a high class final and i was excited for the spectators who were guaranteed a good show. With a big set at the start of the heat i was straight into it, but struggled to find the best take-off spot, finding only short 'close-out' rides. Midway through the heat i knew i had quite a lot of work to do and i managed to find a couple of nice waves to pull my score up. I found a nice wave that walled up well and managed to work it hard and with an all or nothing attitude managed to land a nice little aerial on the inside section...allbeit a bit close to rocks for comfort! I found myself getting a bit frustrated through the heat as i was always in the wrong place when the best sets came through. However, i had fun and it was a great feeling to have 100s of people watching and cheering...i'm told it was really great to watch! It was a tense wait for the results and the news that i had the bronze (again!)...i'm very pleased with that. It's so hard to keep up with the pace of the sport, so to be 3rd in the world for the 2nd year running is a real achievemnent. I also received the prize for best move of the contest which i'm really excited about. In what was difficult conditions earlier in the week i landed a really nice air which felt great...and helped me get the nickname 'Air Harvey' amongst the Americans!
Any one of the top 20 has the potential to win an event and it's so difficult just to make the final. With a greater focus on coaching recently and struggling with a cold all week i wasn't feeling like i was on my best form. This is another great result for me and one that i can hopefully build on. I've got a few projects in the pipeline for the coming months, including a magazine column, coaching and also a documentary expedition to Peru which I'm really excited about.
Sponsorship support: The hardest thing for me at the moment is securing financial sponsorship and i'm surprised by the lack of support from Guernsey companies. Over the last few years, and particularly the last year i've had some great competition results and masses of media attention around the world. Most of the other competitors secure several thousand pounds each year in terms of financial sponsorship and especially the English competitors seem to attract some good sponsorship. I'd like to think that as a wealthy island there are companies out there that would be supportive of local athletes and i might be able to secure some major sponsors for the next year. I'd be really interested to hear from anyone who can help, so feel free to email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris 'Air' Harvey