Courtney Kerin 22/08/2011 | Posted in 2014 WW Competition, Whitewater
Germany bound by plane, the reality started to sink in, world champs are coming close and I really needed to start training. Emily Wall picked me up from the Munich airport and drove me to Plattling. I set up my tent by the riverand got straight on the water. I did not have a boat with mer at this time, but luckily for me, Emily came to the rescue again and let me have shared custody with hers. (Thanks so much!)
Life in Plattling is great, its a small town like back home and I was living by the river with my international family. We had a great little camp set up, right next to a side channel we used as a bath, laundry and dishwasher. Each day I followed a general schedule of sleeping, eating and training. It was literally the dream life for me. Each night we would do fun activities like soccer or watching a movie on someones laptop. Even though I hardly left the river, there was always so much fun to be had!
But time went a little too fast, before I knew it we had to move camp down a little further because where we were was to become parking for the event. People from all over the world started showing up and the river bank became packed with tents and campers. The town was booked solid for rooms and same with the neighbouring areas. World Championships were close. My plastic Rockstar, green with a black fern arrived from Jackson Kayak (Thanks), and my carbon boat was ready! EJ came to my tent one morning to wake me and and invite on his trip to the Czech Republic to pick up our Carbon Rockstars from the Galasport Factory! It was soo exciting! My boat looks even better than I could have imagined! Its Sweet As Bro!
Training was slowly progressing for me, and different water levels everyday meant learning to adapt as the feature could change quite a lot. The once long 4 person lines where now 20+ people long, and this meant long waits inbetween rides on the feature. Team training started in the last few days before the competition. This mesant only the countries scheduled to be on the water could. New Zealand was scheduled with 4 other countries- Belgium, Royal South Africa, Argentina and India. Team training only allowed for a maximum of 3mins on the water per person (which is not very long to train). Team training was a great way to get used to the pressures of competing though and gave me and my team mate Polly a chance to train together as team NZ!
On the 19th excitement really began, my Uncle Kev arrived from New Zealand to come see me and watch me compete! On the 20th Opening Ceremony began. all the countries paraded through town being cheered on by all the locals and team supporters. There were speeches and live music and even a gun show. It was very exciting and made me realise its time to get serious! The first day of competition was squirt boating and C1 (canoe-on knees with one blade). This is performing freestyle in a kayak with just enough roon to squeeze your legs in straight. It is very flat and extremely low volume to help it slice the water and mystery move (sink right down under water) current world champion Claire Ohara convinced me to compete so I entered as the NZ representitive and gave it a shot. I got on the water for prelims with nothing to lose and came out number 7 in the world!
Day two saw the completion of all the prelims and beginning of quaterfinals. This was my first day competing in my Kayak. Prelims involves two 45second rides and both your scores are added together. This is possibly the toughest round as it leaves no room for error. I didn’t have a very good prelims but luckily I came out 8th and made it through to Semi-finals. I felt like this was a good thing for me though as it made me realise that I need to stay more calm out on the water and was a great chance to learn what a world championships feels like. And to make things even more exciting that afternoon my big sister Ashleigh arrived from NZ. Day 3 was semifinals for me and went really well. I went out with a calm attitude and had my best ride of the competeition. I came out on top of Junior women with a score of 210. The field was now cut down to 5 for the finals. And pressure was starting to hit. Because of water levels the next day was made into a fun activities day involving fun games and activities. Stand up Paddle boarding race, Teva big trick comp and king of the wave.
Day 5 was big finals day. It began with Sqiurt women and Clair Ohara defeneded her title well to remain world champion. Followed by squirt men, OC1 (open canoe), then I was up Junior Women. I went out trying to keep a calm head and gave it a good shot. I came out number 2, runner up world champion and got straight off the water to recieve a phone call from home. My Uncle, sister, and I celebrated german style with a large beer and giant pretzel! That night was the awards ceremony. I walked out to the podium and recieved my silver medal and flowers, then proudly watched the NZ flag raise up the pole.
Thanks so much to all the awesome sponsors of the event!World Championships 2011 was an amazing journey and a load of fun. Bring on World Championships 2013!