France’s Denis Gargaud-Chanut and Fabien Lefevre, the silver medalists in Saturday’s C-2 event, made slalom history Sunday by medaling again in their two different singles classes. Lefevre claimed the Bronze Medal in Men’s Kayak, and—in the biggest surprise of these World Championships—Gargaud-Chanut is the 2011 World Champion in C-1 Men.
“Why is this French C-2 team paddling on the same side?” I asked in the caption to my photo in Bratislava #3. Now I know that my guess was wrong: They weren’t “just hacking around.” In the C-2 final Saturday, that same French team—who I discovered is the legendary Fabian Lefevre and his partner Denis Gargaud-Chanut—was the last boat down the course…
It was a disappointing morning for the U.S. paddlers, including for my sentimental favorite, the McEwan and Eichfeld team. The drama of qualifying heats lies not in the placings within the top ten, but “on the bubble”—those paddlers who are just inside or just outside the cutoff.
Was I nervous this morning? Nah. It was just everyday forgetfulness that made me fail to put the battery back into my camera. And if I was completely exhausted after the the first C-2 heat, well, blame jet lag. It had nothing to do with watching my son race in his first World Championships.
BRATISLAVA, Slovakia — The official Opening Ceremonies of the 2011 Canoe Slalom World Championships did not begin until 7 p.m. Tuesday local time, so during the day there was training as usual on the course. With boat and gear inspection taking place off to one side, it was a good chance for me to meet new people as they stood in line.
I’m getting the feeling that the 2011 Canoe Slalom World Championships has an inferiority complex. Today the home page for the World Championships features a photo of Michel Martikan with the caption, “Road to London Adds Extra Excitement to Canoe Slalom World Championships.”
By Jamie McEwan Here I am—Bratislava, Slovakia! Site of the 2011 Canoe Slalom World Championships! Ouch, I’ve done it already: I can’t even write two sentences (one a fragment) about the Worlds without stumbling over Slalom’s Eurocentrism. Here they don’t say “Canoe and Kayak Slalom” because for Europeans, “canoe” is the generic word for canoes [...]
On this Sunday afternoon in early May, the Petite Bostonnais River is anything but small. As 600 cfs barrels down the narrow granite gauntlet, a cross-section of the world’s top paddlers stare into the crux of the racecourse: a weir-hole entrance to a chaotic and continuous 60-foot slide with serious face-shredding potential—all of it feeding into an enormous re-circulating hole. Avoiding that sucking man-trap meant threading a seemingly impossible line to the right after more than a minute of all-out paddling through a succession of multi-tiered Class V drops.
In March, Tyler Bradt crushed his L1 vertebrae after landing flat off of Oregon’s 100-foot Abiqua Falls. Three days shy of the five-month anniversary of that accident, on Aug. 17, Bradt—the 25-year-old reigning waterfall-drop world record holder, at 189 feet—was back, for a run down a legendary line, “The Box.”
Ed’s note: In the interest of, you know, facilitating dialogue, we’ve decided to start rolling out one of the magazine’s longtime recurring features, “Ask Eddy,” here on the website; below the latest, from the August 2011 issue. We invite readers to submit future questions for Eddy’s consideration here, at our Facebook page or by regular ol’ email: AskEddy@canoekayak.com.)
Five2Nine Productions’ Currents series of online videos came full circle last month when Ottawa-based videographer Mike McKay returned to Hood River, Ore., for the third time to shoot whitewater paddling on the White Salmon, Little White and other Class V creeks. McKay and his Vancouver-based friend, Steve Arns, traveled to Hood River on a whim in December 2009.