So I left the rain-soaked Borders behind to experience the unaccustomed warm temperatures of the United states of America!
It was a fantastic place to go. Everyone was so welcoming, showing us around and making it very easy to cope with the different setting. On the first day It was 41 degrees Celsius in Wausau, and the coldest midday temperature was around 32, so it was very hot and humid some days. Training and keeping hydrated was quite challenging.
For my first international in the GB team, it was a great experience competing against the world’s best young paddlers from 27 countries. It was a good course, a bit tricky in some spots, but very much like a natural river which is what I train on most of the time. We had training slots once a day leading up to the event and my coach, Neil Caffrey, was pretty happy with my paddling.
The racing was held over 5 days which was a new set up for me. I managed to feel pretty comfortable throughout the competition and just wanted to put some good runs down. Qualification was just putting a solid run down but it was the semi-final run that was make it or break it. Sitting on the start line of the semi-final run was the most nerve racking, I had one run to put me in the top 10 competitors. I was pretty pleased to finish in eighth place.
On the final day I put all my heart into my run to take fifth place. Australian paddler Jessica Fox took the individual Junior World Champion title with Karolina Garuskova (Czech Republic) in second and Victoria Wolffhardt in third.
After a great result, it was time to have a bit of fun with team runs. Together we (me, Mallory Franklin and Kimberley Woods) pulled together a storming run and and won by eight seconds, with the German team in second and the Czechs in third.
All I wanted to do was make the finals, so to come home as fifth junior in the world and with a gold medal in the team event, was amazing.
Next on the agenda is the ICF Junior Canoe Slalom European Championships from September 6-9 in Solkan, Slovenia. I just can’t wait to compete for Great Britain again.