NELO Summer Challenge - Balance
The balance of this event has left the more optimistic of us overwhelmed.
When we planned this event we expected to create a serious event, but at the same time it should run in a relaxed atmosphere, where some of the more talented paddlers in the world could show their quality, but still being challenged by not so well known paddlers. Something that does not happen normally, as for example to line up besides Ronald Rauhe or Tim Brabants you have to be the best in your country….
It all went as planned, the stars came, the nice guys as well!!
We had a full day of testing on friday, with a lot of swimming involved! And a nice dinner that broke even more the ice between all the competitors!
Next morning we had the heats, we made sure we had all kind of paddlers, for example:
1. Nelo himself opened the day by paddling in the first heat, he was not last!!
2. All the Nelo staff that can paddle a Kayak also did it (Joné, Chico, Andre and many others).
3. Jimmy Owens, Australian Coach and the man behind our Surf Ski addition.
4. José Garcia, the best Portuguese paddler of all times, and Portuguese Federation Vice President.
5. Mario Santos, Portuguese Federation President. (He actually made it to the final)....
And than the serious paddlers, with the most famous being:
1. 4 Olympic Champions (RRauhe, ELarsen, TBrabants, NJanic, KKovacs)
2. Anders Gustafson World Cup Winner
3. Olympic Silver Medalist Renee Poulsen
3. Ekaits Saez World Champion in the 4x 200 mt relay
4. Emilie Fournel Bronze Medal in the 4 x 200 mt relay
5. Our own Portuguese Flatwater Team
6. Strong contingent from experienced paddlers from the UK
7. A group of excited Basques!
All these mixed up to perfection!
The racing in the afternoon went exactly as planned and expected, the best paddlers were able to put on an effort and prove their value, Ekaitz, Rauhe and Silva were in the podium, but Eirik, Tim were also in the top 10, still luck is a part of it and Anders, Renee and Pimenta didn’t have any on their side.
In the girls Jenna Hawkey (GB - U23 Team Member) won, in front of Teresa Portela (Bronze in K4 200 and Bronze in K1 500 U23) and behind them a new Portuguese rising star only 15 years old, that profited from the 3 contenders for 3rd place all capsized in the same wave (JSousa; NJanic and KKovacs).
To close the racing day we had a relay race, were a random draw allocated a girl and 2 boys to each team, into a shorter 3 lap race, where everybody had a lot of fun, but of course there was also some prize money on the line, so they had fun while pushing their limits!
For mote details you can check the results http://summerchallenge.nelo.eu/live#results
To close the day, entries to the biggest beach party in Europe, dancing to the sound of the best DJ’s in the world!! What a way to finish it!
Soon we will post more pictures and the HD quality video!
(in the picture the close fight for 2nd position in the men’s final on the right in yellow RRauhe and on the left in green ESilva)