Day 0 – Training
We arrived to the slalom rapids just out of Eildon (Victoria, Australia) a mere day and a half after Christmas, to low water levels with little promise of improvement. Getting in a few practice sprint runs in both the C2 and K1 we felt confident with our lines as they hadn’t changed much since the State Championships a few weeks ago. We were ready for the week of intense racing ahead. Spending the remainder of the afternoon catching up with those athletes from interstate, we began to prepare for the following days races.
Day 1 – Southern Cup Sprint
The first event in our big week was the long sprint, for many of us this was a shock to the system as we had to push ourselves almost double the distance of a regular sprint. K1 was up first and while I felt somewhat confident, I was still nervous for the internal race that was the wild water u23 and senior team selection. Pulling out two quick runs in both the K1 and C2 we were able to take the podium in both classes, coming first in the u23 K1 and C2.
Day 2 – Southern Cup Classic
With the first wins for the week and knowing we could be quicker in the c2 on the longer distanced classic we felt confident coming into the second race. However our bubble was quickly burst when we soon discovered that the course we were about to race was uncharted territory. By the end of my K1 runK1 i felt the full force of having just raced for 10 minutes and the sudden realisation of having to do it all again in the C2. Needless to say I was very sore by the end of the day but with yet win it was all worth it.
Day 3 – Australian Wild Water Championship sprint
With today being the first day of nationals the stakes rose to a new level as by the end of the day the national champion for sprint would be announced! Finishing my runs I felt very relieved as I had qualified as the first boat for the U23 World championship Team. This was my first national team in the sport and I am greatly looking forward to racing against the worlds best, representing my country. However not qualifying in the C2 today meant that I will have to do it on the last day on the National Classic.
Day 4 – Australian Wild Water Championship Classic
Entering the final day to qualify the C2 we arrived to the start line focused, despite not being able to see anything through the thick fog. Having qualified in the K1 the day before I didn’t race to be able to put my entire focus into the C2. We were one of the first boats of the line and as such the fog was still sitting low over the water as we took off. It must have been the hardest classic I’ve done as we pushed this heavy out of date C2 down the river not knowing which way to turn in the thick fog. Once finished we waited nervously at the bottom for percentage to be calculated, but at last the results were in and we had made the time. Just like that the Lachlan and I were off to Austria!