The following report was provided by CANI Slalom Squad member Eoin Teague on his experiences during his first Senior World Cup in La Seu d’Urgell, Spain.
The second world cup in La Seu d’Urgell, Spain, on the 10th-12th June was to be the first international race of the season for me and also my first ever competition at senior level. I was competing alongside fellow CANI athletes Jake Cochrane and Elliot Davidson under the guidance of CANI’s Talent Coach Matt McKnight.
The course here in La Seu was used for the 1992 Olympic Game and it showed in the technical nature of this course. Training kicked off on Monday with our first official training slot and I immediately noticed the importance of working with the water. I found that if I was fighting against the water and was unable to keep speed on the boat, paddling felt very slow and exhausting. However if you stayed on the correct line there was a very rewarding feeling of smoothness and speed.
Race day arrived very quickly, Jake was first up in the morning. His first run had some nice sections however contained several time consuming mistakes. Thankfully on his second run he was able to produce a solid second run with only one small mistake. I was off next with it being my first senior race and first international race in 2 years I put too much pressure on myself which was prevalent in my disappointing first run were I tried to push to aggressively making silly errors including a 50 second penalty. I knew I could perform much better. I recomposed for second runs and was able to produce a good top section and in the bottom section I continued as I started with solid paddling until the penultimate upstream where I made a big time consuming mistake. I pushed hard until the end despite the mistake. It was a disappointing senior debut but there were some clear improvements. Like me Elliot also picked up a 50 second penalty in his first run but produced a solid second run. It was a very competitive race with some super tight racing but we all learnt a lot from our race.
Reflecting on the race I can see a lot a lot of positives from everyone and areas to focus on in preparation for the next world cup in Pau, France next weekend.