Starting every single news describing the weather might be repetitive but it is unbelievable that until now all 3 World Cups have been blessed with awesome racing conditions, what motivates both athletes and spectators.
For those that don’t know Racice, even though its location could be better, it is technically one of the best courses in the World with warrantied awesome and fair conditions.
45 countries lined up into what has to be considered one of the most competitive World Cup of the past 3 years.
As for Nelo it was a busy one, with the stress starting to show in some teams and athletes, and we feel honoured to be there to make their life easier.
In the weekend it was time for the athletes to give back, and they did 9 of 12 possible golds and 26 of 36 possible medals, was a great prize for our hard work.
1. K1 1000 mt Rene Poulsen after being 4th last year stepped up his game, and so did Portuguese F. Pimenta that with a blasting start broke the field into an exciting race. Special attention for us on this race as most of the paddlers in these final were already using 2012 protoypes K1’s.
2. K2 1000 was not very different with the youngsters from Russia Yurchenko/Pogreban showing that after winning a good set of medals in the youth classes they are ready for bigger stages, beating in a close finish Australia and Portugal, once more the winners are part of our “advanced test” team.
3. K4 1000 was one of the most competitive races and even though we missed the gold in this one, it was great to see Portugal and Australia battling out to take 3rd and 2nd place.
4. C1 1000 When we started working on a new C1 aiming for London, not even in our best expectations would we thing that already in 2011 we would reach gold at this level, well done Mark Oldershaw CAN!
5. C2 1000 Lipkin/Melantiev won a bronze in 09, now they are back and took gold in a promising way, but with a strong challenge from Sevigny/Russel CAN.
6. K1 W 500 Alana Nichols came 2nd in Poznan and in Racice she went one step further with a strong finish, 3rd place for Rachel Cawthorn that after a hard winter showed she is improving fast.
7. K2 W 500 Belarus has been doing a great job with young athletes, paddling well and fast, and for those less into the sport just take a look at the last year JUN/U23 Championships to understand where this team comes from, 3rd for GB, that has won a medal in all the Olympic Girls Events.
8. K4 500 W Portugal and Great Britain are yet to win gold but they are progressing fast and stepping more and more times in the podium.
9. K1 200 Ed Mckeever proved is the still the man to beat, even though he had a hard mission he managed to hold back the field to stay unbeaten in 2011, Zvalsoski from Russia and Zerial from Italy came 2nd and 3rd, in a final where there were 8 Nelos lined up. Special note to Ed Mckeever that even having a busy weekend of racing always has time to thank the boys for their work, to sign an autograph or even to be back on the water for a long photo shoot, a true champion!
10. K2 200 10 boats lined up, so there was actually 9 Nelo’s in the final, what a fast competitive event, after all it is the fastest race in the Olympic programme! Really happy to see Nelos firing out of the start to take the top 5 in this race, World Champions Jouve/Hybois won again, 2nd place again for the GB Schofield/Heath and 3rd for Latvian Straume/Rumjancevs.
11. K1 W 200 Portugal is our home country and when we see Teresa Portela do well we are even happier than normal! Jenni Mikonen FIN is as good as family for us as her boat lives with us and Jessica Walker belongs to one of the teams we work the most so a great podium at all levels.
12 C1 200 Richard Dalton CAN putted up a good fight on the C1 200 to take silver, that follwing his Bronze in last years Worlds puts him as one of the strong contenders for this event.
Now time to work with the atheltes in Duisburg aiming to improve our new models to make sure the athletes will have the best possible equipment in 2012, still the fact that from these 9 medals 5 were already won in new generation boats its very promising.
See you all in Duisburg