Diary of a middle aged kayaker

Archives for kayaking

Ivrea World Masters Games

I’ve written a descriptive report of the Masters Games for Sportscene (http://www.sportscene.tv/whitewater/canoe-slalom/news/canoe-slalom-at-the-torino-world-masters-games) so now I’m taking a much more personal perspective, in keeping with the ethos of Diary of a Middle Aged Kayaker. “Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.” ― Salvador Dali I came across this quote at a Dali art [...]

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Final preparations

I’m now in my final few days of training to complete my preparations for the slalom at the World Masters Games.  The WMG takes place in Ivrea on 7 August, and it’s been the focus of my training for the last 15 months. When I first wrote about the WMG back in December, I said [...]

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The slalom season begins

Most of my recent paddling has been in a slalom boat, training at Lee Valley.  GB Canoeing has started twice weekly training sessions as part of its Olympic Legacy programme, and although this is targeted at young paddlers I’ve been able to join in.  As Paul Ratcliffe said, it’s about creating a healthy slalom ecosystem [...]

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Wet weekend in Dartmoor and the art of decisions

My paddling highlight so far for 2013 has been a wet and cold January weekend in Dartmoor. Paddling with a good crew, we managed three excellent rivers with good water levels. First up was the Upper Plym, a beautiful steep Grade 4 / 5 run that the guidebook calls the ‘jewel in the crown’ of [...]

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Destination Ivrea – World Masters Games

2013 is shaping up to be a big year for me. For a start I turn 50 this month and that feels like a significant milestone.  It’s also a year in which the quadrennial World Master Games takes place, and there’s a slalom event at Ivrea in early August.   http://www.torino2013wmg.org  I decided a couple of [...]

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Re-building your confidence

I was prompted to write this after reading this blog post from Louise Jull, describing her experience of an injury on the Green River.  http://playak.com/news.php?idd=2129836684817 I wanted to write something that would be helpful for anyone in her situation – so I hope this is useful! Everyone knows that whitewater kayaking depends on your ability to [...]

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Parenting Athletes

My last post about paddling parents provoked a great response.  In particular from Tim Ward, who emailed me about his experience as the parent of a competitive paddler – Alan Ward, who was junior World Champion in freestyle.  I thought it was worth putting Tim’s note up here because it contains some real nuggets based [...]

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Learning to be a paddling parent

One of the themes of the London 2012 Games was ‘inspire a generation’.  In my case it certainly worked. Seeing the Olympic slalom competition first hand was a real buzz and for the first time my girls are asking ‘when can we go kayaking again?’   I’m really pleased about this, because for the last [...]

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Is full-time paddling your dream job?

I never like to miss a chance to go paddling, even when I’m on a family holiday, so I went sea-kayaking for a morning along Italy’s beautiful Amalfi coast.  It was a relaxed trip, guided by Mariella Di Nocera who runs Positano Kayaks.  We headed south-east from Positano, past the harbor and along the steep [...]

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What’s the psychological difference between qualifying and competing for a medal?

Winning an Olympic medal is never easy, and every athlete who makes a final to be in contention for a medal will have worked hard to get there through selection events, qualifying rounds and semi-finals.  Watching the 2012 canoe slalom qualifying heats over the last two days, I’ve been reminded that that for many athletes [...]

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