Welcome to the CAN Fund Athlete Blog!
This is where Canadian Athletes will be posting as they train and prepare to represent Canada on the World Stage! Keep up to date on when and where our athletes are training and competing!

Monday, April 18, 2011

SARAH BOUDENS- Canoe/Kayak - Slalom

I love spring time racing!  It’s a great time to get yourself back into the racing swing of things without too much pressure to perform so early in the season.  I’ve done 4 weekends of racing so far here in the UK and I’ve really been enjoying it.  I’ve also been quite happy with my results which feels great and gives me some confidence going into our team selection races. 
Two weekends ago I competed in Nottingham, England as a guest in one of the British Team selection events.  The pressure was on for the British athletes to try to make their Junior and U23 teams.  I was taking the race very seriously as well as I’ve spent quite a bit of time training in Nottingham and I really wanted to see what I was capable of on a familiar course.  I placed 5th In Saturday’s competition and 6th in Sunday’s race.  The courses were very challenging and unusual to say the least.

In whitewater slalom we’re allowed unlimited training on the whitewater with training gates but don’t get to practice the race gates once they’re set.  Our first race run is the first time we’ve ever done that specific gate combination.  The goal in training is to try to practice as many gate combinations as you can in an attempt to predict what may be set for a race.  Sometimes it can be quite surprising what the organizers come up with for the race and Nottingham was no exception.  Over the two days of racing there were multiple moves I had never tried before even after months of training on the course.  That’s one of the reasons I really like this sport.  It’s always different and exciting!
This past weekend I was competing up in Grandtully, Scotland.  I had a great weekend and placed 2nd.  It’s my first podium finish in the UK and I’m extremely happy with the way I paddled.
Spring time paddling also produces what us paddlers call the “hand tan.”  Even though it’s getting warmer outside the water can still be quite cold which means it’s warm enough to not have to wear something on our hands but still cold enough to wear a dry top.  This results in funny looking tanned hands.  It does mean though that summer is on its way and short sleeved paddling tops too!  I can’t wait.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


After the crazy windy day I couldn't sleep at all that night probably because my adrenaline was still pumping too much and my whole body hurt. Losing a night's sleep definitely didn't help the next few days...

The next days were super tough long ones: the mornings started with an offshore breeze, building to a super nice 15 knots. Before the race, I did my sail tuning to make sure I was set up right for these conditions. A slow race committee combined with the guys fleet starting before us and having general recalls (which meant they had to restart several times), meant our start time was continually delayed. Finally we got underway, only to have the wind back off... The first upwind still had planing conditions, but by the first downwind it was marginal planing - for the second upwind, the wind continued to shut off and it was already pumping conditions, while the last downwind was painfully slow and lumpy, only to finish off the race with what seemed like a never ending slalom (supposed to be fast, exciting and 2 minutes long) that took 8 minutes, in near glassy (no wind) conditions. Needless to say, very tricky and almost impossible to catch up as the distances between sailors was increasing as the wind was decreasing. Then the wind completely shut off and thus we were sent ashore to wait for the wind to fill in from the other direction.

Lots of waiting... In the afternoon the seabreeze started to fill in and we were sent out for our second race of the day. The wind conditions for the rest of the days were always between 7-11knots. The water in the bay of Palma is also quite shallow making it quite lumpy - definitely very tough for me as I'm one of the heavier girls and I'm not the fastest in these conditions. The wind was also oscillating slowly (going from right to left back and forth) and I just couldn't ever get it right. When I went to the left, the wind swung to the right and when I went right, the wind went to the left. In those 3 middle days of the regatta I added many points to my score as I finished in the late 20's for most of them. Frustrating races they were, but I learned from some of my mistakes and finally, on the last day I actually put into practice some of the things I had learned from the previous days. Before the start I was very diligent in monitoring the wind, devising my game plan and sticking to it. For myself, I also needed to finish the regatta off on a better note... 

Which I did! On the last day I sailed to finish a solid 18th in these difficult conditions yet was in the game the whole time. In the 2nd race I rounded the top mark in 3rd, and after losing a few boards on the downwinds (I just couldn't plane as long and as deep as some of the others) to finish 7th. Happy to end the regatta on a positive, my last races also helped me move back up to 18th overall in the regatta.

Dead tired - I am now enjoying some days off (no sailing although I still have my regular fitness routine to uphold). I haven't even had internet, so I've really been out of the loop too.

On Sunday the training continues in Hyeres, France... Where the next World Cup Race: Semaine Olympique Francaise will take place from April 23-29th.

www.nikolagirke.com <http://www.nikolagirke.com>

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Hello, everyone! It's Robin Randall, Captain of the Canadian Olympic Men's Water Polo Team here with another report.

Things are going swimmingly, if you will pardon the pun, as preparations are underway for the big tournaments this season. Coming up at the end of the month will be Canadian National Championships in Langley, BC. Teams participating will be two each from Quebec and Alberta and three from British Columbia. I will again be helping the Calgary Torpedoes in the quest for domestic glory. We hope to repeat last year's podium finish.

Coming up in May, our participation in the 2011 FINA World League has been confirmed and we will travel to California to determine our seeding in that competition. Finals are to be played in Tuscany, Italy.

It is only a scant 102 days until the FINA World Championships in Shanghai, China, and we are aiming to achieve another Canadian best. Until now we have managed eighth in the world.

Until next time,
Your goalie,
Robin Randall

Robin Randall
Goaltenders' Union President
Dictated but not read

Sunday, April 3, 2011


Hola from Palma de Mallorca, Spain!

After what seemed like an extended layover (9 days that felt like 3) in Vancouver; just enough time to unpack, do laundry, train both on the water and in the gym, run all my errands, do laundry again and then repack, I arrived in Palma de Mallorca last Sunday the 27th.

I can't believe it's been a full week of training here already. There are so many good girls to train with here, so I've been able to check in and see how I'm doing. The weather's been great and surprisingly warm, but we've mostly had lighter wind conditions. The racing starts tomorrow, and will continue until Saturday the 9th.

Princess Sofia Trophy is the 3rd of this year's World Cup Circuit, the first in Europe, so we have a big turnout in the fleets. I think we have 50ish girls racing the RSX.

To follow the races and results go to: http://www.trofeoprincesasofia.org/
You can also sign up for facebook or twitter updates.

I'm hoping we get a variety of wind conditions throughout the week. I'll keep you posted.

Attached are a few pictures of me and some of my surroundings!

Hasta luego!

www.nikolagirke.com <http://www.nikolagirke.com