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Personalities in the Worlds

Ever see the face of organization. This is Tobi Bersch. He is so organized in every little detail of his life that I am not sure he is human. His attention to detail and commitment to excel have really paid off, as he is definitely in the running for a worlds medal this year! I have tested his ability to handle disorganization in the past week living with him, he handles it quite well. Even re-hangs my paddling gear when he doesn’t like the way I did it! If you want to learn how to blunt and backstab, watch this guy.

See this photo, he is driving over 110 miles per hour at this moment, the confidence definitely shows in his face.

IFC Co-Chair Mike Birbeck

The International Freestyle Committee is the glue that holds freestyle together in the international world. They determine the rules, event locations, organize the judging for, and generally assure the health of the World Championships.

Behind it all is Mike Birbeck. Mike is a paddling dad from England. Drawn to helping with sport when his son Mark began competing internationally and saw the need. Noboby has wanted to take Mike’s job in the past years because, number one, he does a great job, and number two, it is one of those “do a lot, receive little” jobs.

Mark Birbeck is competing in the Men’s K1 class. He made the senior team for Britain this year at 19 years old, after competing in the junior class for many years, and medaling in the World Championships.

This year was a true testament to Mike and Mark’s commitment to the sport. Mike’s wife (Mark’s mom) passed away after a long illness. Thanks to both of you for sticking with it through thick and thin. I hope you will remain on board for more!

Tobias Bersch, Germany

Mike and Tobi