It is important and wonderful to see the World Paddle Awards grow and build. They demonstrate the true breadth of these incredible paddlesports about which we are all so passionate and help us learn about the people behind them.
“In addition to all my wonderful memories of the sport, it was fitting to see that the future of the sport would be in such capable hands”, says Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Bill Endicott.
Masia Almiral de la Font near Sitges, Spain provided the beautiful backdrop for the 2nd annual World Paddle Awards.
Here is a full listing and links to my canoe slalom articles during 2015. These were posted to Sportscene.tv, International Canoe Federation as well as this blog. Through the year I provided live race commentary on Twitter via @gregiej @planetcanoe and using #ICFslalom.
I have been following the Brazilian Canoe Slalom Team since 2012. In these 3 years they have made stellar progress towards their podium hopes at their home Rio Olympics.
The statistics reveal a very high historical correlation between Junior World Champions and future Olympic medallist – so you wouldn’t bet against Ana Satila being on the podium on her home course in Rio next summer! Read my latest article to find out why.
The ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships marked the next step in this journey, first taking this blog to Sportscene.tv in January 2013 and now to the ICF Planet Canoe website plus @PlanetCanoe Twitter account. I’m again very honoured. With the UK’s Daily Telegraph dedicating a shameful 21 words to David Florence’s latest World Championship title I am very grateful that we now have control of the delivery of content! Congratulations to our new Cane Slalom World Champions.
Through the great World Championships at Lee Valley I posted 673 tweets through @PlanetCanoe. Although there were two somewhat competing hashtags being promoted through the event, we generated 3,175 with #ICFslalom during the week which generated 10 million impressions on the last day alone. Interestingly, those which referenced the UK BBC TV Blue Peter presenter challenge with Russ Smith & Tim Baillie on the course actually generated the most timeline deliveries and retweets!!
Here is a full listing and links to my 2015 articles posted on Sportscene.tv during 2015. For live ICF race commentary follow me on Twitter @gregiej. Below you can follow the links to both previews and reviews of the Junior / U23 ICF World Championships, ICF World Cup series and Pan Am Games #TO2015.
It was an exceptional night; a real privilege to be surrounded by so many inspiring people, so passionate about Paddlesport. Congratulations to all the winners also to the World Paddle Awards faculty and Augsburg hosting team for such an incredible event. We were all inspired by the winners. Eric Jackson talked about finding paddlesport as “a worthy purpose”. We were all moved by the Expand & Extend Nepal, both in light of the devastating earthquake and what they are doing to promote equality for girls through paddlesport.
These WPA cause me to reflect back to standing on the banks of the river Dee for the Llangollen International with Jennifer Munroe. [Jennifer was Richard’s mother, Jessica‘s grandmother. It was wonderful to see her husband, son, daughter and granddaughter in Augsburg last night]. Together we were writing old fashioned press releases to fax to the media to gain some precious column inches. It was a real catch 22; needing sponsors to attract media and media to attract sponsors. It is poignant to be here in Augsburg 25 years later for these first World Paddle Awards surrounded by sponsors and media.
Augsburg has such a rich history in paddlesports. Few people appreciate that the original Eiskanal pre-dates the 1972 Olympics and was the site of the ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships in 1957. For both 1972 and 1985 the slalom course started above the top sluice and ran for more than 600 metres. I was here for the 2003 World Championships to see Fabien Lefevre successfully defend his K1M title. Augsburg has continued to be very innovative across many paddlesports and we were made exceptional welcome in the city.
I am very honoured to have been among the finalists and on the podium! You can revisit my Twitter feed from last night and follow the canoe slalom races this year @gregiej on Twitter. My World Cup preview will follow early next month on Sportscene.
Final word. The WPA are supporting Kanu Nepal-Hilfe raising much needed funds to support the region. Well done. WPA has today announced that nomination for 2015 awards will commence this September.
Tonight (May 9th) the inaugural World Paddle Awards ceremony kick-off in Augsburg at the stunning Augsburg Rathaus Goldener Saal. As many as 400 people are expected to attend this star studded event, with the finalists, nominees, faculty and sponsors.
This is highly poignant for me realizing the journey over the last 25 years desperately trying to engage the media with press releases to publish a few column inches in print media.
Today we have engaged sponsors and media supporting this fantastic event. See the World Paddle Awards website. I will report on these inspiring awards ceremony and look forward to listening to the winners.
It is an exciting weekend in Augsburg with the ECA Wildwater Sprint & Boater-Cross race on the Eiskanal. Qualification is today and finals tomorrow.
If you are an accomplished slalom paddler then good luck this season and alternatively if you are completely new to canoeing then I hope the above post encourages you to pick up a paddle for the first time. Happy reading.
The articles includes interviews with the Brazil team ahead of he Junior/ U23 World Championships, James Cartwright of Canoe-Kayak Canada ahead of the Pan American Games, Paul Owen, British Canoeing Chief Executive ahead of the Senior World Championships at Lee Valley as well as a variety of the top paddlers.
I will be providing live race tweets for the Pan Am Games, Lee Valley Worlds and through the World Cup races using #ICFslalom all season. Follow me @gregiej