Articles - Great British Freestyle Kayak Team 2008

Canoe Kayak - Posted on 17 Mar 2009



GBR Freestyle team   

For most people a weekend is a time to rest and recuperate from the struggles of weekday hassles but for the British Freestyle Team this is not so. A team of 37   were selected for the 2008 European Freestyle Championships last December, competing for a team place on high water levels at Hurley and at Holmpierrpont. The British Freestyle Team is the biggest Freestyle Team in Europe and at the last European Championships, 2006, claimed 12 Medals, not leaving much left for other competitors. This years European Championships, 23rd -26th July, will be held on the Ourense Wave on the Mino River in Glacia , N W Spain, a very different location from the icy brisk waters of the Ottawa River, home of the 2007 World Championships.

Preparing the Team for this year’s European Championships is highly respected Pete Caterall who now entering his 6th year as team coach has built up a strong relationship with some of the top Freestyle athlete’s in the country. Organising and making sure that they turn up on time and liaising with officials is Terry Best and” Hippy” Dave who have supported the team for a number of years to great success This year, present British Junior Freestyle Champion and aspiring level 5 coach, Ross Montandon has joined the coaches working primarily with the junior girls. Whilst Ben White, current World Squirt Champion gives individual support to all the squirt boaters. Tim Ward and Matt Chadder have given up their weekends to help coach and support the team throughout this years training. 
The paddlers have been training hard at regular team training weekends . The 2008 team ranges from some very experienced competition paddlers such as Richard Chrimes, Fiona Jarvie, James Bebbington and David Bainbridge sharing their competition experiences with the young newcomers, Tom Turner and Gabby Bates. The Team ranges in age and experience but one thing is certain every paddler shares the natural talent to be the best paddler in Europe in their category. David Bainbridge, current European C1 Champion is heading out to defend his title at just 20 years old. David is hoping to rise to the challenge along side his team mates Lowri Davies ,Claire O’Hara Greg Nicks and James Reeves who are also going to Spain to prove that they are still worthy of those medals.

 Richard Chrimes

This year the team has got a lot of fresh young talent that are pushing their paddling to new levels: at such a young age they show high potential for success for many years to come. Many of the junior paddlers have started off by competing in the very successful youth freestyle competitions that have been organised around the UK.

 Let’s just hope that at the Spanish check in desk they allow extra weight allowance on the return flight ….. for all of the medals of course.

 We wish every team member all the best, and just as importantly enjoy the experience. It’s great to see that such a fun sport can bring so many opportunities and experiences 

Written and Photography by Ross Montandon

Delve into the life of a Freestyle Team member Jon Best


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1 comments so far...

1.Kayaking D
21 Jul 2008 18:17
Wishing all our GB paddlers a wonderful weekend and look forward to hearing/reading all about it!
Will be thinking of you all
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