Taking a look at my year in review – Jez

Another massive year has gone by but as usual it is still going as I type this in sunny Australia. Firstly after being selected on the Australian Freestyle Kayak Team, I was also selected as head coach which became challenging getting the team ready for the worlds in Canada. Our largest Australian Team was selected and I was excited to see so many commit to the competition, with the awesome help of Singo, Eileen and the Australian Freestyle Crew we did an amazing job at getting this team out to Canada.

World ChampionshipsWorld Championships 2015Announcing the worldsInstructingphotographing the worlds

I was fortunate to win what I believe is my 15th National Championships once again in Australia, to be honest I can not exactly recall what number I am up to but this sounds about right.

I worked with Gopro and created a big adventure day completing as many different adventures in the one day, so much fun.

Big Adventure Day

I headed to NZ with Claire and had a non stop week of boating, biking and flying.

New ZealandDCIM100GOPROWakeboarding at cablesDCIM105GOPRO

My summer in the USA was fantastic, more kids on the water than ever before, my first trip to Columbus Georgia saw me get inspired by this man made wave right in the heart of the city.

Columbus

I headed off to Costa Rica with 24 young and energetic paddlers which was amazing to see these kids which I have had a hand at getting them into paddling take on some of the biggest and craziest rapids they have ever seen. Here is a video showing some of what we got up to

Costa RicaCosta Rica Expedition

Here is another video I made focusing on one of the kids ‘C-Huck’ featuring some of our boating adventures in USA and Costa Rica.

Teaching kids to huck themself

Following the Costa Rica trip and in the build up to Worlds, I unfortunately contracted Leptospirosis which knocked me around big time. If you are a paddler and have never heard of this I urge you to check out this blog as Lepto is something that all paddlers should understand and know about. It could save a life.

lepto
http://jacksonkayak.com/blog/2015/10/28/every-paddler-needs-learn-leptospirosis/

Being the ICF Oceania Representative I worked with the ICF Freestyle Committee to attempt to move on some positive changes this year. We are working to try to make the freestyle countdown buzzer a part of the rules for the future as well as gender equality with the amount of places available for women at world championships as well as other positive changes. As the head of the Australian Freestyle Committee I have worked to try to make freestyle a bigger sport within Australia, promoting programs for juniors while successfully gaining a grant for girls in freestyle paddling.

IMG_7983

I had one of the best world championships that I have been to, announcing at the event, competing and being head coach of the Australian Freestyle Team were only a small part of the event as I finally got around to proposing to my long time girlfriend and best friend Claire O’Hara. I have to admit being nervous asking this question is an understatement, but luckily she said yes in front of the world championship crowd. This years world championship was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

proposalproposalphoto

I headed down to the Snowy River in Australia to paddle this spectacular run with some fantastic mates. This river has only just recently started flowing for the first time in 30 years. Due to one environmental release annually, you can basically only paddle it one day a year.

Snowy River1 Snowy River

I competed in my second 24 hour mountain bike race in Australia in a full suit complete with tie and jacket as part of a mountain bike team which was grueling, brutal, and somewhat stupid.

24mtbThe GreenThe Green go left

Over this year I created a number of instructional videos this year too through my Playboating Bible, here are a few samples:

I continue to work on the Paddle Education website which is getting a stack of views www.paddleeducation.com and also work full time as an emergency service specialist in Sydney.

So it was what I would describe as one massive year. Every year seems to be bigger than the last and I can’t wait to see what 2016 holds. I am ready for the roller coaster ride for sure, bring it on.
Jez

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