Besides the title being a song from Keane it is also good to look back at a year and think what you have done, and appreciating the great times you had. In 2010 quite a lot changed, maybe not always the way I wanted but choices are made and you have to live with it. I didn’t travel, explore and paddle as much as I wanted, but study has had the priority  to finish as quickly as possible. This opens opportunities after my bachelors quicker is my idea, let’s hope it’s true. But still, I shouldn’t be to hard on myself, as I have been out far more than most students, and still went to see new places, make new friends and paddle with amazing people. Here’s a little recap of all the great times and highlights I’ve had this past year.

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Corsica

Just like 2009 the place to go in 2010 was Corsica, France. Familiar to this beautiful island I paddled with Emiel Beukenkamp and we had great times with a group of Germans. Kayaksession did the Corsica Gathering again and many friends were there.

Europeans

Oke, maybe not my best result ever, nor the best results from any of the Dutch man category, but it was good to be back here. Lienz is still a good place to be for both freestyle and creeking. To bad my rib was F*cked here, but that’s life. The event was super well organized for my part, Thanks to Thomas ‘Zimml’ Zimmerman! I look forward to the 2011 World Champs in Plattling to put down a better result.

Teva Mountain Games Ivrea

This is something I will definitely do more in 2011, international creekboating competitions. This event organized by Francesco Salvato and Teva combined kayaking with other sports, attracting many visitors and competitors. Racing down a stretch of river asks a different attitude as freestyle and is very tiring. I think I will try to go to the Sickline Race in 2011 if I can get in!

Norway

Aaaaah, Norway! By far the best times of 2011 were spent in Norway. WHAT A COUNTRY! There’s just so many rivers and places to explore, mountains to climb and fjords to see. Simply the best and I will be back for 200% sure. No words.

Autumn Surf

Maybe not a trip or specific time, but in Autumn I surfed lots of ocean surf. I was happy to be able to do this, as compared to Dutch Water Dreams this is the only real way to paddle and train in the Netherlands. The adrenalin you get from surfing a wave is so much better than any human-made concrete course. I did a lot of GoPro video’s, but they’re still in the edit room. Be patient.

Morocco

Wow, I never thought I would go on a non-kayaking trip but I did. I have to say, it wasn’t bad to simply travel for a week through a foreign country and exploring other cultures. But next time I should combine it.

Coaching the Juniors

In 2010 I also discovered a whole new theme I am interested in, teaching people how to paddle and more specifically kids. It is super rewarding to see those boys working hard to conquer the moves and make huge steps in such a short time period. Definitely going on with this in 2011! Here’s a couple of shots from 2010!

So, those were just a few highlights, many I cannot recall or am too lazy to write about. Thanks to everyone for a trip, a moment or an experience we shared. Special thanks to my sponsors for keeping me dry, floating, fitwalkingpaddling and being again!

Thanks all,

Raoul

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