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GBR Freestyle Team Selection 2007

Once again it was that time of year to compete for a place on the GBR Freestyle Team. The purpose of the event was to select the team for the 2008 European Championships to be held in Galicia, Spain next July so as you can imagine, the competition was tough. The event was split into two events held over the two days at two different venues, Hurley weir on the River Thames and the National Watersports Centre in Nottingham. Having decided after that last European Championships to retire from OC1 competition I was only competing in the C1 category in the new Rev M.

With the Rev being so new, I am still getting used to it but having had a day of training at Hurley weir on 4 gates on the Friday I decided to go with it. On 4 gates, Hurley is a series of linked holes with radials in-between which can really be quite retentive. The new hull on the Rev made edges changes much easier than they were in the 4 Twenty which in turn made setting up for moves and moving around the hole a doddle. All hole moves are possible at Hurley but the water coming through the gates is really moving so some moves happen a bit quicker than you want sometimes and cartwheels can be manic. The event went well though and I managed to get some nice ends going and some nice splits to come in in 2nd place.

The second event at Nottingham was a bit up in the air with the high water levels after some serious rain the day before but luckily the pollution levels were deemed to be safe enough for the event to go ahead. The event was held on the inlet wave (which is a hole…) which is incredibly stable and you name a move it goes, and it generally goes big!! This was the first time I could really push the looping ability of the Rev and it really flies. Back loops are just massive!! Again I managed to come in 2nd with a series of loops both back and front and a load of cartwheels and cleans.

Overall I came 2nd meaning that I have made the GBR Team for the 9th year running so now the training really starts for the Europeans. I’m loving the Rev and I am looking forward to really getting to know the boat and pushing myself in time for July. I already know the Rev is going something special, I just need to get myself up to speed.