Inside the 2022 ICF Freestyle Worlds – Day 2, Heating Up
by Jack Ledwith
Every day during the 2022 ICF World Freestyle Championships, Irish paddler Jack Ledwith is sending us his view on what is going on in Nottingham (UK) where the worlds are taking place this year. Follow along each day as he recaps what they see from the river bank.
Not only is the weather heating up but so is the competition here in Nottingham! Today we kicked off with the semi-final for our first ever C1 women’s category whittling down the field to just five paddlers. The top two places in C1 women’s are taken up by two locals to the course Ottlie Robinson Shaw and Tamsyn McConchie both putting out some of the best work yet!
« Dane Jackson quarantined for 3 days when he arrived, only getting out of quarantine the day before the competition. »
After the C1 women finished up we had a super-stacked men’s heat where the field was cut down to 20 paddlers. This is a tall order with some of the world’s best paddlers vying for those 20 spots. Most notably in this category, we had three paddlers who started on the back. Poland’s Bartosz Czauderna owner and operator of Love at live it suffering from a bad case of « Trent Belly » which many of the competitors here are very familiar with. It is a sickness that can be picked up from swallowing too much Trent water. After just eating rice for the last couple of days Bartosz really pulled through and managed two solid rides to put him in that top 20.
« The crowd seem to get more and more riled up by the day with the Spanish, Irish and Canadian teams going crazy for the runs »
Previous world champion Dane Jackson after coming straight from the North fork was unlucky to have to quarantine for 3 days when he arrived, only getting out of quarantine the day before the competition. As we all expected Dane being Dane managed to pull it out of the bag as usual and throw down two solid rides to put himself in the top 10 of the day. Finally, we have France’s Thomas Richard who only arrived at the course this morning and managed to bag himself a spot after only paddling the feature once which is an achievement in itself.
« Most notably once again Ottlie Robinson Shaw laying down a 1920-point run«
The crowd seem to get more and more riled up by the day with the Spanish, Irish and Canadian teams going crazy for the runs that were being put down the volunteers had to shoo them away from the barriers to stuff them from getting over-excited here’s hoping that they get louder and louder by the day. Although most of the crowd is getting excited there is the other portion of the crowd who wasn’t to take it easy enjoying the sun and a few pints, some even so excited they took to a spot of knitting.
The day was topped off by the men’s and women’s squirt boating semi-finals with some big runs being played down. Most notably once again Ottlie Robinson Shaw laying down a 1920-point run leaving a large margin between herself and the rest of the paddlers in both male and female category’s!