World Championships Update One: The build up, training and life in the camp...
So on Sunday evening (June 12th) after the days rafting in Austria I hurriedly packed my car and set off for Plattling, the weather in Austria has been pretty grim, grey and cold for the last week so I was looking forward to a change of scenery for a little while. Luckily the drive is not too long, only around three hours so I arrived in Plattling around midnight and set up my tent next door to Adam Ramadan (GBR), backing right onto the river. After a fairly uncomfortable nights sleep I awoke early and jumped on the water right after breakfast. The weather was cool for that first morning but quickly warmed up. Through out the day I decided to move my tent to a slightly flatter location, a touch closer to the wave, not that walking the extra hundred metres makes a big difference!
So I paddled for almost the whole day monday, and when I wasn’t on the water I was relaxing on the wall overlooking the wave. Monday was all about squirt kayaking as you don’t have to queue to use the eddyline, but there is a really great atmosphere and banter with all of the other competitors especially Canadian Nick Troutman and American Stephen Wright who can both be very entertaining in the eddy.
The water levels have been dropping off since I arrived although heavy rain last night (Wednesday) has seem to have brought it up a little. In terms of Squirt kayaking which is what I have been focussed on the eddyline is extremely tricky with little very little head under down time from most people but the eddy is really deep and wide which really suits my paddling style. There are only a few squirt boaters here so far and everyone is keeping their cards pretty close to their chest for now, it will be interesting to see what happens on tuesday when the prelims for squirt kick off.
There isn’t tons to do around the camp except for eat, paddle and sleep which suits me nicely. In the evenings there is often a game of football which is a cool way to unite paddlers from a variety of nations for a few hours, after that I am usually pretty dead because I will normally paddle three times in a day as well. Yesterday the port-a-loos were replaced with a block of real flushing toilets which are a lot nicer to use than the afore mentioned port-a-loos which were frankly unpleasant. There are not any shower on site but once athletes register they get access to the local swimming pool showers, I used the this morning and the first wash for three days felt ace.
The only other excitement really was a snake (which I don’t think is poisonous after a quick google search) which tried to move in under my car. It was easily 60cm long and so together with a few of the Irish freestyle team we chased it back to the river.
I will try and do another update in a few days but for now
Bis Spaeter (see you later)
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