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Pau freestyle Show

Pau is definitely one of my favourite french towns. You can walk by the palm trees and watch the Pyrenées’ big mountains at the same time. If you like outdoor sports, Pau is the place to be. In less then an hour driving you can be in a Pyrenean ski resort or on the sea side ready to enjoy big ocean waves. And on top of that it’s also a great place for kayaking.

Pau whitewater course

Pau is well known for slalom kayaking. There are two really good slalom courses, one natural and one artificial, and it’s not far from other courses such as Orthez or St Pé de Bigorre. Any French paddler knows Pau, and thanks to the Estanguet Family, kayaking is a famous sport in the area. Fair enough when the local kid turned into a double Olympic champion! Though Pau has a reputation in the slalom world for a long time, it’s also getting known for freestyle and creek.

Nouria checking out the holes in Pau

Many creeks that can be run at springtime when the snow melts surround Pau. These creeks now have the chance to get known by more paddlers thanks to the Pyrenees Buddies race that was first organized last year and showed it was a great event to participate in. Pau is also good for freestyle: there are small holes, it’s not far from the ocean or Flip flap wave in St Pé de Biggore. A few freestyle competitions already took place in Pau – I remember racing once in 2006. It was really nice because the event would pair up some freestyle with some wave ski.

Freestyle judges at work during the event

Since it opened in 2008, Pau’s artificial course organized a few boater cross races and freestyle demos, but two weeks ago it officially opened its doors to freestyle kayaking. On the 19th and 20th of March the first event of the French freestyle tour took place on the new course.

Full on boater cross race

I hadn’t done any freestyle in a while and I whish I could have been surfing a big wave instead of paddling on a small hole but we can’t get everything we want and I already had a lot of fun out there. Anyway, it was a great event combining boater cross and freestyle.

Nouria - mid air Space Godzilla

On top of that we were very lucky with the weather, so many people came by the riverside to watch the event. Even some of my slalom friends came to check out some freestyle and cheer for me, which I really appreciated (thanks guys). I was happy with my results placing second K1 Women in the freestyle right behind the current European champion, wining the boater cross and the overall contest.

Nouria (middle) getting 2nd in freestyle but winning boater cross and the overall event - congrats!

Photos © Pierre Mahé

Tags: boater cross · event · france · Freestyle · nouria newman · pau · slalom

Rubrik: Teamblog  Poster: Nouria Newmanaktualisiert: 06.04.11 - 23:44

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