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My White Water Grand Prix

For the first two weeks of May I went to Canada to paddle and compete at the White Water Grand Prix in Ontario and Quebec. The WWGP is a 6 stage competition (3 freestyle and 3 racing events) over 15 days on some of the biggest white water!

I had been racing and doing quite a bit of creeking before the event, but I hadn’t sat on a play boat for a while and specially for a big and cold wave like the ones they have in Canada, so I was pretty nervous about the freestyle events.

It all started really good with Stage 1 – Big Trick Contest on Gladiator, Ottawa. We had an awesome sunny day with a nice wave and lots of positive energy. I felt good in the wave and managed to land a few big tricks that later on would give me a 5th place finish, I was pretty happy with it!

We then moved on with Stage 2 – BoaterX at the Rouge river. We had a time trial and then the boaterX. I made onto semis and then got unfairly disqualified at the finish line unable to made it into the finals. I was pretty disappointed with this result as the decision was wrong and I lost a bunch of points that would later affect on the overall ranking.

 Stage 3 was the Time Trial on the Shawinigan river, we gad three runs and the two best counted. The race was super short (under 1 minute), I had an ok first run, a bad second and a good third. Not stoked with my racing but luckily it was enough for a 4th place finish.

Stage 4 was on Black Mass on the Mistassini, a really big, fast and dynamic wave that allows for a lot of moves but it’s pretty tricky. However I did some good tricks during training I didn’t manage to put a ride together for the competition which put me in 15th place, another result I’m disappointed with due the fact that I didn’t throw any trick…

Stage 5 was the Freestyle Showdown also on the Mistassini river, we surfed an amazing wave that allowed for every trick and awesome rides. I couldn’t have the ride I wanted but I was able to put some tricks together and came away with a 9th place.

Last Stage 6 was the Giant Slalom on the Base Caché river close to Quebec city. We had two runs, I had a 1.20 on my first and a 1.17 on my second that would have given me the win if it wasn’t because I touched one of the only 4 gates there were on the course… Bummed about that for sue but it was over!

At the end a 5th place overall which I’m happy with but I want to think that I could have paddled a lot better, specially on the races. The Grand Prix is a tricky event with lots of great paddlers, constant changes and some difficulties, so I’m happy I was able to improve my 7th place finish from 2011. I’m hoping I can paddle the way I want on the next edition!