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Worldcup-Series 2012 – Finally made it to the states!

Swapping to the Project X paid off instantly after rather moderate results in the European Championships when able to explore a whole different level of play by untroubled holeboating in uncrowded and smooth features. The edging of the boat and assignment of weight while performing tricks adjusted to the own style and nervous currents demands some training in the X but becomes way more profitable when the once learned control gets negotiable to any spot you’re heading to. After figuring out more potential than ever experienced in a playboat there was no doubt I’m gonna miss the throwdown of the worlds best freestylers in the upcoming cup-series in the united states.
Although on a bounded budget showing off my studied and increasing skills felt auspicious especially considering the opportunity of experiencing the next worlds feature in NOC, North Carolina. Highly motivated, selling last season’s gear and squeezing out every single source of income the most epic and broken trip should start (actually continue) with – who else than irelands very own, coin-juggler and recent travelbuddy thomas dunphy. Car hired from Atlanta Airport for just the first week and reaching the comp’s first stop at Rockisland, Tennessee should introduce us befitting our rank to the new world. With a non-matching credit-card and license the first night became a typical run ashore overnighter at the airports rental-counter! But things worked out and the manager served us with a brand new malibu and ambition to race it in time to the jackson-stronghold.
Beautiful weather and – of course – the perfect matching kayak-bum from france Abel Thevenet hitchhiking expected us while cruising the hilly backcountry down to the river. The perfect setting underneath the impressive twin-falls with a double-feature bonus (when the dam decides daily after noon to release water introduced by”the sound of sirens”) consisting of a nice little wave and the main rockisland wave-hole feature. Casanova Abel already found the nicest spot to relax, swim, wait for incoming water and redneck-beauties! Male-Lion-like spending time tongue-clicking and sunbathing upstream on “pussy-island” in an unreal and beautiful watercourse above release and competition-stressout. Beverly and Ashley from Ashville distracting perfectly, local 40.oz-brews and hottub-ambience couldn’t arranged any better – blown away were all sorrows and lovely alarms brought us back to reality or rather the reason why we’re here for and I’m alleviating Wavesport’s quality :)
40 kayakers in the eddy and only two rides in the same amount of hours bothered at least none of us and with the blowing vapors of mist from the falls surfing even a tiny wave felt amazingly refreshing, especially when Captn Kirk dropped off my requested lightweight shiny-red Project X playboaters mansion got ready to rock! Beating EJ in his homespot the first round sounded nasty and made me truly confident with my weapon of choice (the king himself was not amused and of course striked back with all his routine – fair play!) Rounded up by delicious homemade food, free local beer, given away headcams and organized in low-budged-paddlers interest the first cup was already worth the effort to come here and got a high rank in my favourite places to be! Hospitality and Friendliness are definately written in huge letters around that area and even it was a  ”Jackson” event ;)
with visiting the factory and castle itself, we had an awesome time with free camping, beautiful rocky surrounding, night-time boat trips including the actual jump from the “rock island”, good and still fresh parties, satisfied atmosphere all around – thanks for having us and time to move on.
Next menu on the card should be a delicious, perfectly shaped, warm water hole in North Carolina, topped by smoothness and water-release after noon – may I introduce the perfect hole-feature to you? “Pigeon” on the pigeon river (I’d seriously propose a equal name compared to the quality of the spot, but creativity is gonna be requested in linking the moves when the buzzer starts) Anyways, short drive for mankind, long stretch for those who have to drop of the fricking rental car back at atlanta airport, pretty much opposite direction and altogether at least a 10 hour journey while everybody else catches already one of the few days of water – damn it! And because we seriously could not bother any mates to follow and give us a lift back, the counted presidents were supposed to lose some of there friends for another rental. And because we paid cash in the first place, there was no way of extending the car by booking of the creditcard but Whatever, well organized are others…at least some nighttime-racing “adventures” stayed hidden and without consequences at the counter!
Madness continued after hours of arguing and price-shuffling and finally got on board of another one-weeker.
Blasting through Georgia, up to North Carolina fired up by success, own wheels and a starting Highscore-Competition the next morning made Tom paying less attention introducing the american highway to european speedlimits. Traced by flashing lights in the countries colours we unfortunately had to reset our timescale and got pulled over, both only! wearing boxers in that tepid night and no trace of any kayaking gear (which would have been a good explanation of the whole situation) “Y’all realized that’ya goin’an eightyfour in a sixtyfaave?!” Luckily the friendly slanging police officer had some irish roots and I do have a nice face which solved the “super trooper” disagreement to our advantage. “I’ll let’ya go with a warning but ain’t gonna be fun when I get another  call of my colleagues out there, understood that?” We made it to the Pigeon River in the morning at 2am, sleeping bags smartly planned stored in another car and the Great Smokey Mountains seem to be a lot colder than the Dirty South.
Assumption for tomorrows comp ain’t be worse!
Prelim-performance without a single practise ride actually could not have been any better, stomping that shit from the first second on and didn’t stop moving – my ambition still to do good surprised myself and set me up in the top5 for quarters. As expected the scores were astronomic, probably the tightest throwdown in freestyle’s history, the top20-cut for the next round was still above a thousand points, last but not least ‘cos of a strong contingent of “Euro-Trashers” who made it to the states for Pre-Worlds. Next round the jetlag caught me badly, missing semis by 10pts but at least gave teammate Bryan the chance to go bigger, well rested in the “Wavesport-Motel” (where we had to invite ourselves the next night).
Extraordinary precise moves topped by a huge variety left the judges in no doubt, Captn Kirk launched his ship to space! The day after Finals – used by most kayakers to move on to the next spot at the Nantahala Outdoorcenter, emerged itself as the best training day, considered quality as well as quantity, because the river was not supposed to run and we were just too hangovered to drive that day anywhere, to be honest. But we got lucky and hit the best hole in town! Shared with 10 more speculators. Bryan left his new Carbon Project with a perfect size for that controlled hole between the 48 and 56 Gallon version for Hiley Mills and me and we didn’t give it’s stiff and reacting hull a rest all day.
It was just amazing to paddle a Carbon-boat taken off a perfect shape and perform in currently the worlds best holefeature. Big regards to Daniel from NOC who created the spot just with stones and a bunch of muscle-packed raftguides (did not know that they’re usable for more than spreading hot air ;)respect!
Unfortunately the Shaper was only partly involved in the creation of the worlds spot on the Nantahala, before a huge amount of money, time and diggers shaped a rather tricky, retentive but shallow hole and still try to change it to its best. Anyways the set-up for next year seems to be acceptable, the huge outdoorcenter area with restaurants, kayakshops and a centralized feature to watch the circus from all sides and angles offers a great show for spectators as well. The hole itself was anyhow showdown of the most impressive ride in a hole-competition so far with a simply destroying and ridiculously outstanding slovak named Peter Csonka, nailing a 1500 and something points single ride! Seconds before ‘lil Dane topped the current Highscore with a 1300pts, just impressive and even more to watch the “machine” himself calculating and adding the missing moves and points – the show had a lot of a cat and mouse playgame, but fair-play to both Jackson and Csonka to make freestyle look impressively cool! After solid consistent Prelim-Rides and my name not disappearing from the leaderbord-display (has to be mentioned that every individual athlete got a foto take of him before which will be shown with his bib-number and achieved points after the performance), I placed myself once again in the top10 and once again kicked out at quarter finals…good to know that it’s time to work on the condition, establishing my good scores through more than two or three rounds. Not least knowing the feature, executing the moves in the judges courtesy and improve a solid routine are the sportive aspects as an athlete I’m taking home, apart from that a 10th position in the overall worldcup-results is a great base to work on, clutching the topfield of worlds freestyle for two years now and still releasing just a fracture of potential when it comes to competition.
With the Project X to trust on in every single movement and be able to throw any trick out of the less suitable position, even the training is gonna be a wild combination of extending the world of linking moves, I’m fired up and can’t wait to use my 90 days US-visa twice to get as many comps and surfs in the worlds-spot as possible. Huge thanks to Wavesport and Bryan Kirk for boat, supply and transport, Sandiline’s Manuela Stahl for perfect gear in last minute, Robson for the fancy blades and the Canoeclub AKV Ausgburg for supporting their freestylers!!! Next update will come soon, involves paddling the Gauley and shows Videos of the Sweetspot and Pigeon – stay tuned and feed the horse :)

Rubrik: Teamblog  Poster: Martin Kollaktualisiert: 16.10.12 - 10:43

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Homepage/Teamblog/Worldcup Series 2012 - Finally made it to the states
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