R4 Sprint & H2H racing on day 2 of the 2012 European champs

What an exciting day of racing and you did not even have to be at the river to get the best spectator seats in the house thanks the hard work of the Czech organising team and fantastic live streaming from Strizna.cz, you get to see the best view of the all the races. If you are a spectator in the comfort of your own home then you have to tune in to the next few days racing, but I warn you, you will get sucked therefore any planned jobs or work will suffer. Otherwise you can follow live update from our blog spot. Just go to and we will tell what is happening as it happens.

Photos Jan Homolka

As for the round up of the day, the racing started this morning with the Sprint/time trial event. This is where teams try and achieve the fastest time possible down a section of white water. The results of this race also rank the teams for the H2H race. The Czech Republic got off to a good start in both the men’s and women’s categories both first teams gaining gold medal with the Czech 2 men’s securing a second place silver medal and the women’s team securing a bronze.  Slovenia 2 had a good race finishing with the 3rd fastest time in the men’s and Slovakia women’s team 1 back a time away from racing achieved the second fastest time securing a silver medal.

There was just 5 seconds between the fastest men’s team and 10th place and these teams secured a by-pass of the first round leaving the remaining 12 men’s teams to battle out for 6 places to find the top 16 teams.

Photos Jan Homolka

With a lower number of team in the Women’s category only the first 4 teams could by-pass the first round. Czech 1 &2, Slovakia 1 and Russia 1 secured these places. The 8 remaining team were racing for a place in the quarterfinals where they could end up facing one of the top 4 teams in the next round. Whoever finished in 5th place would have to race the fastest team from the sprint. Team Belgium 1 found themselves finishing in 5th and facing Czech 1. Belgium who’s best result yet in an international competition was finishing in 10th place in the R6 2011 world champs, shocked many when they proceeded to get out ahead at the start of their race to beat Czech 1 to the finish line and securing themselves a place in the semi finals. These girls must have been training hard over the last few months.

Photos Jan Homolka

Both the Russia team and Slovakia also got through to the semi’s with Russia 1 to face Slovakia and Russia 2 to face Belgium. Slovakia showed their experience and power off the start line to gain a good lead ahead of the Russians and Belgium again put up a good show finishing first and securing themselves either a gold or silver medal. This left Russia 1 and 2 to battle out for a Bronze medal. With a great start Russia 2 managed to pull ahead and keep their position with Russia 1 continually trying to find a way through. This left the final race to see who would be the 2012 European R4 H2H Champions. Again the Slovakians demonstrated their powerful start pulling ahead of Belgium. After 4 rounds of racing the H2H not only requires explosive power but the endurance to race over a period of a few hours. With walks back up to the top of the river this can be one of the most tiring days of racing if you get through to a final. Slovakia proved they are still at the top of their game becoming European R4 H2H champions with Belgium in a well-deserved second place and Russia 1 finishing in 3rd.

The next heat of the men’s saw 16 teams battling out for 8 places in the quarterfinals. Team Hungary put on a good show beating the second fastest Sprint team, Czech 2 to make it through to the next round along with Germany 1, Both Dutch teams, Czech 1, Slovakia 1, Russia 1, and Slovenia 1. The men’s quarter final races were just as exciting to watch as the women’s with Germany 1 right on the tail of Slovakia across the finish line. The Czech 1 team consistently reaffirming why they won the sprint easily made it through to the semi’s to face Netherland 2, while Russia with 2 women’s teams already through to the semi’s were left to face Slovakia.  After an exciting 2 races Slovakia and Czech secured a place in the finals, could Slovakia make it a Women’s and Men’s gold? This was not to be as the solid power full Czech Republic team pulled ahead from the start with clean seemingly effortless lines down the river. So a good day for this team with full points and 2 gold medals! After 3 Russian teams making it to the semi’s they could not secure 3 medals with the Netherlands beating them to a bronze medal. Therefore Czech Republic became 2012 European H2H champions with Slovakia in second and the Netherlands in 3rd.

Follow the links below for full results of sprint H2H and overall so far.

Men’s  sprint H2H Overall so far

Women’s sprint H2H Overall so far

Photos Jan Homolka Photography

Article: Naomi James