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Whitewater Grand Prix perspective

The Whitewater Grand Prix was way different then any other kayaking competition I’ve ever done. The Whitewater Grand Prix is so much more then competing. It’s the opportunity to discover Chile, its culture and some of its incredible rivers. It’s also a group of kayaker traveling, living and kayaking together.

Of course, the Grand Prix remains the hardest kayak competition I’ve ever done. I’ve done quite a few extreme races, some freestyle and slalom world championships, and trust me none of these races were nearly as scary as the Grand Prix. The first stage on the Rio Gol Gol was by far the scariest race I’ve done. At this point it didn’t matter if you were faster then your opponents. It was all about you and the river, going as fast as you can and getting good lines using the water, were the only things that mattered.

On the river side, we would cheer on all the other paddlers and it didn’t matter whether they were going faster then you or not. We were setting safety for each other and we wanted everyone to succeed and get good lines, because it sucks to get injured and also because the other paddlers are your friends. And if things went wrong, we would do everything to get another paddler out of trouble and you know that they would do the same for you.

I was satisfied with the way I raced and stoked at winning the Whitewater Grand Prix…but…my best memories aren’t about racing but about running the Middle Palguin, spending a few days paddling and camping with the Chilean and Peruvian folks, doing a girls trip to the termas, traveling in Carlos’s bus, trying to speak spanish with some locals, taking the ferry to Patagonia, hearing other paddlers stories, making new friends, paddling down the inferno Canyon…and much more…

Winning the Grand Prix wasn’t only about winning the races, it was also about being happy and having a blast. I think we all won.

Rubrik: Teamblog  Poster: Nouria Newman

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