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If you’re following the freestyle scene, you’ll know that most competitions were cancelled due to the pandemic. A bummer for those of us who love competing and strive to win some medals.

Luckily the NFL (Nottingham Freestyle League), had a creative solution! The NFL organizes a boatload of fun competitions in Nottingham over the year. They have a small competition every month on the different features of the whitewater course in Holme Pierrepont. The main focus of these competitions is to promote freestyle, have fun and bring “the community” together. The competition structure is a bit different than the usual. The categories are based on skill level and not age or gender. You have a 200, 500, 1000 and a 2000 category. So, doesn’t matter who you are, you’ll be assigned to the group of your skill level. I personally think this is great because it gives everyone a chance to win in relation to their skill level.

As an alternative the NFL organized an online flatwater competition. You could enter a run from 1-minute tops, showing of all your flatwater moves. You’d film it and put it on Facebook tagging the NFL. Easy and accessible for everyone who wanted to compete!

Belgium is not really known for their freestyle paddlers, but nonetheless we had 6 competitors! From which 3 medaled! A few of our Jackson Adventures team members participated as well!

The runs posted online were insane! Everyone pulled out their best tricks to try and make it on the podium. In the end Lane De Meulenaere won the 2000 category. Bennet Smith just missed the podium with a 4th place. James Ibbotson, aka Ibbo, took home the bronze medal in the 1000 category. In the 2000 category the 3000-point mark was almost broken! Imagine that!

Shoutout to the NFL and James Ibbotson for putting this awesome flatwater competition!

Check out my entry below (2890 points)

Full results:
1. Rhona Crowley
2. Billy O’Brassil
3. Nic Lawson

1. Wout Bauwens
2. Becky Green
3. /

1. Matt Brook
2. Nathan Hefford
3. James Ibbotson

1. Lane De Meulenaere
2. Tom Dierick
3. Harry Price