Inside the 2015 Freestyle Worlds With EJ – Ep7, Mens Quarter Finals (Cut from 20 to 10…)
8am sharp was the start time this morning for heat 1 of the Men’s Kayak Quarter-Finals…. There isn’t any fluff in the men’s class any more, it is all hard core top boaters trying to make the next round, and each one is capable if they throw their best rides. Stress levels are high as it is getting “Real”. Most feel that making the first cut in Prelims is “easy”, but nobody feels that way about this round.
In the first heat- qualifying between 16th and 20th in Prelims was Peter Csonka, who has three silver medals out of the last 4 worlds. He is second only to me in the number of Men’s Kayak world’s medals (6) and always a threat to the podium and REALLY wants the win. He was teary eyed after his rides as he flushed two times out of three, but not before throwing 1 awesome ride and a second “OK” ride to lead the first heat.
In the second heat one of the most consistent American paddlers, and formerly Wavesport Team manager, Bryan Kirk- “Captain Kirk” threw two good rides, focusing on his strong suits, Helix, Flip-Turns, Blunts and Pan Ams.. no Airscrews for him, which is the most common move for the men’s class (easiest move for the top guys to both score, stick, and the fastest to set up and land). Ander from Spain- was doing well after two rides, but threw an amazing final ride to take the lead after 1/2 of the field was done, meaning that he only has to beat one of the next 10 paddlers to advance to the Semi-finals later today!! Pat Camblin also had some good rides, but didn’t get into the top three position after his heat, but that doesn’t mean he can’t advance, but it will be up to the last 10 guys, the highest qualifying ones, to choke. Paul Palmer, who spent the winter in Uganda, and has awesome moves, but less international experience and the confidence that goes with it, didn’t let that slow him down with two great rides to put himself into second place.
In heat three (6th-10th place finishers in Prelims) we have the field ramping up in skill and competition prowess. Kalob Grady, Joel Kowaslki, Quim Fontane (Spain), Sebastien (Spain), and Alan Ward (new to a quarter-finals, but paddles/trains at his home wave- Nile Special-Uganda year round!) Each of these paddlers are fully capable of making the next round, as they already proved they can place top 10 in Prelims, but they don’t have much margin for error and their scores were not much higher than the 11-15th place paddlers in prelims….
Will the current top scoring boaters hold onto their positions or let the Ander, Paul, and Peter, into Semis? Ander-1710, Paul- 1496, and 1456 for Peter… 1686 was the cut-off in Prelims for 10th place, so if we see the same thing in Quarters that we saw in prelims- Ander will make it, but not Paul and Peter…. They have the hardest next hour; watching and waiting and seeing each paddler go, wondering if those paddlers will beat their score, most of them, will, but will all of them?
It was stressful watching heat 3… Joel Kowalski and Caleb Grady were not going to make the cut after their first two rides but they both pulled of great rides on their final rides to make the top 5 after three heats!! Guaranteed to make the cut are: Sam Ward, Caleb Grady, Ander De Miguel, Joel Kowalski, and Quim Fontane (Uganda, Canada, Spain, Canada, and Spain) Sitting and waiting for the top 5 guys to do their rides right now, hoping they don’t beat their scores are: Paul Palmer, Peter Csonka, Sebastien Devred, Alan Ward, and Pat Camblin…. The only one that I imagine will make it through will be Paul Palmer if one of the top 5 guys mess up and paddle well below their prelims levels. Who could that be? Maybe nobody, maybe numerous nervous paddlers? Here we go!
Heat 4 has today’s wave surfing big guns ready to rock. Dane Jackson, Nick Troutman, Bren Orton, Matthieu Dumoulin, and Devin Scott. Each of these paddlers are known for specific tricks that they are really good at, but they are also known for their overall skills. Yes, there is a difference between number 1 and number 5 (about 1,200 points in prelims), but that doesn’t mean that each one can’t win this event.
Play by Play…
Devin Scott lead off the heat with a solid nearly 1000 point ride to set the tone for the final heat. Matthieu D threw an awesome 1000+ point ride to show he was planning on attending the next round and then Bren Orton had the leading first ride with an awesome 1295 point ride!
Nick Troutman threw down a 1200 point ride to answer back and stay in second after first rides as Dane Jackson flushed early getting 1186, putting him in third.
On second rides Bren had another great ride at 1300+, but Nick answered back with over 1400 to take the lead, while Matt and Devin both had solid 1000+ point rides to put them in the top 5 after only 2 rides.
On final rides nobody moved up and Dane had his chance to take the lead, but flushed on his McNasty on the final ride of Quarter-Finals, sitting up a little too fast on the move and coming off the back… (remind me to let him know, he did that twice today… :))
watch the live semi finals: https://www.kayaksession.com/2015-freestyle-world-championships-livestream-semi-finals-all-classes-sept-4th/
- Nick Troutman- Canada- 2716
- Brendan Orton- England- 2641
- Dane Jackson- USA- 2576
- Matt Dumoulin- France- 2090
- Devin Scott- Canada- 2023
- Sam Ward- Uganda- 1793
- Kalob Grady- Canada- 1753
- Ander De Miguel- Spain- 1710
- Joel Kowalski- Canada- 1651
- Joaquim Fontane- Spain- 1573
Results: Top 10 going to Semi-Finals this afternoon!
Watch the semi finals: https://www.kayaksession.com/2015-freestyle-world-championships-livestream-semi-finals-all-classes-sept-4th/
C1 Semi-Final (2heat x 5) 14:00-15:00 (US East Coast Time)
Women’s K1 Semi-Final (2heat x 5) 15:00-16:00 (US East Coast Time)
Men’s K1 Semi-Final (2heat x 5) 16:30-17:30 (US East Coast Time)