This year's World Cup took place in the United States in Rock Island-Tennessee, Pigeon River-Tennessee and the final at next year's World Championship Spot at NOC (Nantahala Outdoor Center) on Nantahala River-North Carolina. I had the great opportunity to share a rental car, not anyone but a classical American Pic Up Chevrolet, with my friends and teammates from Vajda: Bartosz Czauderna, Tomas Andrassy, Peter Csonka and Nina Csonkova. We were there few weeks before the World Cup did start, so we made a round trip to train hard on all the competition features before they would get busy from the other competitors. We had a great time and it worked out pretty well and all of us did good in the competitions.
The first event was at Rock Island. It offers one of the most beautiful scenaries with it's amazing waterfall “Twin Falls” bleeding down of the rocky wall behind the wave. It is not natural but accidentally made after pushing the water up with the power station damn that lead to pressing the water through the rocks and created the falls. The competition feature was just underneath it, a small trashy wave hole mixture, not easy but fun to ride. I loved the place so much with it's warm water and unique flair. After prelims I made it to 11th position and was very close not able to make it better in the quarter finals but could keep the place at least. So ending up 11th made me quite happy. Here I want to thank the Jackson Family for being very friendly to us.
The second event was held at Pigeon River. This is one of the best holes I paddled so far, handmade with stones by the NOC staff and perfected over a long period of time. Unfortunately every year it is being destroyed by some high water flows, but after this year they hope to get the permission to secure the stones with concrete from falling and make it last for long term. This time after prelims I made it with too much risk close with 19th position into the quarters. I tried hard but could only get two places better there, so my final position was 17th, at least in the top 20 which is quite on the border of satisfying me. I also want to say big thanks for Monica and Chris for their big help.
The third and final event was held at NOC. Also here they changed the playspot few times in the last months in order to perfectionate it, not only by hand but also with big machines and quite a bit of money. Unfortunately I was not very lucky and most of my moves were not clean enough to get scored by the judges. That's why I ended up on the not very best 29th place from 55, but I can say that I know it better now for next year! Here I want also to place big thanks Zach, Charol and Daniel.
Now I know how to set up my trainings for the World Championships there next near and what will be crucial to get a top position.
Thanks to Tomas Andrassy and Tomasz Czaplicki for the photos!
Text by: Marcel Bloder