The British Open was held October 30th and 31st at the National Watersports Centre in Nottingham, England on the Trent River. The artificial course in Nottingham is an excellent world class venue for training and racing and has hosted major international events in the past including the European Championships in 2009. The British Open attracted participants from all over the UK and Europe…plus two Canadians.
I’ve been training in Nottingham since the Worlds in September and have very much enjoyed my time here. The whitewater course has allowed me to work on the technical and physical training I need in this important offseason. Unfortunately the water here contains some nastiness which my Canadian stomach is not immune to. I have been struggling with what the Brits refer to as the “Trent Trots.”
Stomach problems are extremely common for the whitewater team as we travel around the world. As many people know travelers are often warned not to drink the tap water. Unfortunately we do much worse than that by paddling in the dirtiest water and sometimes flipping which can mean getting a nice mouthful of the stuff. This summer while we were training in Prague we paddled by some bloated dead rats and plenty of dead fish in the warm up area. Can you say disgusting??
Anyway, I’ve yet to see dead animals here in Nottingham but it does smell very much like sewage when it rains…..
I was feeling less than ideal the week leading into the British Open but luckily I had lots of time on the water previously which helped a great deal. Saturday was the qualifier event. We race 2 runs in a day with the best run counting towards your final result. I still wasn’t feeling great in the morning so I forfeited my first run choosing only to race my second run. It was good enough to qualify for the top 20 semi final as I placed a nice 13th out of 47 women’s racers.
By Sunday I was feeling better and qualified for the one run final. I placed a very respectable 7th place overall. I’m happy to have a top 10 finish at a well attended international race. It looks like my training is paying off….I just need to keep my mouth closed in the waves!