Inside the 2019 ICF Freestyle Worlds – #5 Dane Jackson Takes the Comanding Lead
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.
Dane Jackson Takes the Comanding Lead
The mind, it’s an incredibly powerful thing, that when given too much freedom can run wild. When talking with athletes this week, the mental game has been the number one topic of conversation, and the single thing that everyone from around the world is focused on keeping in check. Anyone who lets the all powerful brain run amuck in the days leading up to their competition is almost certainly destined for failure. The tension is becoming more and more palpable as we progress through the preliminary rounds, and there is a resounding sentiment that everyone is ready to get on with it all and get out on the water.
Marlene Devillez, from France perfectly articulated what makes freestyle competition so unique. She said when you crash at creeking you get hurt, it’s pretty straight forward what went wrong: you had a bad line, made a bad call, etc. When you crash at freestyle, you fail, which gives the mind a wide berth to interpret the actual source of the trouble. Marlene says, “Everything in freestyle changes all the time and the only real constant is me. It is the best sport to really begin to understand myself.”
Today, marked the largest cut of the entire event, where 65 men competed for 20 spots in order to move on to the quarter-final rounds. Dane Jackson, from the USA went first and threw down two back-to-back rides scoring over 1500 points in the first of 14 heats. Gavin Barker, from Great Britain, took second with a combined score of 2198, and Sebastien Devred, from France, was a close 3rd with 2165 points. Tom Dolle, reigning junior mens world champion from France, took fourth in his debut performance in the men’s division. The only competitor able to get close to Dane in a single ride was reigning world champion Joaquin Fontane Maso, from Spain, with 1201 points, but a subsequent score of 765 landed him in fifth place and over 1000 points behind Dane going into the next round. The competition was fierce today and Dane’s 862 point lead over the men’s K1 class is definitely going to be a key factor in the mental game as the competitors all look to up their game in the quarter finals on Friday.
The day rounded out with the final competition in the open canoe class. Jordan Poffenberger from the USA, threw a huge McNasty and set the high score of the event in the very first ride landing him in first place, followed by Jean-Ives Moustrou from France, and Philip Josef from Germany. Tomorrow the women will finally take to the feature in their preliminary round and C1 will make their final cut in the semi-final round.