I am now in my second of week training in Nottingham, where I have been staying and training with Tim Brabants, the number one English paddler.
I have started to gain more strength as each week passes, doing some pbs in my 2k repeats. I have also started back into my weights after putting them on the back burner while doing some good quality miles in Czech, it is reassuring to see my strength is coming back as well as we anticipated.
The weather is living up to its reputation, with consistently strong wind blowing down the course; this has been great for my preparation for Athens.
In the weekend we raced the English National championships into a very strong headwind, I had a great battle with Tim Brabants managing to get away over the last 250 for a 2.6sec win, this was great as I have been trying out some bigger paddles and have done some good times downwind so it is reassuring to hold it together in a longer race.
Just finished racing at Duisburg, where I paddled in the fastest K1 1000m race of all time.
Eirik Veras Larsen was in great form becoming the fist person ever to break 3m 25 with 3.24.9. I paddled my fastest ever joining Nathan Baggaley and Adam Van Coeverden in the 3.25 club. This was a good gauge of world class competition, and also a confidence boost after last weekend, to see I’m not too far back, as last year Eirik Veras Larsen taught us a lesson in Hungary and I was still able to come up, this time the gap is much closer.
My 500 didn’t go as well as I would have liked but was quite understandable with where I am at with my training.
To finish the weekend off we had the final of the demonstration 3000m race, this was a good blow out, with Nathan Baggaley paddling a very smart race, taking the lead from me on the last turn to hold on all the way to the line. The race was followed by a quick medal ceremony and I was off to England with the team van and trailer. Katie and I arrived in London at Royal Canoe club at 2am the following morning.
Just had my first world cup race of the season, a good chance to see how my K1 1000 and the K2 1000 is going. We had very fast conditions and I was blown away by the level of the competition. Adam Van Coeverden of Canada out classed the field going quicker than anyone since the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. Nathan Baggaley wasn’t too far behind him with me in third going .2 faster than my winning time at worlds. I felt like it wasn’t my best race, having said that, a 3.28 is normally a pretty handy time, but I did expect the standard of racing this Olympic year to be very very high.
Forty minutes later Steve Ferguson and I lined up for the K2 1000, this time Steve and I raced with me in the front, it makes sense to have a lighter person in the front if there is a strong tail and choppy water, plus I am now getting off the line a lot faster.
Steve and I paddled a good race to come in fourth. There were some good crews missing, but like it was in Atlanta, we’ll have to wait to see what the Kiwis can pull out on the day.
It would have been nice to get some confidence with a gold medal from this regatta, but I’m putting everything into the one day at the Olympics.