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!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


After two weeks at home, I'm off again... No competitions this time, just training. My first week at home was spent recovering, the second was back at training - both on the water, dryland/gym and at the end of the week, just to finish me off, a fitness test! Needless to say...yoga was quite tough the following morning.

I arrived here late last night, my training started today (our session was already over by 7am my time!), in Santander, Spain (atlantic coast), at the Spanish Olympic Sailing Team training center. I'm joined by a really great group of girls - both on and off the water. Within our group (World #1 - Spanish sailor Marina, Lee from Israel, Demita from Mexico and Vicky from Hong Kong, and myself), we've got experts to cover all the bases: heavy, medium and light winds. The training facility is world class (we sleep here in dorm rooms looking out over the boat storage area and the harbour), there is a gym here on site as well as a gym/pool close by that we can go too. The sailing conditions here are good too, as is the surfing. It was a requirement to bring a surfboard :) And for all of you who've expressed some jealousy that I'm in Spain...it's NOT the warm part of Spain I just found out. It was a normal summer day today; 16 degrees and rain. Hmmm... I wonder why nobody told me that before I got here.

Attached are some pictures: the loading of the Spanish Van in Weymouth after Sail For Gold...little did I know until packing day that there are about 8 guys training in Santander too...and everyone's equipment had to go in or on the van. Not much room left for anything else!!! The pile of gear that we had to sift through to find our stuff. Our dorm room...before and after we moved in, and the view of where we are at the club. The town is very close...although I haven't seen any of it yet because it's been raining too hard.

And now it's off to try to sleep - should hopefully be a bit easier after a full day of sailing and the gym!

Friday, June 17, 2011



It has been a while since I wrote last – I’ve held off writing because I don’t want these posts to become mundane training updates with nothing else of any substance.  The past three weeks have been a solid block of training and Dave and I have gotten some good work in.  We have had a few minor illnesses and injuries to deal with but nothing that has derailed us all that much.  Many of the other Canadian boats have been gradually selected and have started to come together and pick up speed.  We tried to avoid last minute selection for the crews this year but in the end that is exactly what is happening.  It’s not ideal, but the boats are melding together well and starting to post some impressive times.  The races over the next month will serve as a speed check for all of our crews and will determine whether these line-ups stay together or whether we need to reshuffle things and try out new combinations.  So, while the athletes are excited to get over to Europe and race in their respective boats, the boats are still very much works in progress. Preparing for these two races is exciting but our focus is the World Championships at the end of August.  A trap that I think we have fallen into in the past is focusing too much on preseason time trials and races – they are definitely important and can help to build confidence, but it is possible to try to peak too many times and end up feeling a bit dull by the end of the summer.

We travel to Amsterdam on Monday to race in the Holland Beker regatta next weekend. Only a few international crews will be there but it will be a great chance to get used to being around a regatta site again and go through the process of getting ready to race.  I’m sure it will all come flooding back, but I haven’t done this sort of thing for 3 years!  It will take a few days to adjust to the 9-hour time difference and recover from the jetlag but we should be ready to go by the weekend.  From Amsterdam we will be traveling to my two favorite places in the rowing world.  For the past 8 years the Canadian team has held our European training camps in a little Italian town called Erba, just south of Lake Como.  There isn’t much to do there, but we have the lake to ourselves and the food at the hotel is incredible.  It is a great place to settle into life away from Victoria and to prepare for the upcoming races.

The World Cup race in Lucerne, Switzerland is always the main preseason race that most international crews to go to test their speed against the competition.  The city itself is beautiful and the lake that we race on, called the Rotsee, is ideal.  The lake is barely large enough to fit a 2km rowing course and the water is typically completely flat with no wind… leading to fair lanes and great racing conditions.  I have had some of my best races on the Rotsee and I can’t wait to go back!

The docks in Lucerne

Start for the final of the pair in 2008
“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”

This is the song that I listen to right before I go out to race.  Not a huge ‘pump up’ song… Just one that reminds me how great it is to be alive and to be in the position to race against the best rowers in the world.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

SARAH BOUDENS- Canoe/Kayak - Slalom

Canadian National Team Trials

After a stressful weekend of racing for all of the athletes, the 2011 Canadian National Whitewater Slalom Team has been determined.  The venue was changed a week and a half before the competition due to high water levels in Jonquiere, Quebec and moved to Valleyfield, just west of Montreal.

The whitewater in Valleyfield is much smaller and less technical than what we commonly compete on internationally.  This meant that the times were super close resulting in a nail biting competition.  We had 4 races over two days with the best 3 of 4 counting for each athlete.  The times were so tight that even after the 4th race was completed we needed to wait for all of the math to be finished to figure out who had made the team. 

Congratulations to the following athletes for some great racing over the weekend to qualify for the 2011 National Team.

K1 M
David Ford
Paul Manning-Hunter
John Hastings

K1 W
Jessica Groeneveld
Thea Froehlich
Sarah Boudens

Jamie & Adam Cutts
Thomas & Daniel Purcell

Cam Smedley
Julian Potvin-Bernal

C1 W
Alexandra McGee
Haley Daniels
Sindy Audet

The team is off to Slovenia for the first World Cup of the season next weekend.   The team will compete in 4 World Cups over the summer and the athletes in the Olympic disciplines of K1M, K1W, C1 and C2 will be competing in the London Test Event on the new 2012 London Olympic course in July.  The season will culminate in September with the World Championships and the first Olympic qualifying event in Bratislava, Slovakia.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

KYLE JONES- Triathlon

Two weeks ago I raced the ITU Pan American Cup in Ixtapa, Mexico. I had a bit of a rough swim, exiting the water further back than I would have liked, but still in the main group. There were 4 of us that worked really well together at the start of the bike and we were able to close the gap to the small lead group within 5k. Packs merged together and It ended up being one big group of about 40 athletes. It was a rolling course with a couple 180's so there were a few attacks, but for the most part the pace was pretty controlled. I stayed near the front the entire ride to stay out of trouble. Coming into transition I was well positioned and started the run in about 6th place. I ran conservatively (due to the heat) for the first 1k but was able to get to the front. Manuel Huerta (USA) and I ran together for 3 laps and opened up a good lead on the rest of the field. At the start of the last lap I made a surge and was able to open up a gap on Huerta. I ran strong for the next 2k and it was enough to get the win. I’m very pleased with how the race played out.

Then, it was off to Asia for 2 more continental cup races. This past weekend was the first one, the ITU Amakusa Asian Cup in Japan. Much like last week, the goal was to score as many points as possible in order to boost my ranking. I was able to do just that, coming away with another win. I am very pleased with the result! I had a much better swim today, getting to the front early on and settling in to the lead group. We had a small group of seven exit the water together. Onto the bike there were five of us that worked really well together and by the end of the 40km we were able to maintain our lead on the rest of the field. I started the run fairly conservative as the first half was quite hilly. Gavin Noble (Ireland) went straight to the front and opened up a small gap. I ran about 20 metres behind him for most of the run. With about 1km to the finish I closed the gap and then surged up the final climb. I ran hard for a few hundred metres and it was enough to get a gap. I was very happy to get another win!

One more race next weekend in China and then I’m heading back home to prepare for the Edmonton World Cup in July.


www.kylejones.ca <http://www.kylejones.ca>
twitter: @JonesKyle

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


The regatta started off with a bleak forecast for yesterday's racing. Initially I thought I was racing at 11, which actually had been rescheduled for the girls for 2pm, but with the boys being postponed for most of the day prior to us getting out there, it ended up being something like a 6pm start time. The wind definitely stabilized through out the afternoon and we actually had some pretty decent racing, in moderate conditions. Both starts I did not get off the line too well and had to deviate from my plan, however always fought back hard and finished mid fleet, a 19 and 14 (We have two girls fleets of 30). I thought I had sailed much better than my actual results showed, but it's still early in the regatta.  I was in 34th at the end of day one. Home by 8:30, dinner, stretch and...bed. Made for a pretty late night, and all I wanted to do was sleep.

And sleep was definitely not in store for me last night. Unfortunately, whatever stomach bug I had 2 weeks ago came back to haunt me...all night long. I couldn't help to think...was it the lettuce that I ate a week ago...or was a cucumber or sprout that was snuck into one of my meals?!? Needless to say, dry toast was going to have to sustain me for my racing today, a day that was forecasted to be windy.

Race One: It was nice and windy - about 20knots!!! We had 2 general recalls (meaning that two times in a row, too many boards were over the start line too early so we were recalled to start again.) Lucky for me as the first start I messed up, the second start a board crashed on top of me...so I was gunning for 3rd time lucky.
For the 3rd start, I was determined to get off the line, clear and with speed....which I did. I sailed high and fast and by my first tack I was in the lead. I tacked onto the starboard layline (something like 150m ahead of the next board) and...thinking I had enough room to round. My layline was oh so tight and I was praying that I'd make the mark....and I....almost did. I got half way around and then my fin caught onto the mark anchor line. It was so embarrassing. Windsurfers are allowed to hit marks, but having such a nice lead and to get stuck on one with all the coaches in their boats watching!!! I tried backing up to clear my fin but that didn't work, so I actually had to drop my sail in the water and get on the back of my board to take the rope off my fin. AHHHH! Finally I was free, got back up and somehow...I was still in the lead, but only just. I now had to work really hard and not make anymore mistakes to stay there. I pulled away from the pack behind and focusing ever so hard. AND....I FINISHED 1ST. It's my first ever World Cup Race win!!!

Race Two: I basically did the exact same as in race one. Was leading after my first tack, but then some how couldn't keep my lane and got passed to leeward. Not such a big deal, I was in second coming into the top mark....and then a puff hit me and lifted my board up and I exploded. NOT GOOD!!!! This time there were plenty of girls at my heels and I lost about 15 boards in that. I had my work cut out for me for the rest of the race. I managed to catch back up to 8th, but disappointed in that result as my goal was top 3.

Overall, I've moved up to 18th. 4 more days of racing :) and hopefully no more sleepless nights!

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