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January 29, 2005

Wow! Semi-Finals are quite fun to watch, although today
I must admit I had one of my roughest semi-finals in a long time! The
women paddled quite well today with Team USA getting two of three women
into the top 5, with Amy Jimmerson getting 6th place, only one place out.
Tanya Shuman and Kristen Podlak making it. Two British women, Fiona and
Lindsey did awesome rides with Lindsey throwing a sweet entry move on
her second ride, both making finals. Jutta Kiser was the winner of this
round with a blitzing first run. She is a pleasure to watch paddle. I
only watched the first run of the C1’s and then both Jay Kincaid
and I bugged out of the 100 degree weather for some air conditioning.
I always watch Tanya Shuman’s rides, and she always watches mine,
kind of a tradition dating back awhile. I was there the day she took her
first paddle stroke at my kayak school and watched her rise through the
ranks. She won prelims and got 5th in semi-finals.

I totally missed the juniors rides but was happy to
hear that Todd Baker made finals for the USA. Lukas from germany took
the top position, while another local favorite, Jake Farrager from Penrith,
missed the cut by one place.

I missed the second rides of the C1 Class but Kynan’s
first ride that I saw kept him in the lead throughout. Two separate Marc’s
from France made the cut, continuing the French C1 rise to dominance that
was once an American claim. The event isn’t over so Bill McNight
can still pull the event off tomorrow. Joe Stumpfell and Seth Chapelle
paddled well but failed to make the cut for the other USA paddler.

In the Men’s Kayak Class:

The first heat of men claimed three of the five spots
with only Jay Kincaid and I from the second heat (top seeds) made the
cut, that is crazy. The big upset was of course, local boy Anthony Yapp
missing the cut. He is so good and so familiar with this feature. That
leaves only the C1’s for Australia for finals. Matt Cooke from England
is having a jolly good time ticking off one round after the next! We have
three USA paddlers in the top five in the men’s class this time.
Bryan Kirk, Jay Kincaid, and I all get to play straight to the end. There
are fun parties each night, affectionately known as “losers parties”
but the goal is to put off the parties until the final day (tomorrow night)
where the biggest party of all is held. I am very happy to know that no
matter what, I now get to play to the end, and then go to the best party
of all! Billy Harris took the honors today, followed by Jay Kincaid, then
Matt Cooke, then Bryan Kirk , then squeezing in to the finals as bubble
boy is EJ (not cool really, but way cooler than being on the wrong side
of the bubble). Tobias Bersch was doing so well in earlier rounds, but
broke his backband in his All-Star. The IR backband will eventually break
as all of them seem to do but I have never seen one break in the middle
of a world championships ride before. The worst story of the day was Eddie
Smith from England, who broke his thumb this morning practicing and couldn’t

So there you have it. Nothing but finals tomorrow.
Tomorrow there will be world champions in all classes. Who will they be?
That is truly up to the paddlers and the way the scores fall from round
to round.

I am looking at the placings so far for the entire
competition looking for sources of confidence and finding that I am dong
the best so far, but on a bad trend the wrong direction, which of course,
has nothing to do with the skill, only that either my focus is going awry
or my average score and the timing of the low scores just happens to be
when they are. I am still planning on getting 600+ points in this competition,
but more importantly, I need to keep my score higher than the lowest one
tomorrow from start to finish, since that is the game in the knockout

EJ 1st, 2nd, 5th

Jay 10th, 1st, 2nd

Billy 2nd, 8th, 1st

Bryan 4th, 6th, 4th

Matt 19th, 7th, 3rd

🙂 EJ

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