2015 Year in Review

January 05, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

2015 Year End Review

Failed to make GB Freestyle team for worlds, Failed to win a place at the next Whitewater Grand Prix, Still one of the best years ever.  


From the subtitle of this post it would seem like I have spent a lot of the year not achieving the goals I set myself this time last year.  But what I have come to understand is that not succeeding isn't a bad thing in this case.  Lets break it down.  I had two major goals at the start of 2015.


  1. Make the GB freestyle kayak team to compete at the 2015 Freestyle World Championships.  
  2. Win a place for the next Whitewater Grand Prix.  


The one minor goal I had to to actually catalog how many days I kayaked this year which is something I have not been successful in doing during other years.  But more on that later. 




So back in January I was all ready well in to training for the GB freestyle kayak team trials event which was to be held at the end of February.  I was only working part time at Whitewater the Canoe Centre and had starting treating training freestyle like a full time job, leaving the house early doing a morning paddle session working on tricks or rides and then having a lunch break and doing another session before trying to beat the traffic home.  The amount of time I had put in was paying off, and everyone could see the improvements I had been making through the winter.  When Team Trials came around on the last weekend of Feb I felt pretty ready for the two day event.  Things really unravelled for me on the first day when I did not do as well as hoped at the Hurley event, I could try and make excuses like the water level wasn’t optimal or I was injured or tired or cold or hungry but really I just did’t have it on the day, I think I finished somewhere around 8th that day.  The second day o  f competition  was a different story, at the Lea Valley Olympic Whitewater course I hit my planned ride and was stoked to wind up in 4th place in that event. However my good result on day 2 wasn’t enough to see me into one of the top 5 spots to compete on what is now one of my home features Garburator wave on the Ottawa river.  I wound up in 7th place missing a team spot by just 2 places.  



Doug Cooper in flight at HurleyDoug Cooper in flight at HurleyDoug Cooper taking off from the pocket at Hurley weir on a sunny spring day.

Whilst initially annoyed at missing my goal there were actually a lot of things for me to take away from this experience.  


  1. My freestyle paddling had dramatically improved
  2. This was my best result in a Mens K1 GB Team Trials, EVER.


Fast forward to Spring in Canada, I was having  great time hanging out with my friends, travelling around Ontario and Quebec to surf monster waves and paddle epic rivers, check out my blog from earlier in the spring for more.  My first opportunity to win a Whitewater grand prix spot came up in May at the Ottawa XL competition.  Half day boater-X race half day big wave freestyle.  I had a new creek boat (Jackson Zen L) which felt fast, but was I fast enough? I doubted it, I hadn’t been focussed all that much on going fast lately.  But on the day I just seemed to be accelerating away from everybody else, alot.  In fact I was helped by my buddy Kalob Grady to getting second in the Boater-X race after he cut across in front of course leader Gerd Serrasolses, blocking him out for enough time for me to slide into second.  I wasn’t quite able to hold it together enough in the freestyle portion of the day and wound up in 9th place overall.  Given the field of top level kayakers I was pretty stoked to in the top 10, the WWGP Spot went to the 4th place competitor.  



Athlete: Devyn ScottAthlete: Devyn Scott Ben Marr: Truck LifeBen Marr: Truck Life Ben Marr: Truck LifeBen Marr: Truck Life Athlete: Bren OrtonAthlete: Bren Orton


Fast forward through some more epic summer time activities on the Ottawa river and you’ll find us in August at the Montreal en Eau Vive weekend competition.  One day freestyle on Mavericks wave, one day Boater-X racing.  Since I had never surfed on Mavericks wave (Its the big centre wave on the Lachine Rapids) I wasn’t expecting too much and honestly wasn’t all that good (or so I thought) on the freestyle day.  The Boater-X day however I managed to just keep going fast again and squeezed into 4th place in the race. This put me in tied 8th place overall with my British buddy Bren Orton.  The WWGP spot went to the 3rd place competitor.  


So it would seem on the while like I should be annoyed at missing another of my 2015 goals, but once again I found plenty of good to take away from these experiences.  


  1. These were my best two comp results at WWGP Qualifiers
  2. I did much better than I was expecting of myself
  3. I beat Dane in a competition (it isn't good practice to compare yourself to others but I so rarely get ahead of Dane that when it does happen I have to smile a little)
  4. I can go faster than I thought. 
  5. My big wave freestyle is improving



So really in-spite of my failures this year it isn't doom and gloom.  Add to that the big things that I haven’t touched on at all in the this write up and I am pretty stoked on 2015.  Here are some more of the big things of 2015 that were kind of a big deal to me.


  1. Became a Permanent Resident of Canada
  2. I coached Katie Kowalski [CAN] into 6th place in Senior Women’s category at the 2015 ICF Freestyle Kayak world Championships
  3. Successfully catalogued my days on the water and got 237 days of kayaking in 2015
  4. Took on the job of Director at Ottawa Kayak School
  5. Traveled to paddle in Ecuador
  6. Met lots of awesome new people
  7. Re-connected with a bunch of people I haven’t seen for years
  8. Had an epic Canadian Thanks Giving meal with the Grady family (Thanks for having me!)
  9. Got a sweet new website (thanks to Kate Shea Designs with a little design help)



Certainly not a terrible 2015, although there were a few low points, they are for sure outweighed by the high points.  Be sure to check out my 2013-2015 highlights video that is online here: 

Seth Ashworth [GBR] 2016 WWGP bid. 2013-2015 highlights from Seth Ashworth on Vimeo.




So thats all for now.  Until next time, roll on 2016!








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