Poznan 2011 Report
2011 will be an important year as most of the teams focus on their Olympic Qualification, the process is complex and extremely hard, so the teams and athletes will use the World Cups to trial different options on boats, combinations and events.
May in Central Europe normally does not mean sun and temperatures around 20º but this time the weather was on our side, and the weather was warm, the sun was out and for most of the races there was a head breeze.
Besides the usual service of repairing, polishing and fine tuning of parts we are also using this year to do some testing on new projects, for both boats and fittings, the results could hardly be better.
We achieved 8 of 12 possible golds in the Olympic events, what is always a good indicator of our presence in the market, here are some of the highlights:
1. K1 1000 - Return of Eirik Larsen to the top with a solid 2nd place showing he will be one more in the fight in London, Anders Gustafsson came 3rd before winning the 500mt with an impressive performance.
2. Portugal made us proud by winning K2 and K4 1000, and 4th in K1 1000, with only 4 paddlers, a pretty impressive demonstration that Portugal is able to produce some of the best paddlers in the World, what most people don’t know is that in number of paddlers, quality of the clubs and organization, Portuguese Canoeing has nothing to be embarassed of so it was only a matter of time before the World found out.
3.Ed Mckeever started where he finished last year by winning the K1 200. Back on top after his silver from 2009 and a disapointing 2010 is Oleg Karithonov UKR that took 3rd.
4. The K2 200 only missed Spain to be in many ways the same race as last year. France Jouve Hybois won in a close race in front of GB Schofield Heath, 3rd for the 2005 World Champions Zoric Filipovic.
5. Back in good form was the Olympic Silver medalists from Poland in the K2 500 W taking an impressive win, opening a good gap to 2nd.
6. C1 200 Cheban UKR after being 3rd last year in Poznan and first in 2006, showed he will be going for his 2nd medal in London.
7. Marta Walczykiewicz POL stormed away from the start to claim Gold for the delight of the home crowd.
8. C2 1000 Segey Bezugliy and Maksim Prokopenko AZE besides having one of the coolest boats in the World, they stood up and showed it is not only about the looks, and won the C2 1000/C2 500 and came 2nd in C2 200, to be only beaten by the unstopable C2 200 from LTU giving Nelo a clean sweep on the C2 events.
9. Special note for Anders Gustafsson and Mathieu Goubel that won the former Olympic events, that even not being Olympic are still very emotive and competitve.
10. The new generation of Nelo’s raced in the weekend and collected some good results, and above all important feedback on how to keep improving them for London 2012.
Now time to gain some forces before heading to Racice for the 2nd leg of the World Cup.