Below is a short video on dryland work filmed by Kelly on her Canon 7D, a quick view of the other side of slalom training.
My winning run from the fall race series in Charlotte, NC.
This is one of my race runs from the London Test Event which was part of the One Year Countdown celebration for the Olympic Games. The course for next years Games is tough with consistent whitewater that just keeps on coming at you. There is no doubt that this course will be a great test for those fortunate to qualify for next years events.
After competing in the Team Selection events for Australia, the US, Spain, Italy and Slovenia in countries around the world, I was ready to head to Jonquiere in Quebec for our own Team Selection event. Unfortunately Mother Nature had other ideas for us and unexpected high waters forced the event to be moved to a much smaller venue in Valleyfield just outside of Montreal.
The race organizers, faced with a tough last minute change, did a fantastic job of getting the venue ready and the races were run professionally and with a precision what would be impressive at any level of competition.
I felt like I raced well all weekend, and kept things very much within what was necessary to qualify for my 28th consecutive year on the National Team. This years World Championships have the added pressure of being the first step in the qualifying process for next summers Olympic Games in London.
The real news of the weekend was the impressive performances from some of the younger athletes new to the top of the leader board. Racing for many of the spots on the team including the second and third spots in my event went down to the last run and I was heart broken when my training partner Chris McTaggert came up in 4th spot, narrowly missing the team by one time penalty on the last run of the day. This kind of effort from all of the competitors required full concentration as the times were extremely tight and consistent. Congratulations to everyone who made the team.
With my 8th and 6th place finishes in World Ranking events in Australia and Spain this spring and a solid Team Selection event, I am optimistic and looking forward to a great summer of racing in Europe.
Sometimes to take a step forward you first need to take a step back, and sometimes that includes a stumble or two.
The 2011 US Team Selection event in Charlotte was a great opportunity to get on the start line and feel the jitters before the season starts in ernest. I am leaving for Europe on Friday and wanted a chance to mix it up a little but I have learned once again that arriving late in Charlotte for a competition is a very bad idea. This course deserves all of the respect you can give it and learning the nuances is key to top performance.
Parts of my runs were very good and I am happy with my fitness. The technique I worked on in Australia this winter is becoming automatic and I am having fun in the boat. The US athletes were very impressive with tight and fast racing all weekend, young Michal Smolen served notice that he is going to be an athlete to watch for the US, especially on this course in Charlotte.
Next up are some world ranking events in Seu and Tacen and a good long camp on this years World Championship course in Bratislava.
I recently had the opportunity to try the PaddleOne Kayak ergometer and I was very impressed with the unit. Extremely well built and designed to fit in a small space this ergo is smooth and quiet and simulates the stroke very well. The Kayak erg is an essential tool for any paddler in North America and the PaddleOne has by far the most bang for the dollar. I am looking forward to adding this to my regular training regime.
Recently I sat down with Kelly VanderBeek who is reporting for the International Canoe Federation and Sportcene productions here in Penrith Australia. Above is the interview, stay tuned for more live streams including dinner with World Champion Daniele Molmenti which will air live on Monday Feb. 7th.