21 teams this year will take part in Open Men’s division at the WRC R6 Indonesia, and we are glad that among them is again the Danish Men’s National team.
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Three years have gone by since our interview with them about the Copenhagen artificial course and their participation in the ERC in Czech Rep in 2012. In addition to being the highest ranked rafting team in Scandinavia, these guys are constantly developing our sport, which has had the result that the rafting community in Denmark has increased significantly.
We talk with Michael Lindberg on several topics, including preparations for WRC.
Michael, in what kind of format will Denmark be present at this year’s WRC?
“We will be 7 people going to the WRC. Jakob Færch (40), Michael Lindberg (29), Jakob Agergaard (37), Morten Bertelsen (41), Casper Mortensen (42), Jacob Bang (29), Rune Erlangsen (30). So during the competition we will be switching a bit, however, I see this as a strength, as we then have the opportunity to utilize the skills of the team in the best possible way. It also gives us a certain security in case someone on the team gets injured or sick. We will have four experienced athletes on the corners and 2 fairly new paddlers in the middle and I’m pretty comfortable that the team will do good things at the WRC.”
“We actually did have a Danish Team competing at the ERC, though it was a team with only 2 experienced paddlers and 4 fairly new paddlers. There are so many IRF competitions that we want to compete at, however the reality is that with jobs, families and a whole lot of voluntary work in our own federation, we only have time to compete at a limited number of competitions every year. And with a WRC this year, some of us who have been paddling for many years, definitely wanted to go to this event.”
Before we move on to talk about the WRC in Indonesia, can you tell me how the project Copenhagen White Water Park is going?
“We are still working very hard on the project and we actually got the project in the budget negotiations of Copenhagen Municipality this year. However, the politicians did not decide to go any further with the project in 2016 even though we made a lot of lobbying throughout 2014 and 2015. We fought with other projects such as an ice hockey stadium and a public winter bathing spot and to be honest, in Copenhagen reality is that a lot of projects need funding so it is always a tough one when you bring something new and revolutionary to the table. Anyway, we are still very positive and optimistic and we will keep fighting to get CWWP on the Copenhageners’ and IRF members’ map. A few more opportunities have already opened up for us since this summer, and for now it looks like that we could have some very interesting news in the beginning of 2016.”
“We will arrive on the 30th of November and with the first competition being on the following Wednesday I would say that it is enough to acclimate. However, whether it is enough time to get used to the river I’m not sure about that. There is no doubt that if we could take off from work and family for a longer time, we would have arrived one week earlier to optimize our performance on the river.”
Which discipline do you expect to get the most out of?
“We all love the slalom competition. It is the most exciting competition as you really get to work close to the river, with currents and rapids, and the spectators are usually standing very close to the course creating this special tension and stadium feeling. Having said that, I’m also really looking forward to the H2H as this is really where you get to know the other teams ;-)”
“Because we don’t have any white water in Denmark and 98% of our training is on flat water the most difficult task for us will be the downriver. The longer we are on the water the harder it gets for us. Not that we are not physically capable of doing the downriver, however, due to the flatwater training there is a lack of experience reading the river. Having said that I really look forward to the downriver as this part of the competition is always spectacular and fairly unpredictable.”
And what will be the most beautiful “task” for you at the WRC? Do you already feel the WRC fever?! :)
“Sure, we are so keen on going and finally getting some white water in our faces. I’ve been to Indonesia once and I’m sure this country will deliver some very stunning views and some great people which, together with a hard competition, will make this event incredible and something to remember.
Sponsors you want to thank!
“We would like to thank Helly Hansen, Teva and Artistic Sportswear for providing some of our gear and then of cause the Danish Surfing & Rafting Federation that made it possible for us to compete as the Danish National Team.
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Thank you Michael for your precious time given to this interview. We know that time is short until your departure and that you are quite busy, so we wish you guys a good stroke and enjoy the WRC!
Denmark Open Men’s team is in the WRC action again, and these guys will do their best defending the colours of their country. We hope that the CWWP project will come into life as soon as possible and give these guys a fair preparation for competitions in relation to other competitors.