Firstly, I wanted to thank my dear god father and friend Zubin for being so generous and making this camp possible.
After a long flight and a sixteen hour time change, I was pretty jet lagged for the first three days. Right when we flew in, we hit up Bondi beach to get some fresh air after our long flight. During this training camp in Australia, I stayed with Gauthier Klauss and Matthieu Péché along with their coach Thierry Saidi. This talented French C2 are current members of the French team and they are 2012 Olympic hopefuls.
The weather was nice there; it wasn’t too warm or too cool. There was lots of rain at times however it was way better than a cold winter for training.
The course was fabulous; it was really cool to be able to paddle with the top athletes. Since it’s our winter, and Australia’s summer, a lot of the athletes went down under in order to continue paddling. Training in OZ was great. The biggest challenge for me was getting use to a completely new boat. To economize on boat transportation I used Kate Lawrence’s boat (2008 Yin Galasport) instead of my usual Lady Lizard. Thanks again Kate!
Nonetheless, training in a completely new boat taught me new edge control. I trained on my own or with other athletes. I was also able to train with the French C2 and their coach when we trained on the same time slot. Training with the guys was fun, they made challenging courses at times but it was a great way to push myself. Unfortunately, I only got to paddle on whitewater once a day; however I did manage to add in flat water sessions to compensate.
During my stay I had a little trip to the doctors because of a pimple on my forehead that was growing more and more everyday and swelled up my eye giving me huge headaches. It was most certainly an infected insect sting or bite. The funny part about this was that the doctor gave me some interesting bandages to cover it. I spent a good week with a funny bandage on my forehead!
Other than training, during our days off we visited Eureka National Park and tried to find kangaroos in the wild but no luck. We also got the chance to visit Manly beach and Dee Why beach. And on our way back from watching a Red Bull cliff diving competition (27 meter diving) we managed to spot four kangaroos on the side of the road.
I also had the chance to compete in the 2012 Australian Open on February 10th to 12th. The competition went well and as planned all through qualifications and semi-finals. I was proud to have earned myself a spot into finals. However during the final I did a few mistakes which made me lose some time and put me into 9th place.
Training in Australia is now finished and I will soon begin a new stage of training until April 2012 Canadian Team Trials. I am back in Ottawa now winter training in the gym, on skis and on the paddling machine etc. I’m excited to get back on water soon! Maybe Charlotte soon? We’ll see!