Inside the 2022 ICF Freestyle Worlds – Day 4 Record Breaker
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
A monumental day here at the freestyle work championships in Nottingham starting off of with the junior men. This is probably the most progressive field we’ve seen in years. The junior men had a long wait this week with their first time on the water today. The boys really lit up the scoreboard with scores reaching the mid-two thousands. Germany’s Tim Rees takes that top spot with an impressive run to rival the senior men.
Next up we had the senior woman’s and what a competition it was with our hometown hero Ottilie Robinson Shaw not pleased with being the first woman to break the 1000-point barrier in an official ICF competition but also setting a new record for the highest ever score on her first run.
This was short-lived as she went out and broke it again setting the new world record off 1256.67 points. With so many fans in the crowd, the whole arena lit up with cheers of elation for what just happened and rightly so. This not only shows Ottilie’s huge progression as she is an incredibly dedicated sports person but also in paddle sport. Hopefully she paves the way for paddlers to follow in her footsteps. But alas this is only The prelims we still have semis and finals to go. Who knows what could happen. Will we have a new world record or will someone else take the top spot?
Following an incredibly exciting women’s preliminary, we had an incredibly tense men’s preliminary. With the nature of the future, it can become flushy if you don’t land the trick in the correct spot or in the correct way, which makes for a difficult paddle back into the feature.
This nuance of the future caught a few paddlers out even some of the locals with a few surprise exits out of the competition. The competitors put on an incredible show of strength and agility over their three forty-five second rides. Coming into the round it was hard to predict who would come out on top but Ireland’s David McClure just pipped GB’s Rob Crow to place himself in first seed In the next round.
To finish out the day we had our second final of the week with OC1. Although one of the smaller fields of the competition, it is one of the more difficult disciplines to master. Before the event, all the boats were checked by one of the ICF officials and filled with water making sure at least 40 litres can fit in the boat. After a last-minute exit from one of the USA’s paddlers, the next paddler up from the semi got brought to compete this being Brian Miller of the USA team. The final came down to the last two rides with Zachary from Canada putting down at 220-point run which is quite a lot in one of these bathtubs.
Sitting on the sidelines thinking this cannot be beaten with the next closest 40 points behind him until young paddler from Germany, Philip Josef stepped up and put down an identical 220 point ride. After a tense minute or two, the judges finally came to the conclusion that Philip took the win. Sending the German fans crazy for their new world Champion
Men’s OC1 Final
Female Semi final
Junior Men’s Prelims
Men’s Semi Final