Lane De Meulenaere 26/09/2016 | Posted in Belgium, Internationalisation, Uncategorized
In France there is one main series of events in freestyle kayaking. This is called the FKT or French Kayak Tour. During these competitions the best Frenchie’s battle for their national title.
This year I finished early with my exams so I had the chance to compete in the last 2 events of the FKT. Makinito and the Natural Games.
Since 2 years I’ve been spending a lot of time training in Millau, the home of the Natural Games, so this is of course one of my highlights of the year.
Before I went to Makinito I had the chance to spend a couple of days training in Millau. Luckily! Due to spending a lot of time behind a desk finishing tasks for school and studying. I didn’t have the chance to train as much as I should, to be in perfect shape for the upcoming competitions.
Millau is one of the most fun places to train in my eyes. You have a beautiful environment, a beautiful city and most of all one of the best holes around Europe. The hole is placed in a man-made whitewater course that is controlled by a gate. So the water can be controlled only to a certain level, but mostly more than enough. The awesome thing about this whitewater course is that you can constantly change it. It’s made of concrete structures with holes where you can put plastic pillars and blocks to create eddies, waves and holes.
The hardest thing for me after a while of not paddling that often is to get my speed up. I feel very slow doing moves and I need more time to finish the moves. This was my main focus the first days, the technique was still there but the magic touch was lacking a little bit.
Tomasz Czaplicki and Zosia Tula where there too, to join me in my mission! They are great people to be around and train with!
OFF TO MAKINITO
I left on Thursday to Makinito so I had around a day and a half to adjust to the spot. The drive from Millau to Istres is beautiful and how closer you get how more you expect to suddenly see the sea, but unfortunately I didn’t!
Makinito is an awesome feature, it’s a very slow and really retentive hole. It feels like a spot where you could go on for ages. Because it’s slow and really retentive it gives you the potential to try your hardest tricks without too much risk. During training I managed to throw down my first clean huge mc nasty and clean huge phoenix monkey, awesome!
The competition started fairly good, had some solid runs and was keeping up with some of the better paddlers. There was an awesome atmosphere hanging around. Everybody was having fun and encouraging each and another. That’s how I like to see it! In the evening a great deal of the kayakers went to a local festival nearby and you could still see that some of them were still in the party mood in the morning. Time for finals! After 3 rounds of 45 seconds the rank was decided. Maestro and fresh European Champion Quim Fontané Maso took the win, followed by Thomas Richard (2nd), Tomasz Czaplicki (3th) and myself (4th).
I wasn’t able to throw down my best ride but I was sitting in the place where I belong.
One of my favorite competitions of the year! Great atmosphere, great athlete zone, a fun event town, etc.
This is one of the competition where almost every French freestyle kayaker looks forward to. The place to be to meet up with all your kayak buddies that you might have missed for a long time. This is making it a very interesting competition as well. Cause of the numerous number of boaters there are quite a few good boaters out there too!
This year there were world class rippers like Quim Fontané Maso (European Champion), Tomasz Czaplicki (Vice-European Champion – Team JK), Robert Crowe (top 10 Europeans), Thomas Richard (Vice junior world champion), Seb Devred (3th European championships), etc.
This makes it a very hard competition with very competitive people and high level of stoke.
It was an awesome 2 days of competing I ended up in the 6th place.
Not as good as I was hoping, but the other competitors were really strong and I still have a lot of work to do!
Maestro Quim took the win away again, followed by Robert Crowe and Seb Devred.
Hope you liked my write up!
Lane De Meulenaere