I travelled to Plattling with the Irish Team at the end of May to take part in the European Freestyle Championships. Plattling feature itself is a lovely feature really good and super fun to paddle. It was a great event that really well organised thanks to all who made it happen. We camped in the surrounding field right across from the feature.
I fell into a easy routine of waking early and getting a early session in. Followed by a big breakfast followed by some active rest at the local swimming pool. The day would be finished with a second session. Every night I fell into a deep sleep listening to the river.
At the start of the trip I pulled something in the back of my shoulder. It had me seriously worried. But thanks to some serious time spend rolling it out on some spikey balls and daily Pilates it felt better. Big shout out to Lisa from http://pilatesbody.ie/ for the tips and tricks.
There was a great buzz within the Irish camp. It was great to see everyone paddling so well in the lead up. People were looking strong in training and putting down some lovely moves. I was happy enough with my rides in the lead up. We got a lot of time in on feature.
Weather wise it was a bit of a mixed bag. Sunny when we first arrived but then the rain arrived again. It was great to see the sun arrive again but it was not to last. The rain fell heavily, so much so that the dam had to release and we all had to evacuate the campsite site. This was a tough day it was pouring rain and the river rose so so much. My heart sank we were not used to the feature at this level.
I woke early on competition day. The fog hung around the river banks it was cold and levels were still high. But that what it comes down to same feature for everyone. All we could do now was go out there enjoy it and do our best.
I was happy with my first ride and not so much with my second. Unfortunately I did a lot worse than I had thought. I had wanted to show the progression in my freestyle and in womens freestyle in Ireland. But it was not to be. Such is competition sometimes it goes your way and other times it does not. I was obviously really disappointed when I first found out. But over all it served as a great learning for me. You will never know if you don't even try.
I also reflected the amazing journey that has lead me to Plattling with some great people. We had all spend a great winter paddling in Ireland together pushing ourselves and helping each other.There is a great Irish freestyle scene at the moment. Everyone is pushing each other giving tips leading to a super positive environment on the river. I will take the lessons learned on board and use to improve. I am excited to see where this freestyle journey will lead us to next.
Huge thanks to Barry for organising all the Team gear and details. Thanks to Tom and the Bretts for the airport spins. Lastly thanks to everyone at home for all the support :)