Dane’s World: US Teen Jackson dominates ICF Freestyle Kayak Worlds

Dane Jackson, 17, Wins Three Golds and a Bronze

 

Plattling, Germany – The 2011 International Canoe Federation Freestyle Kayak World Championships could be called Dane’s party, for US teen Dane Jackson who not only was the first and only person to ever compete in all four freestyle disciplines but also took top honors in three of the four and one bronze in the other.

The 17-year-old won gold in the Squirt, Canoe (C1) and Kayak (K1) classes and a bronze in Open Canoe (OC1).

Asked after his final competition if he was tired at all, Jackson said he was feeling pretty full of energy and pretty happy with his performance. “I felt pretty consistent in K1 and was fired up about the high scores in C1 and definitely didn’t expect such a high score in squirt,” Jackson said. Though not an official part of the ICF-sanctioned event, Jackson also won the stand up paddle downriver race held here yesterday.

Jackson’s father, four-time world freestyle kayak champion Eric “EJ” Jackson, said Dane’s results here this week are a testament to his desire to “paddle anything, anytime.”

US teammate Clay Wright, who’s known Dane since he was a baby, said “Dane has a better understanding of how a boat moves on water – any boat on any water – but until now he hasn’t cared about scoring points but now that he’s put his mind to it, he’s going to be tough to beat.”

Other headline news from this competition was the success of the British and Spanish teams. Brits Claire O’Hara and James “Pringle” Bebbington accounted for three more of the event’s gold medals. O’Hara successfully defended her Squirt title before going on to upset defending Women’s K1 champ Emily Jackson (USA) for a second gold medal. Bebbington prevailed in Men’s K1 against finalists that included defending champ Nick Troutman (CAN), 2007 silver medalist Peter Csonka (SVK) and 2009 bronze medalist Stephen Wright. Team GBRs Jamie Austen earned the team a silver medal in Squirt and bronze medals were brought home by juniors Gabbie Bates and James Benns.

Spain celebrated gold and silver in the OC1 division from Adria Bosch and Odei Areta respectively. Junior Joaquim Fontane added silver to the medal count while Aitor Goikoetxea added a bronze in the C1 class.

The three countries – US, Spain and Great Britain – took home 17 of 24 medals including all the golds. In all, some 225 athletes from nearly 30 countries competed in the World championships that concluded today.  Since freestyle kayaking is not yet an Olympic discipline, World Championships are the loftiest stage on which freestyle kayakers compete. The next World Championships will take place in 2013 at Nantahala Outdoor Center in the southeastern US.

 

The following are highlights by division from today’s finals.

 

Women’s Squirt

Claire O’Hara (GBR) rebuffed any thoughts of an attempt on her Squirt World title in a decisive win today with a first round ride of 946 held that proved to be too huge a lead for anyone to catch. Providing a massive cushion in front of silver medalist Motoko Ishada (JPN) with 580 points. Devon Barker (USA) won bronze with a clutch third ride that scored 356.

O’Hara also seeded second heading into Women’s K1 finals, credited her team of volunteer coaches with her commanding win today. O’Hara’s training team includes two coaches, a team of three on video analysis, a physio team, personal trainer and Team Great Britain’s strength and conditioning trainer.

“I’m so lucky to have such support, it’s made a massive difference,” the 29-year-old said. The biggest difference in the past few years in freestyle is that “it used to be you just had to be a boater, now you have to be an athlete,” O’Hara said.

Flg Heat Persnr Bib Name Nation Point1 Point2 Point3 Total
01 OharClai 381 Claire O´Hara GBR 946,600 717,000 386,600 946,600
01 IshiMoto 384 Motoko Ishida JPN 580,000 158,330 573,300 580,000
01 BarkDevo 388 Devon Barker USA 195,000 123,300 356,600 356,600
01 CrosIsla 387 Islay Crosbie GBR 110,000 190,000 177,000 190,000
01 TurnLou 390 Lou Turner GBR 051,600 038,300 025,000 051,600

Men’s Squirt

Seventeen-year-old American Dane Jackson earned his first gold medal of these Championships with a 1293-point second ride that surprised even himself and was too tough for top seed Jamie Austen (GBR) to overcome. With the pressure on for his last ride, Austen improved from 1103 on his first ride to 1173 but fell short of gold. Toru Ishihara, who hails from squirt powerhouse Japan, finished with a 903-point bronze medal ride and his coutry’s only medal.

Flg Heat Persnr Bib Name Nation Point1 Point2 Startzeit Point3 Total
01 JackDane 357 Dane Jackson USA 946,000 1.293,000 11:32:30 1.176,000 1.293,000
01 AustJami 366 Jamie Austen GBR 1.103,000 876,000 11:35:00 1.173,000 1.173,000
01 IshiToru 352 Toru Ishihara JPN 873,000 823,000 11:30:00 903,000 903,000
01 KempColi 362 Colin Kemp USA 756,000 356,500 11:27:30 328,000 756,000
01 LaucJere 353 Jeremy Laucks USA 733,300 394,600 11:25:00 296,260 733,300

OC1

Team Spain notched its first medals of these games in the Open Canoe class with gold and silver. Fourth-seeded Adria Bosch, appearing in his second World Championships, scored 131 points in his final gold medal-winning ride to top countryman Odei Areta’s 108-point silver medal ride. Areta had been tied with US teen Dane Jackson at 103 points but on his last ride got just enough points to avoid a tie-breaker. Jackson’s bronze in this class follows up on the gold he got in squirt.

Flg Heat Persnr Bib Name Nation Point1 Point2 Point3 Total
01 BoscAdri 338 Adrià Bosch ESP 041,667 105,000 131,667 131,667
01 AretOdeo 332 Odei Areta ESP 103,333 050,000 108,333 108,333
01 JackDane 337 Dane Jackson USA 053,333 000,000 103,333 103,333
01 HuetTobi 333 Tobias Huether GER 063,333 000,000 000,000 063,333
01 HelbEli 340 Eli Helbert USA 020,000 010,000 010,000 020,000

Junior Women

Fifteen-year-old Lauren Burress (USA) had the best ride of her first world championships when she needed it most. Youngest of the junior women’s finalists, Burress’ third ride that included a big-scoring loop and a space godzilla scored 196 that were good for gold. Joining her on the podium were silver medalist Courtney Kerin (NZL) whose best ride was 166 and Gabby Bates (GBR) with 110 points for bronze. Burress attributed her success here to mentally treating Worlds like the other competitions she’s been in since she first started kayaking when she was 9. So far this season on the US circuit, Burress has won all the junior women’s events she entered and finished in fourth place in the women’s division of Teva Mountain Games, the US equivalent of an Olympic Games for outdoor adventure sports. The teen also credited the support of her family and her coach, Team USA alternate Jud Keiser.

Flg Heat Persnr Bib Name Nation Point1 Point2 Point3 Total
01 BurrLaur 254 Lauren Burress USA 180,000 193,333 196,667 196,667
01 KeriCour 265 Courtney Kerin NZL 136,667 130,000 166,667 166,667
01 BateGabb 264 Gabby Bates GBR 110,000 010,000 100,000 110,000
01 AldrKim 259 Kim Aldred GBR 106,667 010,000 100,000 106,667
01 HeggTora 251 Tora Heggem NOR 090,000 103,333 080,000 103,333

C1

Dane Jackson scored his second gold medal of these championships in the Canoe class with a score of 686. Jackson’s flurry of high-scoring moves on his second ride included a mcnasty, back loop, felix, space godzilla and a splitwheel link to a cartwheel the only combo thrown by any of the C1 competitors. With stands full of wildly cheering German fans, Philip Hitzigrath earned silver, Germany’s only medal of these championships with a 640 point ride just seven points ahead of bronze medalist Aitor Goikoetxea (ESP) with 633 points.

Flg Heat Persnr Bib Name Nation Point1 Point2 Point3 Total
01 JackDane 302 Dane Jackson USA 503,333 686,667 656,667 686,667
01 HitzPhil 310 Philipp Hitzigrath GER 306,667 640,000 330,000 640,000
01 GoikAito 317 Aitor Goikoetxea ESP 398,333 265,000 633,333 633,333
01 ChapSeth 316 Seth Chapelle USA 541,667 183,333 383,333 541,667
01 JuanIgor 303 Igor Juanikorena ESP 461,667 506,667 386,667 506,667

Junior Men

US teen Dane Jackson proved why he was the heavy favorite to win this class. Consistently scoring the highest score of all but the final round – juniors or men – Jackson scored a 1020 point ride to earn his third gold medal and fourth trip to the podium of these championships. Spain’s Joaquim Fontane had to put everything on the line after his first two shaky rides scored only 313 and 196, well below what he’d been scoring leading up to the last day of competition. Fontane looked focused and determined as he entered the hole on his third and final ride with and put up a 773-point ride to earn a silver medal. Great Britain’s Bren Orton finished close on Fontane’s heels with a 733-point ride good for a bronze medal.

Flg Heat Persnr Bib Name Nation Point1 Point2 Point3 Total
01 JackDane 201 Dane Jackson USA 1.020,000 816,667 646,667 1.020,000
01 FontJoaq 202 Joaquím Fontané ESP 313,333 196,667 773,333 773,333
01 OrtoBren 208 Bren Orton GBR 580,000 733,333 550,000 733,333
01 VaelTemm 203 Teemu Vaeliahdet FIN 250,000 543,333 446,667 543,333
01 BennJame 227 James Benns GBR 233,333 440,000 390,000 440,000

Women

With one gold medal already firmly in hand from the morning’s squirt finals, Claire O’Hara (GBR) changed boats and mental gears for the Women’s K1 finals. O’Hara had her work cut out for as defending champion Emily Jackson (USA) had been throwing consistently high-scoring rides earlier in the week that sent the message that she was intent on keeping her crown. O’Hara second and winning ride of 663 was one that she’d been training and performing before the competition began. “It just felt right from the first move and everything just flowed after that,” O’Hara said, beaming. Looking ahead to defending her title in 2013, O’Hara said she’d be working on more links and combos moves to close the gap on the difference in performance between men and women. “The women’s field has really come a long way toward that this year and I’m just so excited to be part of it,” she said. Jackson, who enjoyed much stronger rides earlier in the competition, settled for silver with 583 points while her training partner and 2007 World champ Ruth Gordon Ebens (CAN) took bronze with 450 points.

Flg Heat Persnr Bib Name Nation Point1 Point2 Point3 Total
01 OharClai 125 Claire O´Hara GBR 456,667 663,333 271,667 663,333
01 JackEmil 101 Emily Jackson USA 520,000 583,333 390,000 583,333
01 GordRuth 102 Ruth Gordon Ebens CAN 186,667 450,000 143,333 450,000
01 HalaNina 110 Nina Halašová SVK 256,667 200,000 366,667 366,667
01 MillHale 127 Haley Mills USA 110,000 290,000 190,000 290,000

Men

After nearly being eliminated in semis, and a lackluster first ride in finals, James “Pringle” Bebbington (GBR) put together the high-flying, high-scoring rides he needed to win when it counted most. The 23-year-old video boater who spends winters in Uganda really hadn’t thought about competing until three years ago. Bebbington explained the work he put into his mental game over the past year might have worked too well in the earlier rounds where he was so calm that he struggled to find his stride. For the finals, he decided he needed to pump himself up and in so doing posted his highest single-ride score of 1020 on his second ride. On his third ride, Pringle’s favorite routine consisting of an entry move, mcnasty’s both ways, phonix monkeys both ways, loops, space godzilla, and a lunar orbit bested his score to 1053, averting a tie with Peter Csonka (SVK). Csonka, whose powerful paddling dominated quarterfinals and semis, settled for silver with 1020. Finishing in third, as he had in 2009, was Team USA’s Stephen Wright with a 940-point ride.

Flg Heat Persnr Bib Name Nation Point1 Point2 Point3 Total
01 BebbJame 38 James Bebbington GBR 681,667 1.020,000 1.053,333 1.053,333
01 CsonPete 4 Peter Csonka SVK 820,000 856,667 1.020,000 1.020,000
01 WrigStep 3 Stephen Wright USA 915,000 870,000 940,000 940,000
01 TrouNick 1 Nick Troutman CAN 813,333 645,000 875,000 875,000
01 SerrGerd 10 Gerd Serrasolses ESP 565,000 745,000 820,000 820,000


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