I was lucky enough to be able to go represent Ireland at the U23 canoe slalom world championships. This is my trip report on how the training and competition went. There were lots of new experiences for me and it was my first time going to south America. To help show you how good of time I had I’ve made a short video to give you a glimpse of what the trip was really like.
Let the Travel Commence!
With an uncomfortable amount of hours ahead, we set off.
Heathrow to Munich
Munich to Sao Paulo
Sao Paulo to Foz do Iguacu
It could have been worse at least we had movies to watch.
With the longest flight being overnight, it meant we could sleep too.
Arriving in Brazil the locals were so helpful we managed to get an earlier connecting flight.
Stepping out of the plane we were hit by the heat.
It was going to be a hot trip, that my pale skin won’t handle.
Taking to the water
The water course was located in the private grounds of the Itaipu dam, with its own private army protecting it.
The course was very fun to paddle, not massive, lots of little waves and stoppers and unfortunately it was shallow too.
We arrived before official training, allowing us to get some much needed training.
The course was located 15 minutes away from the hotel we were staying in.
We would train at least once a day depending on water releases.
Being a Tourist 😀
When we had a bit of spare time (rarely), we went sight seeing.
The main ones to speak about are the Itaipu dam & Foz do Iguacu falls
275 individual falls made it rather impressive.
It divides Brazil with Argentina.
The water course was in the grounds of the Itaipu dam.
We took a tour bus to show us around the grounds.
With my luck, it rained and open top tour buses don’t mix well with rain.
3 days prior to my race I fell ill.
I was hoping it would just be a 24 hour bug.
Unfortunately it didn’t pass so I consulted with a doctor and discovered I had tonsillitis and a mild fever.
Just what you want coming up to a big race.
The tonsillitis meant I was struggling to eat and the effect of which was having no energy.
I think I managed to race to gate 7, shame that there were 20 gates…
I was on the mend from tonsillitis but the lack of food was showing.
This racing was defiantly not a reflection of my ability.
I placed 43rd top 40 go through to the semi-final.
I put down a 109.13 including 8 penalties seconds.
Shame that it’s my best result internationally and I wasn’t well, it can only get better then!
I still benefited loads from this trip and in hindsight I wouldn’t do it differently.
The training and race experience you gain makes it worth it.
Let’s just hope at my next big event I don’t fall ill.