Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Welsh Open Freestyle and Boatercross | Matthew 'Pod' Houghton

My day started with coaching Intro to Freestyle working on improving paddlers skills on 6 cumecs including surfing, spins, shudder rudders, air guitars and setting up in holes for the big moves. We were lucky to have Lowri Davies from flow free helping out with the coaching.

After lunch the water turned up to a mighty 10 cumecs ready for practise before the evening competition, we few more coached session on the faster flows to really hone their skills . It was great to see so many paddlers from all over the UK turn out for the event at Cardiff International Whitewater, making for a great competition in the evening.

I stuck to my strength and competed in just the freestyle to give Eddy more of a chance of winning the Boater X, the freestyle open had a great set up with a Jam session giving you a two part competition with time for feedback in the middle. I had the golden oldies in my group that although tiring after the first 5 minutes managed to battle on through and last the whole competition. 

I managed to come away from the freestyle with a 3rd place but the best part of the event for me was the minute of king of the wave carnage that I managed to win with a shudder rudder even after some dirty tack tics by Talc... looking forward to next years event already in my new Gui Gui ready to take the win. See you next year.

Images provided by Isabel Cuesta and Gavin Cooper. 

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