Capucine Thomas Lepine 02/02/2019 | Posted in Internationalisation, Nirvana, Norway, Whitewater
In 2018 i spendt 100 days kayaking. After more than 15 years there is still the very same joy with each day on the water. The beauty of the nature changing with seasons is always striking, inspiring and stimulating. The company of friends and meeting of new ones brings joy and peace. Kayaking rivers fundamentally bring people together, because you can’t make good lines and safe trips if people are not cooperating, you can’t be angry and stupid on the river because it means accident of highest consequences will be threatening everyone in the group, we are not fish and need to be together on the water. Besides kayaking in I dedicated time to rest and
experiment new activities in order to aim towards long term improvement. At home I did yoga, posture exercise and eyes exercise. Outside I did skiing, running and freediving. In a way, life is the moment that counts and the waiting time in between. By accepting to find patience and good spirit towards waiting moments i felt more positive overall and focused in kayaking.
I have been mostly kayaking home in Norway, with a short trip to Italia to compete the King of the Alps and a long trip to New Zealand after ice and darkness had arrived and proclamed winter time open in Norway. I love to race, and Nirvana is a boat made for going fast. I joined 5 whitewater races in 2018. Race is doing your best with just one chance and people watching you, you dont really compete against others but yourself as river remains the Queen. Race is above all a great way to meet people that love the water just as much as you do and
to learn from watching each others. Racing also includes accepting to loose and that life is not always perfect but brings opportunities to react appropriately, learn and grow.
First race on the calendar was Trondagsrunden, home in Trondheim where I was not only racing but also part of the organising team. For the first time we organised a boater cross in
Gaulfossen, a 700m long canyon of fast and pushy water. This is a natural boater cross section, and everyone was excited, especially the ones who didn’t padle the section before as we didn’t really have time for practice run. All kind of lines and surfs where observed for the pleasure of spectators but eventually all competitors had a smile on the finish line. I took the second place behind the other local Eveliina after a solid start and a big surf on the last hole. Our new Norwegian Jackson Kayak team mate Oddbjorn Flaa from Lillehammer took the first place in men. Then followed the traditional fantastic all night long party with fun improvised games under open sky that doesnt get dark at this time of the year. We also watched the old school kayaking movie « Rock n Roll i Trondelag » by Benjamin Hjort and his comparses, and their adventurous spirit and passion was among us all.
Second race was King of the Alps in Italy. I was very excited to join it for the 1st time and to see so many athletes. I was together with friends from France amongst them my dear JK team mate Marlene Devillez who had a brilliant ranking, behind the accomplished and inspiring star Martina Wegman. Marlene has the mental power of bringing herself to her best and consistently perform in races. She also has the ability to bring people together with empathy and energy and always bring good mood in our Frenchie group. The race form is mass start on a long stretch of whitewater, it is all about good start and keep on focus and stamina until the end, I finished in the middle after a bad start but really liked the experience. The lady where not racing on the harder part for the final, but I did the top part of it and got thrilled from this exciting fast moving water. All in all I was looking forward to the starting season.
Third race was the Extremesportsveko in Voss, Norway. I arrived just before race from a busy work period and motivated to race even though I could feel I was just tired. I didnt quite understand the first line on the race course and if it went OK on training it didnt go at all on the race lap, and I couldnt refocus and struggled all the way to the finish line. It was horrible, but this is just part of the game and I didnt feel so bad about it. I just got motivated to become better and consistent.
The race number four was the boater cross on Sjoa. We were on a trip with two very good friends of mine and my boyfriend and I didnt paddle much but I was fresh and happy, I jumped in the water with my private cheering team and after looking at one of my friend making an awesome line on the
practice run, I could see where I wanted to go. We were quite many girls this year on the boater cross, and I made all the rounds up to the finale where I hit the 3rd place, I was super happy ! Marlene was the winner, this too made me very happy.
The race number five was all the way to New Zealand on the Kaituna river. I had been doing many many many practices
laps and I knew all the fast line of the 1 km long section. I pull it together clean for the race and didn’t even feel tired at the end. This brought me to the 3rd place and I felt satisfied, Martina was here too and won with a really impressive time.
Thanks for reading! A big thanks to JK for making awesome boats. A big thanks to the people who shared their time and brought me support on the good but also not so good days ! And may 2019 be another terrific year.