Shannon and I are visiting Flattach for the second time. To my mind this is the most beautiful location we have visited in pursuit of slalom courses. Nestled in the Austrian Alps the views in all directions are stunning. There is an easy run along the grass path or tarmacked road to keep up with the action. The water looks cool (cold!) and clear and the weather is HOT!Making it a welcome (if sticky) change from the never ending rain we left behind in the UK and the thunderstorms andtorrential rain we have experienced every day on our trip through Europe and stay in Solkan.
Joining William, Thomas and Shannon on their ECA trip this time were James, Luc and Christopher. After a day of training on the Monday racing started on Tuesday with a good flow of water offering a number of challenging features. The course is fairly long and with temperatures reaching 36 degrees I’m sure they all appreciated the alpine water.
Qualifying from first runs were Luc (C1 U16) with a clear run, Christopher (C1 U16), Shannon (K1 U18), William (K1 U14), Luc (K1 U16) with a clear run, Christopher (K1 U16) with a clear run, Thomas (K1 U16) and James (K1 U18). After the final, results were Luc (C1) 7th, Christopher (C1) 14th, Shannon 5th, William 21st, Luc (K1) 17th with a clear run, Christopher (K1) 26th with a clear run, Thomas 10th and James 17th with a clear run.
On the second and final day qualifying from first runs was similar to day one, though Christopher unfortunately missed out on K1. Luc (K1 & C1), Christopher (C1) and Thomas had all achieved clear runs. After the final, results were Luc (C1) with a fantastic 2nd and Christopher (C1) 16th.
Shannon was unable to compete in the final due to her shoulder pain becoming too severe but still finished in 5th place. William finished 14thimproving 7 places on the previous day, Luc (K1) 19th with a clear run, Thomas put down a second great run for the day to finish 5th with a clear run and James 12th with a clear runimproving 5 places on the previous day.
Congratulations to all paddlers and especially Luc finishing 2ndU16 C1M overall!
Thanks very much to Horst for helping organise judging support, Dave for organising video and to all the coaches. Thanks also to Horst for all his work as team leader in Solkanand various assistance as local interpreter!!
We have also enjoyed the company of many of our fellow competitors and competitors parents from around the UK and a have felt lots of support from all. I would also like to thank thelovely lady Rachael from the Australian team who took time out to offer Shannon help with physio and advice.
As always it has been lovely to be away with members of ourslalom community.
Words – Karen Tomlinson
Pictures by Mark Blythe, Horst Mayer and Karen Tomlinson