From 25th to 27th July, top kayakers got together at Sort in Spain, to make the most of the blazing sun, and especially the Noguera Pallaresa which winds through the Catalonian valley. On the schedule ? The Spanish National Championships and an International Open !
Some competitors had arrived several days before and had been getting to know this mega wave. The French team’s approach was more freestyle ; arriving at 10am the day of the competition ! The place was throbbing with excitement and stress so we ripped into the hole for our one and only training session before the prelims.
We fought hard to get through to the finals ! And it worked ! Two French women got through to the Women’s final (Marlene Devillez and Pauline Sourrouille) along with two Spanish women (Nuria Fontané Masso and Judith Sole Bertrand) and a Russian (Katya Kulkova).
Dane Jackson (USA), Joaquim Fontane Masso (Spain), Mathieu Dumoulin (France), Sébastien Devred (France) and Iker Carreto (Spain) battled it out for the Men’s podium.
It seemed loke a long wait until the Women’s final at 9 on the Saturday evening.
In the meanwhile, we had a meeting with the organizers and realized that this competition was a show, bigtime ! Film cameras, giant outdoor screen, live transmission, speech from the Mayor and other ceremonial rituals before heading for the wave. It was all perfectly under control ! So, we, the finalists leapt into the arena for our moment of glory and after intense stress, giving of our most, the champagne flowed !
Women’s Kayak :
1st place Marlène Devillez (France)
2nd Katya Kulkova (Russia)
3rd Nuria Fontané Masso (Spain)
1st place Dane Jackson (USA)
2nd Quim Fontané Masso (Spain)
3rd Sebastien Devred (France)
VIVA ESPANA !
Many thanks to all the organizers for this perfect event !