The following report was provided by CANI Slalom Squad member Elliott Davidson on his experiences during the international World Cup race in Pau, France.
During the middle of June CANI squad members Elliott Davidson, Eoin Teague & Jake Cochrane were out in Pau for the World Cup 3. This was our first-time paddling this venue for all of us and after arriving on Sunday afternoon I’m sure I can speak for all of in saying that we were looking forward to paddling on the white water course.
As the official training slots went on throughout the week it became more and more apparent as to how hard the course actually was. I can understand why you’d need to spend hours upon hours there to really know the course inside out. We were only able to get the standard 3.5 hours on the white water course prior to the race.
On Thursday afternoon the day before the race, the official course was set and it looked a little daunting. It looked/was the hardest race course I’ve paddled whilst out on the international circuit for qualifications.
Racing kicked off on Friday morning with Jake Cochrane up first in C1. He managed to put down a good top section but unfortunately getting caught out on the lower sections costing him lots of time. On his second run, he managed to correct most of his prior mistakes but had a slight paddle back in the middle costing him several seconds.
Next off was the K1M and Eoin was off first also his debut on the senior circuit. His first run he picked up a few touches and was a little offline in a few places. I was next off and had an ok top section but messing up in the middle and having to go back for a gate. The rest of my run was online but not on the pace.
Second runs for Eoin and I were better but picking up several clumsy touches each costing us lots of time.
Overall I think the consensus was that we didn’t race to the best of our ability but the testing course make that hard. These lasts few races have been great preparation for Jake and Eoin as they get ready for the U23 worlds and Europeans kicking off soon, I wish them the best of luck. I’d like to say special thanks to Matt McKnight for putting up with us all for the entirety of the trip.