We turned up to the top hole of the Tryweryn on the 28th May after a typically Welsh cold and wet night in tents, but this still did not dampen the spirit of a bunch of kayakers.
The water was cold but this just made everyone paddle harder. We saw a range of combo-moves like loop to McNasty and even some cartwheels with paddle spins linked in, which I think squirt boaters call ninjawheels. It made you realize what a fun loving sport freestyle kayaking is.
The competition got going a round 10:30 with music playing, judges watching and scribes scribbling. The junior paddlers hit the water and gave us their best. It was amazing to see such high standard paddlers under the age of 18 and it will be interesting so see them improve as they get older. The winner of the juniors was James Benns with a dream score of 730.00.
The men’s heats were pretty amazing as they were very smooth and precise with their moves. It was good to see this so you could compare it to your own paddling and work out were your tricks are going wrong. The winner of the men’s was Sam Anderson with a god like score of 1042.00 - who would have thought you could get a 4 figure score in such a small and flushy hole.
To sum up the paddle at Tryweryn it was a fun exciting place to be with smiles and lots of helpful people around who would love to give you tips to get cleaner cartwheels or bigger loops. I would definitely recommend coming along to this and other freestyle events, it not just about competing but about the atmosphere and enjoying your paddle.
Unexpected things seen at Tryweryn:
We had one incident with international judge Peter (Sneaky) Harmer dislocating his shoulder (again) and getting a free helicopter ride. We all hope he gets better soon.
Seeing someone put a dry suit over the top and a drytop/cag – it was cold but not that cold!
And Jack Gunter falling down a hill – kayakers’ balance is only good when they are sitting down!