2012, what a year! I am sitting here on New Year’s eve writing this article when I should probably be out celebrating with everyone else. But as I am not here is some more of what team Nookie have been up to in the last while.
The Hurley Classic
Hurley holds a special place in my kayaking heart. It is where I did my first loop, my first GB selections and where met a lot of my paddling pals. For the 109 competitors at the classic this year, I am sure that thinking of the famous playspot also brings back distinct memories of fun and enjoyment. It is for this reason that the Hurley Classic is always such a great event… oh yeah and they had a massive ramp this year!
The 2012 Hurley Classic was a packed weekend. The British Championship Finale kicking things off on the Saturday Morning. With GB team positions for the 2013 world championships in America up for grabs, all were keen to get on the water and strut their stuff for the judges. With an ideal 60.53 cumes of water flowing through three open gates; the wave was a perfect green hump with a smattering of white on top. These factors could only lead to an exciting competition and the spectators on the bridge were not disappointed. Once the dust had settled Alan Ward was shown to be the top man with a smooth display of airscrews, flip turns and blunts. Fellow Nookie team mate Doug Cooper just missed out on the medals finishing a very respectable fourth by throwing trademark huge clean blunts, pan ams and airscrews (you can’t complain with that when you’re up against the current world and British champions!). I was competing in the C1 category, a relatively new thing for me so I was extremely happy with my third place position. As this event was the grand finale the overall positions were also awarded. Sam Anderson (fresh from his sky news performance!) took the K1M and C1 titles with myself finishing just behind (in the C1) taking home the silver.
Doug Going Big!
As soon as the British Champs were done, we moved straight onto the BoaterX event. This had created a lot of excitement for the paddlers who had been eyeing up the start ramp all day. £250 was on offer for the male winner so anticipation was high. With a system of heats and finals that only organiser Jacko seamed to understand, nobody had a clue what was going on! What we did know however was when the word “go” was shouted, all four on the ramp would fight tooth and nail to reach the finish line first. Each race had its own story and I shall not spoil good tales with the truth but I think there are a few videos in floating around on youtube that are definitely worth a watch!
A fantastic addition to the event this year was an evening social event and meal at the Hurley Village Hall. With winners announced, prizes given and the alcohol flowing it was a great way to end a day of competition amongst friends.
Day 2… the action continues. Sunday morning started bright and early with the main event of the weekend; the jam style competition. The eddy definitely had an international aura to it with paddlers turning up from Catalonia (I have been told off far too many times by Quim and Nuria for saying Spain!), Norway, Russia, France, Poland and Slovakia to compete. The jam session format is unique to the classic and means paddlers can throw down their biggest rides without worrying about a flush. Another fantastic thing about the classic is that everyone is mixed in together with men, women, juniors, experts and novices in the same heats. This brings new paddlers together; I got placed in heat 13 with an old paddling mate called Todd… was great to be on the water again together and catch up! By the stage I was on the water the judges must have been board of seeing huge moves… they probably never want to see another Air Blunt Mc Nasty Combo again as the standard was so high! Whilst all this was going on there were a number of interesting lectures and events going on bank side to vary things up a bit. There was even a boat on offer for the most deserving paddler voted for by other paddlers.
The event finished as light was falling with the super finals (not sure why they are super… but it sounds way cooler!). The top 5 male and female paddlers battled it out to be named Hurley Classic Champion 2012 (and get their name on next year’s T-Shirt). Once the scores had been counted, checked, independently verified, lost, and then found Peter Csonka and Fiona Jarvie were announced worthy champions.
Once again the Hurley Classic proved to be a fantastic event. Massive thanks must go to Jacko for the organisation. He put a huge amount of effort in to making it happen.
2012 is now drawing to a close (1 hour 30 minutes to go!!!). Massive thanks to Nookie for supporting me this year. With the world championships in America and more paddling adventures planned for the next twelve months I aim to have fun year, I hope you do to.
Happy New Year