European Championships 2009
Katalin Kovács (HUN), European Champion K1 500 and K1 1000.
The European Championships are without a doubt the biggest regional competition in the sport of canoeing, the level is almost as high as in the World Championships and in some classes it is hard to imagine that it can be any harder.
This area has great tradition in the sport, as many of the best German paddlers originate from this area.
So it all came together for a great weekend of racing with some solid performances, but all eyes are already on Canada for the Worlds later this year.
Following the standard presentation method of the performances of our kayaks, i will mention some more relevant and avoid a boring presentation of the results:
1. Katalin Kovács, after the deception of the 2008 Olympics K1 performance, Kati proved she is back at her best winning both gold in the K1. A special note in this discipline for the British youngster Rachel Cawthorne that achieved an amazing 3rd place in the 500 mt. Teresa Portela from Spain won the 200 mt, giving our K1’s all the golds in the Ladies events.
2. Anders Gustafsson won the 500 mt and silver medal in the 1000 mt, after winning the World Cup Series, Anders has stepped up and will be one of the big favourites for the medals in Canada.
3. Max Hoff put up and incredible performance in front of his home crowd to win his first major title in Flatwater following his previous achievements in down river racing.
4. Remarkable the performance of Ronald Rauhe, that after many years competing in K2, made his debut in the big events in K1 with a silver medal.
5. In the K1 events our boats achieved in the Men 8 medals in 9 possible and in the ladies 7 out of 9 possible.
6. Attila Vajda proved he is on top of the World in the C1 1000 mt, after winning the Europeans in 2007 he has been undefeated in all the big events ever since over this distance.
7. C2 being a pretty new discipline for us, we were extremely happy to get 3 medals in the 9 possible, and to see in the 1000 mt final 4 Nelo C2 for the first time ever.
8. In the Ladies Olympic events our boats achieved an impressive 6 medals of 9 possible, thanks to a strong Hungarian Team.
9. In 2001 Eirik Larsen won the Europeans in a Nelo Scorpion to give that generation of models their first win, 8 years later he has done the same for the Vanquish III series, writing once more his name in the history books.
10. The Spanish Olympic Champions joined the Norwegians in the first victory for the Vanquish III K2, by claiming the European title in K2 200 mt.
11. Danish sprinters won the first ever 4 x 200 mt relay, curious enough they all used Nelo K1’s!
Service wise this was one more busy week, with a lot of fine tuning being made as the pressure starts to build for the Worlds in Canada. We also used this opportunity to ship 40 boats more to Canada, in what is becoming one of the most complex logistic operations we have ever made!.
Now time to refuel for the last races of the year, see you in Poznan!