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.