World Cup in Freestyle Kayaking 2016

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First time in history of our sport World Cup series took place in South America. Previous plan was to start World Cup in San Juan and to finish it with big final in Rio De Janeiro. That changed and both events took place in Argentina. That was great World Cup because organizers โ€“ Kayak Club San Juan, local government and big amount of volonteers made realy good job.  
Here is all story ๐Ÿ™‚ 
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Travel 
Me and Zosia started our way to San Juan in Warsaw, our second stop was Madrid and the last conected flight started from Santiago de Chile. We landed in San Juan airport at 30th of September where we were welcomed by Mauricio Caif and officials from San Juan Tourist depratment. Our journey was long but from the airport Mauricio took us straight to the competition venue and we really liked what we saw there. 
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Playspot  
Event venue is located in beautiful canyon. Feature is a really nice semi-sized hole which reminds me that one in Millau in France and Buena Vista in Colorado. It’s not fast but powerfull enough to go huge air and easy for linking moves.  
After my first session there I knew that in this place I can beat my personal best score in official event and I started to work on my optimal ride plan.  
Here you can see how works playspot in San Juan https://www.facebook.com/tomekczaplicki/videos/1215257941851397/
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Accomodation  
Organizers recomended us to stay in Hotel La Toja in San Juan city center and it is nice place. It’s close to the best restaurants, bus stop of line 29 which was taking us to competition venue and to the Helado place :p In La Toja we were resting after trainings and because most of athletes staid there it was a place where every dinner plan or other mission starts. If I’ll back to San Juan I would like to stay in La Toja again.  
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Transport 
From Hotel to event venue we were travelling by bus nr 29 which was taking us from the nearest bus stop (3 minutes walking from La Toja) to big roundabout near old ceramica factory. From there we had only 5 minutes walking and we were at spot. In overall we used that kind of transport only a couple times because many times organizers or just local paddlers or someone was going back to the city and gave us a ride. During competition organizers provided shuttles which was taking us straight from hotel. 
Food  
I enjoy food in Argentina. It was awesome to try famous argentinian beef called Bife. It is so good… so I was tasting different kind of dishes made from beef quite often. In the beginning it was funny for me that local guys are eating big dinner at 9-10 p.m. and I had no idea why the main dish of the day is so late. After a couple days of pretty high temperatures like 35 degrees celcius I understood that is working well and even I was getting hungry later than in Europe.  
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Competition 
Like I said the previous plan was different but when World Cup final event in Rio De Janeiro was cancelled Kayak Club San Juan decided to make two World Cups. Thanks that we had two well organized events in one very good playspot. There was a lot of medias like local and nationwide TV stations, newspapiers and professional photographers. Final event were livestreamed and after award ceremony was great fireworks show. Check the movie from that moment here: 
https://www.facebook.com/SanJuanArgentina2016ICFCanoeFreestyleWorldCup/videos/345154962505734/
After medal ceremony started crazy interview, photo and selfie tour. Everyone would like to take a photo with athletes and winners and because audience was big it took a long time ๐Ÿ™‚ I have no idea how many pictures Zosia, Me and Tom Dolle and others made with spectators, local paddlers and event staff but it was great experience. 
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Results of the first World Cup:
K1W 
1) Hitomi Takaku (JPN)
2) Zofia Tuล‚a (POL)
3) Yoshiko Suematsu (JPN)
K1W Squirt Boating
1) Hitomi Takaku (JPN)
2) Yoshiko Suematsu (JPN)
3) Motoko Ishida (JPN)
K1JM 
1) Tom Dolle (FRA)
2) Adria Ovando-Vila (ESP)
3) Valentin Parasme (FRA)
K1M 
1) Tomasz Czaplicki (POL)
2) Maximiliano Montoya (ARG)
3) Oriol Colome-Puig (ESP)
C1 
1) Tom Dolle (FRA)
2) Marc Godbout (CAN)
3) Ryosuki Tamaji (JPN)
K1M Squirt Boating 
1) Alex Edwards (GBR)
2) Tomasz Czaplicki (POL)
3) Seima Kawazu (JPN)

I was happy with my 1st place but my goal was to improve my personal best score and make 100% of my ride plan, which was working well in training sessions. Every competitor knows that what we are doing in trainings and what we are showing in competition are not the same thing. Always paddling during big event for me is different than in trainings. I won with score of 1106 points but I knew that I can do it much better. Next day after mens finals of World Cup nr 1 I had a chance to try again to beat my best score from Freestyle Fest. 
Results of the second World Cup
In prelims I padlded with no rush and I’ve made my goal. Of course every move could be a little bit higher or made with some extra bonus but I’m happy with my new best personal score. I’ve made ride which was scored for 1476 points in ICF scoring. After preliminaries in the next day we had semifinals and finals.
Finals took place at night and was epic. There were great music and awesome lights which was even lighten big mountains on the other river bank. Just before the finals a sand storm started but even that wasn’t enough to stop our event running. Paddling wasn’t easy in that conditions but thanks to huge audience I won again with score of 1263 points. 
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I’m very happy with my results and my four medals. In overall I won two golds in K1M and I’ve got two silvers in K1 Squirt Boating. I didn’t have a squirt boat there but even in my Rock Star with no mystery move I was able to make good scores. I’m happy with Zosias new best personal score that she made in prelims of 2nd World Cup. She made 740 points and I’m pretty sure she will improve that score in the next season. Zosia took two silver medals in K1W category in both World Cups being close behind winner Hitomi Takaku (JPN). Tom Dolle won both events in K1JM and in C1 and he had the most gold medals on his neck after the World Cup. 
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I’m impressed of level of skills in K1W category. In the last years ladies started to present moves like big Mc Nasty and Phonix Monkey, Huge Celan Loops or Space Godzillas. Now all finalists of World Cup in K1W category were doing that moves very well. I’m sure that in next 2 years we will see ladies making rides over 1000 points. The highest score of 1st World Cup event in K1W was 816 points of Hitomi Takaku in final. The highest score of 2nd World Cup event was Zosiaโ€™s 740 points in prelims. I think breaking 1000 points barrier in that category it’s just matter of time. 
I’m impressed of level of top 2 K1JM paddlers. During the final of second World Cup Tom Dolle broke barrier of 1300 points. Placed at 2nd Adria Ovando-Vila made ride over 1200 points. This two guys in my opinion are on their way to the World Championships finals in 2017. 
I would like to thank to the organizers, volunteers and everyone involved in World Cup events for their effort. I enjoyed paddling, living and competing in San Juan and I hope to come back there next year ๐Ÿ™‚ 
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K1W 
1) Hitomi Takaku (JPN)
2) Zofia Tuล‚a (POL)
3) Courtney Kerin (NZ)
K1W Squirt Boating
1) Hitomi Takaku (JPN)
2) Yoshiko Suematsu (JPN)
3) Motoko Ishida (JPN)
K1JM
1) Tom Dolle (FRA)
2) Adria Ovando-Vila (ESP)
3) Valentin Parasme (FRA)
K1M 
1) Tomasz Czaplicki (POL)
2) Shozaburo Otsuki (JPN)
3) Oriol Colome-Puig (ESP)
C1 
1) Tom Dolle (FRA)
2) Marc Godbout (CAN)
3) Ryosuki Tamaji (JPN)
K1M Squirt Boating 
1) Alex Edwards (GBR)
2) Tomasz Czaplicki (POL)
3) Seima Kawazu (JPN)

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