Some of Europe's best freestyle padddlers got together this week-end in Hurley, England, for an unmissable event : The Hurley Classic.
9 French athletes were there to fly the flag. After a ten-hour drive plus a two-hour ferry crossing, we finally discovered the mythical Hurley wave magnificently set in a wooded park. Even the sun was shining, dispelling the myth that it always rains in England.
The program for this freestye kayak competition :
- Saturday : the English team selections and a kayak boarder.
- Sunday : Hurley Classic International
By Saturday , the water level had gone down. Paddlers woke up to a wave which was smaller than the previous day and very narrow. The English were ultra-movitated for their selections and the skill level was very high. Some international paddlers were invited to try themselves out against the English hopefulls and after a tough battle and an amazing night final, the results came in. Two French paddlers took the first places, Sebastien Devred for the Men and Nouria Newman for the Ladies.
The kayak boarder woke us all up with a chilling race – afternoon temperatures went as low as 3°c ! 40 paddlers, men and women, dropped-in down a slide that was more than 5metres high. Alan Ward won the men's race and Nouria took first place on the Ladies' podium.
For The Hurley Classic on Sunday the competition was of a different style, where, through a 25-minute period, 10 professional and amateur paddlers took turns running. This gave the athletes the chance to paddle and do their best under less stress. The competitors were marked on the diversity of their moves which made for a great show for the spectators grouped above the sluice gates.
The night-time finals of the Hurley Classic were electric as the world's best freestylers battled it out.
Here are the results :
Men : 1st Stephen Wright (USA), 2nd Quim Fontané (Spain), 3rd Mat Dumoulin(FRA), 4th Peter Csonka (CZE), 5th Seb Devred (FRA).
Women : 1st Claire O'Hara(GB), 2nd Nina Csonkova (CZE), 3rd Marlene Devillez(FRA), 4th Nouria Newman(FRA), 5th Nuria Fontané (SPAIN).
I went along to paddle and to enjoy myself and so I did ! On Saturday, I came in 5th in the freestyle event and 3rd in the Boarder Cross. On the Sunday, after a crazy final, I stood on the third step of the podium thrilled with my performance!
I paddled all weekend on different waves in an awesome atmosphere. Many thanks to all the volunteers and also to Jacko Jackson for this amazing event.
See you soon on the water.
PS : Louise thank you to your translation help