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By Pikey

Pikey writes in his 2009 Review

Well before I start my 2010 paddling year and boy is it going to be a cold one with the snow we have. I thought I’d just talk about my successful 2009 season. First of I have failed to get out of the UK for over a year, which people like my mother and friends seemed stoked by. Last winter was busy with lots of freestyle kayaking at my local spots, such as Hurley and Marsh Weirs. I was training in hopes of being called upon to go to worlds as I got the reserve spot on the team. (1st attempt at being a team member)

Then the summer came and instead of hitting up the Ottawa river I stayed back and worked at an outdoor centre. Although working mainly on the flat or indeed on land I was let loose on some weekends where I got to adventure out to paddle places like the Bitches, in Wales, along with a surfing mission in Cornwall. (I even braved a surfboard) the highlights to the summer were helping out with the youth freestyle events, which was my first year in getting the chance to do so. Having my first go in an open canoe. Plus the 2-day course I did at Longridge that you can read up here.

After my summer stint I went to the British championships. It was also a selection event for this years Europeans. I only got 8th in the selection event but managed to get through to the my 1st finals and placed 5th which in my eyes is great, just getting to put gear on to paddle in event on the second day was a great feeling. I also passed my BCU level 3 coaching award but missed an important selection event, So I laid it all on the line at the last selection event and came a very proud 2nd! I didn’t make team but did land squad, so hopefully with the extra help I can make it to team for the worlds.

I’ve been really hitting up my creek boating, putting some rocks under my rocker. Hitting up rivers in Wales and Dartmoor but the best part or place I’ve been over the year has to of been Scotland which was just breath taking and such a great laugh, loved doing the walk ins as well.

I’ve been out of action for a month due to having an ear operation due to a big hole in the ear drum so recommending everyone to get ear plugs so they don’t have to go through my ordeal. But soon to return to the snow covered banks of the Thames to practice more for the next Worlds which I hope to compete in this time.

In terms of freestyle I also hope to become a Judge, having spoken to Sneaky Pete, I think it will be another challenge and a joy to help out at more events.

I’m going to as many events as possible, I have the Pyranha event coming up at the end of January and just had the Gene 17 weekend before Xmas, I hope to be a bigger part in this years youth freestyle event, along with spending my month summer holiday back on the Ottawa river instructing the keeners.

As for work. I’ve just started a full time job, working as a general support assistant at a special needs school, which is very rewarding. My main aim is getting them active in the outdoors.

Not forgetting I plan on having a xmas somewhere hot this year, Mexico or Chile comes to my mind. Lol. Well 2010 is going to be a fun year and hope to be seeing you in the eddy.


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