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Events Sort playspot by night during ICF Freestyle Worlds 2019©Peter Holcombe: kayaksession.com

Published on juillet 7th, 2019 | by Kayak Session https://kayaksession.com/img-current-issue/upload-your-video.png

Inside the 2019 ICF Freestyle Worlds – #10 Freestyle Worlds Finals Live Video

by Kathy Holcombe
Everyday during the 2019 ICF World Freestyle Championships, Kathy & Peter Holcombe are sending us their views on what is going on in Sort (Spain) where the worlds are taking place this year. Follow along each day as they recap what they see from the river bank.

Coaches Clay Wright and Marie Helye stand sentry over the feature as their athletes vie for the gold. ©Peter Holcombe: kayaksession.com

Coaches Clay Wright and Marie Helye stand sentry over the feature as their athletes vie for the gold. ©Peter Holcombe: kayaksession.com

The stands are packed, the lights are on, and the arena is so packed with spectators that they spill out all the way down to the riverbank. The athletes are geared up and focused: some are intently listening to music while others are pacing the shore in anticipation of what is about to go down. Finally the voice of the announcer pierces the night with “Are you ready to RUMBLE!?!?!”, and the ensuing roar of the crowd electrifies the night.

Full Stands for the finals. what a show it was on and off the water ©Peter Holcombe: kayaksession.com

Full Stands for the finals. What a show it was on and off the water ©Peter Holcombe: kayaksession.com

Just minutes before he takes the gold, Dane Jackson makes time to autograph a bib for a fan. ©Peter Holcombe: kayaksession.com

Just minutes before he takes the gold, Dane Jackson makes time to autograph a bib for a fan. ©Peter Holcombe: kayaksession.com

French fans football style ©Peter Holcombe: kayaksession.com

French fans football style ©Peter Holcombe: kayaksession.com

Kayak Session editor Anna Bruno Interviewing Hitomi before her golden ride_©Peter Holcombe: kayaksession.com

Kayak Session editor Anna Bruno Interviewing Hitomi before her golden ride_©Peter Holcombe: kayaksession.com

Zofia Tula from Poland drops into the feature and sets the pace for the evening with a respectable 357 point ride. Hitomi Takaku from Japan follows and takes lead with her first ride. Marlene Devillez from France and Zofia both up the anti on their second rides and take the lead momentarily. But Hitomi is undaunted and drops in for her second ride and throws a burst of arial antics that earn her the gold with 646 points, followed by Marlene in second and Zofia in third. When the announcers interviewed Hitomi immediately following her victory lap, she uttered a single exuberant word, that beautifully summed up the whole experience, “HAPPY!!!”.

Zofia Tula (Poland) on the way to a well deserved Bronze medal ©Peter Holcombe: kayaksession.com

Zofia Tula (Poland) on the way to a well deserved Bronze medal ©Peter Holcombe: kayaksession.com

Marlene Devillez (France) ©Peter Holcombe: kayaksession.com

Marlene Devillez (France) ©Peter Holcombe: kayaksession.com

Emily Jackson (USA) ©Peter Holcombe: kayaksession.com

Emily Jackson (USA) ©Peter Holcombe: kayaksession.com

Hitomi Takaku’s (Japan) winning ride. ©Peter Holcombe: kayaksession.com

Hitomi Takaku’s (Japan) winning ride. ©Peter Holcombe: kayaksession.com

Women’s Podium - Marlene Devillez (France), Hitomi Takaku (Japan) and Zofia Tula (Poland)©Peter Holcombe: kayaksession.com

Women’s Podium – Marlene Devillez (France), Hitomi Takaku (Japan) and Zofia Tula (Poland)©Peter Holcombe: kayaksession.com

Next up was the men’s K1 competition. Sebastien Devred from France was the first to compete, and threw down a massive ride coming in at 1212 points which had him at the top of the leaderboard…until Dane Jackson from the USA reset the bar in his first ride with a whopping 1407 points. Juaquim Fontane from Spain was explosive in his second ride leaving the crowd breathless as judges tallied his score on the live feed montors as a heartbeat pulsed over the loud speakers, but was unable to best Dane’s first ride leaving him in second with 1260 points followed by Sebastien in third.

Steazy. Sebastien Devred (France) going huge and super smooth ©Peter Holcombe: kayaksession.com

Steazy. Sebastien Devred (France) going huge and super smooth ©Peter Holcombe: kayaksession.com

Quim Fontane (Spain) ©Peter Holcombe: kayaksession.com

Local boy and 2017 world Champion Quim Fontane (Spain) ©Peter Holcombe: kayaksession.com

Some of the biggest air of the event was from the flying Frenchman, Tom Dolle. ©Peter Holcombe: kayaksession.com_Edit

Some of the biggest air of the event was from the flying Frenchman, Tom Dolle. ©Peter Holcombe: kayaksession.com

David McClure (Ireland) ©Peter Holcombe: kayaksession.com

David McClure (Ireland) ©Peter Holcombe: kayaksession.com

Dane Jackson (USA) ©Peter Holcombe: kayaksession.com_edit

Dane Jackson (USA) ©Peter Holcombe: kayaksession.com_edit

Joaquim Fontane (Spain), Dane Jackson (USA), Sebastien Devred (France) ©Peter Holcombe: kayaksession.com

Joaquim Fontane (Spain), Dane Jackson (USA), Sebastien Devred (France) ©Peter Holcombe: kayaksession.com

Following the event, the crowd migrated from the whitewater arena to the outside of a local pub for an impromptu street celebration, where snippets of victory and defeat echoed down the sidewalk into the wee hours of the morning. These athletes came to Sort, to see how they measure up, and some walked away champions. But beyond the champions, there are many heroes that have emerged in this event, some because of their paddling and others because of their spirit. This morning, the glory and triumph is just a little less vivid and the days that follow will be a slow settling back into normal, back to work and responsibilities, and local rivers where the whole process will begin again: the eternal quest for excellence that keeps these athletes coming back year after year.

Tech guys working right before the final starts. ©Peter Holcombe: kayaksession.com

Tech guys working right before the final starts. ©Peter Holcombe: kayaksession.com

Dane Jackson (USA) taking the gold just as his father, Eric Jackson, did at the 2001 Freestyle World Championships in Sort, Spain. ©Peter Holcombe: kayaksession.com

Dane Jackson (USA) taking the gold just as his father, Eric Jackson, did at the 2001 Freestyle World Championships in Sort, Spain. ©Peter Holcombe: kayaksession.com

Hitomi Takaku drifts into the darkness in a moment of silence, no doubt taking in the moment that she is the world champion. ©Peter Holcombe: kayaksession.com

Hitomi Takaku drifts into the darkness in a moment of silence, no doubt taking in the moment that she is the world champion. ©Peter Holcombe: kayaksession.com

Dane Jackson spends the last few minutes before his wining ride in his own private dance party. ©Peter Holcombe: kayaksession.com

Dane Jackson spends the last few minutes before his wining ride in his own private dance party. ©Peter Holcombe: kayaksession.com

Sebastien Devred makes the final walk into the arena before throwing down a huge score in the first ride of the men’s event. ©Peter Holcombe: kayaksession.com

Sebastien Devred makes the final walk into the arena before throwing down a huge score in the first ride of the men’s event. ©Peter Holcombe: kayaksession.com

Team USA ready to Cheer ©Peter Holcombe: kayaksession.com

Team USA ready to Cheer ©Peter Holcombe: kayaksession.com

Tom Dolle and Sebastien Devred watching the jumbotron as Dane completes his winning ride. ©Peter Holcombe: kayaksession.com

Tom Dolle and Sebastien Devred watching the jumbotron as Dane completes his winning ride. ©Peter Holcombe: kayaksession.com

Fireworks ICF Freestyle Worlds 2019 ©Peter Holcombe/ kayaksession.com

Fireworks to end the show. It’s been an incredible week here in Sort for paddlers, followers and spectators alike ©Peter Holcombe/ kayaksession.com

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