With a successful league underway we move to Cardiff for the next freestyle event,
With the van packed and loaded we leave Dublin for Rosslare with a couple of traffic jams and a lovely girl from Stena phoning us to check where we are, we made it to the ferry,
Once parked up we find ourselves trapped between flood gates and trucks hunting for an exit to the passenger area, the ship was probably the worst ferry imaginable with tight stairs and opera on TV we were trapped.
Luckily the ship docked 3 hours later and we were free of the ship! (colm is not to book ferry's again!)
Stenna Line lost trying to find the van!
Once in Fishguard we headed for Cardiff. Over mountains and down through Welsh valleys.
Once in Cardiff we found the hotel “Future Inn” with its double double bed rooms clean and smart within minutes of the WW Course.
The Day started early with a full Morrison's breakfast before heading to the course to meet old friends and finally get boating,
With the pumps at 8cumecs the course was fast flowing with shallow features and tight eddys this made for lots of fun bouncing around with plenty of rafts to join the affray,
The Course has a lot of potential as an international competition site with moveable features and changeable flow makes for a lot of fun. Probably the biggest draw to Cardiff over other sites fresh clean water and an escalator back to the top, with top class facilities, cafe and changing facilities inc shop. The competition was due to start at 6pm with a flatwater comp scheduled for 4.30pm so with the practice over time for the flatwater, without seeing GB freestyles new scoring system I decided to enter bouncing loops and cartwheels, mcnastys and splits thrown together with party trick and some more loop combos to see what scored with a high calibre of entries linking well practiced routines I wished id read the rules! luckily the scores were released leaving me in third place with a very respectable score of 635 points
The evening saw the course close with the water turned off and the hole altered before being restored to a meaty 12cumecs this saw the course become a completely different game, with the high flow the course changes drastically, big bouncy holes and fast curious waves, and to round it all off bouncing surging eddy's to make you really watch your edges. With no real practice at the new level of feature we were purely their to make up numbers watching guys throw solid rides knowing the feature inside out,
With Coleman up first we cheered on from the side, big aerial loops and clean cartwheels and splits showing off the new home-grown boat design mkII, with a mix of old school ends and new school air Mark was back in the game taking 1st place in the events C1 Category
With the event continuing with junior men, women and finally onto the men's heats under floodlights,
With Ronnie up first in his sherbet coloured all star (the same colour as the water) trying to learn the new feature whilst putting down competition rides was hardly the best preparation but albeit solid rides with unlucky flushes.
Next up was Adrian and Colm in the same heat, with the rain pouring the music was stopped and everyone hid for shelter from the prevailing weather conditions (Except us who were waiting in the eddy) with Colm looking for the split struggling to bring the ends over and just losing out on the pop with a couple of flat bonuses to assist the cause, Adrian was up with a spectacular window shade into head rudder combo we were struggling with the new feature, with a couple of rides left to try and put some points on the board we started to enjoy the occasion and just see what happened a couple of loops spins and cartwheels and we had those much needed points, in the cool evening air we finished our rides and continued to savour the 12 cumec course.
The results were out leaving Adrian 15th, Ronnie 16th and Colm 17th.
The Whitewater course in Cardiff has lived up to and exceeded every expectation a great destination for some away training and close hotels make for a relaxed weekend full of paddling,
Big smiles and thumbs up for Cardiff!
Thank you GB Freestyle for their hospitality and the great event.
QuickVideo from Colm
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