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World Cup Final- Sort, Spain

Well the final of three World Cups has ended and it couldn’t have ended better! We spent the last week in Sort, Spain which hosted the World Championships in 2001. Spending time in town I remembered more and more childhood memories of the place. We arrived Monday after a day in Costa  Brava doing the tourist thing and checking out the amazing beaches near Girona, Spain. Once we got to Sort we re located our kayaks and hit the river. Man was it different- we went from small holes, to a big bouncy flushy wave hole thing that certainly shook up the entire competition. Our team was excited to surf something that exciting, unfortunately we only got 30 minute training slots and the water would go off afterwards and beforehand.  The water was clear and cold and felt fantastic in the hot weather.


In the training slots you could see people who had been strong in competition so far, completely lose their confidence and with it their moves.

The week started with Opening Ceremonies on Wednesday. Each country paraded through the streets of Sort with a welcoming speech from the Mayor, and ICF officials. It was also the evening in the Soccer World Cup where Germany was against Brazil, and US team member Jordan Poffenberger’s birthday. There was a big opening celebration but an even bigger celebration once Germany won the soccer match. I went to bed early but the aftermath of the celebration carried on through the week. Certain kayakers thought it would be funny to steal the statue’s bust of the Sort General. It turned into national news. All over spain they were trying to catch the “statue stealer.” Luckily it was quickly returned and the country thought the mayor himself stole it to bring more publicity to the town and event. : )

The following day the competition started and all the classes other then men and women had their preliminary rounds. We followed the day with an athlete dinner where many locals came out. The Paella was cooked over a big fire and in one big pot- it served at least 200 people and was delicious.

The next day the boys went for their preliminary rounds, the combined cut to make top 20 was only 290 points! Never have I seen such a difficult feature in an ICF event and it was crazy to watch everyone struggle. People like Peter Csonka even scored a 0 on their rides!

Semi Finals and Finals were the same day for Junior Men, Women and Men. In the Junior Men it got shaken up big time with two of the top junior men flushing out early each ride- Thomas Richard and Lane DeMelanuere. In the Women it was a tight battle between 5-10 and Hitomi who was winning the overall just snuck into finals.  The first heat of men went out and had some great rides, Pringle took the top score in the first heat, usually you can expect one person from the top five to drop below. This time that didn’t happen and the entire second heat made it into finals.

Finals started right after with Junior Women- Rowan Stuart took her first Gold of the World Cup with Nuria Fontane in 2nd. Emma from England took 3rd. With the 2nd Place Nuria took the overall Gold Medal.


Junior Men Max Karlsson won the last event and the overall with solid rides throughout the entire 3 weeks.


C-1- Dane Jackson took the gold home with solid rides. Each American C-1 took home one gold at each event, Tad Dennis in Millau, Jordan Poffenberger in Salt and Dane in Sort. For the overall Tad took 1st, followed by a tie between Jordan and Dane.

Finals started after Dark and the disco lights were ready to rock. There were thousands of people lining the banks trying to catch a glimpse of the kayaking action. It wasn’t hard to miss with the bleachers practically in the water and the spotlight only on the hole.


The women kicked the party off, it was a crazy experience being in that feature in the dark. My timing ended up being off on everything- although poor timing seemed to make my loops way bigger! I missed most of my other moves and fell short on points, ride after ride. Hitomi took the gold followed by Marlene, myself, then Adriene and Sofia. With Hitomi’s win she took the overall winner and I took second. Marlene from France left with a bronze overall.

The men upped their scores throughout the competition. In finals though the lights through them off and some of them scored as low as 50 points!!! Top 4 in the men were all in Red Competition weight Rockstars, Dane taking the gold, Mathieu Dumoulin in 2nd, Nick Troutman in 3rd and Jason Craig in 4th. 5th was Sebastian Devred who has been paddling incredibly well throughout the entire World Cup.


For the overall Dane won, then Mathieu was 2nd, followed by Sebastian Devred. 4th was Abel from France and 5th was Nick Troutman.


The Rockstar was amazing in all 3 features. Nice and short for the shallow Millau, perfect for big loop moves in Salt and fast and retentive for Sort. JK took top 2 in the Womens Overall and Top 2 in Men as well.


Now we are all heading to our next paddling destination- the Ottawa River in Canada!


Happy Paddling to All and be sure to look for posts from the rest of the team on their experiences at the World Cup!!


Emily Jackson-Troutman

Thanks to Nuria Fontane for the photos!!!