What a Summer it’s been!!! The past 3 months have been non-stop. Traveling, Competing and now studying (I will get on to that bit later on). 2016 was my first World Championships on the island of Fiji and fast forward 10 months we have just finished what has been a epic 10 day marathon of world class competition. This years event was sort of a hybrid event. A mixture of competing in the heart of Copenhagen and on the cold shores of the Thy National park in the north-west of Denmark or better know as Cold Hawaii.
Over 300 athletes from 42 countries competed in 3 disciplines. SUP Surfing, SUP Racing and Prone Paddleboard Racing. Team Ireland consisted of Myself, Ross Mc Garry, Paul Byrne, Keith Gorman, Claire McDonald, Sarah Gannon and Ozzie Jay. 4 weeks before the event started I had decided to concentrate on the 200m Sprint and Beach Race. Leaving the 20km long distance race out for Ross and Keith to smash out. Two race events I feel comfortable with!!
The 200m Sprint race happened in front of the Opera House on Sunday morning. Personally I had a goal to make the final. A ambitious goal but last year in Fiji when the event was a test event, I managed to make the final by winning my qualifying heat. When the draw came out for the qualifying heats. Every single heat was looking like a final. My heat had the Kiwi’s and the ultra dark horse Latvian C-1 paddler Avris. I was in the 2nd mens heat of the day meaning I got to watch the 1st heat race. It was one of the closest races in history with Casper Steinfeth pulling back a 3 board length deficit in the last 40m.
As my heat was called to the line. I picked a middle lane to try and have a good view of who was around me during the race. When race director Barrett Tester started the race, Latvia and New Zealand both pull out ahead