What a week the ERC was! We arrived in glorious sunshine to a beautiful campsite by the lake and, for us Brits, summer was finally here! We made the most of the sunshine on our rest day sun bathing and giving our pasty white British bodies a good airing because on Wednesday it was business time!
Our training day was spent doing a little bit of slalom and a little bit of sprint warming up and getting used to the speed of the water (and the smell!! Phew!). There were so many friendly faces around and the atmosphere was already electric and the races hadn’t even started yet! When it was our time we set off down the river in our pod to scope out the Downriver section. We had watched the videos on YouTube but that didn’t prepare us for how much fun we would have!! After the big rapids and continuous white water was over, and we reached the finish line, we all had huge smiles all over our faces.
Those smiles were made even bigger that night when we saw the chocolate fountain at dinner!
On Thursday we watched some of the R4 races going on and our final preparations took place ready for our first race on Friday. That night though the heavens opened in an amazing thunder and lightning storm and our campsite flooded. It was like sleeping on a waterbed so we didn’t get much sleep the night before our H2H!
Come race day though we were determined and the girls put down a respectable time in the time trials earning them a Buy for the H2H. However lane choice was not ours and it seemed that no matter how good you were, if you didn’t get the Right hand lane position you lost your H2H. So we finished 5th.
For the Downriver we were placed top in our pod and so had lane choice at the start against the Belgians and the Russians. At the bleep we tore off ahead and managed to maintain the lead over the whole 40 minutes. It was an incredible race. And very close in some sections but we managed to hold our ground and had an amazing finish placing us 4th in the Downriver and 4th Overall. We came off the river tired, sore and happy. We had given this competition everything and now it was time to let our hair down and have MOJITOS!!!!
The closing ceremony and party was fantastic. Everyone let their hair down and had a good dance to some fantastic tunes. People sure know how to party on the continent! But it was all over too quickly and all too soon we were getting up very early in the morning with massive hangovers and starting our 25hour drive back home.
Thanks to everyone behind the scenes for organising such a great event and to the other competitors who were such good fun. WE LOVE LIPNO!!
You can follow the GB ladies team on their facebook page https://www.facebook.com/GBWomensRafting
Article: Frannie Kohn (Team GB)