Inside the 2023 Freestyle Worlds | Day 5 | C1 & Juniors
By: Kathy Holcombe / Photography: Peter Holcombe
Athletes awoke to messages from the event organizers that there was a one hour delay for the start times due to heavy rain overnight. The rain was a welcome relief to the severe drought conditions experienced in the southeast this summer, and bumped up the water levels to a more optimal competition level later in the day.
The junior women kicked off the day with their preliminary round. The field was slashed in half, from twenty down to ten athletes. Sophie Gilfillan (CAN) took the lead on her first ride, and maintained it throughout the competition leaving her comfortably in first place going into semifinals tomorrow. Local paddler Makinley Kate Hargrove (USA) is sitting comfortably in second. There was a close race for the remaining top five spots between Chloe Spears (USA), Niamh Macken (GBR) and Eleanor Knight (USA) with only a two point spread between the three competitors. It will be a tight competition to see who makes the cut to the final round tomorrow morning.
The junior men were up next in a heated preliminary round that cut the ranks from 26 athletes down to the top ten. There was a heated battle between reigning junior World Champion, Tim Rees (GER), and British paddler Jools Gardner, with Gardner taking the top position leading into the final round. Tomorrow, both junior men and women will compete in a semi-final round in the morning that will determine which five paddlers will move on to compete in the final rounds tomorrow afternoon.
C1 Women took to the wave in an exciting finals competition with reigning World Champion Ottilie Robinson-Shaw (GBR) taking the win and retaining her title, followed by Zosia Tula (POL), and Tamsyn McConchie (GBR) bronze.
The crowd was ablaze with excitement throughout all of today’s competition, but the energy level cranked up to a frenzy during the Final Round of the C1 Men’s competition. Former C1 World Champion, Dane Jackson (USA), set the bar high on his first ride with a whopping 658.33 points. Reigning World Champion, Landon Miller (USA) came back in his second ride with a higher score of 803.33, which Jackson beat once again with 850 points in his second ride. Teammate Seth Chapelle (USA), in his final ride, threw a flurry of high scoring points and took the win with an 858 point ride with Jackson in 2nd and Miller in 3rd. Chapelle has been representing the USA at World Championships for 20 years, and while he has podiumed several times, this was his first World Champion title.
Men’s C1 Final
Women’s C1 Final
Women’s K1 Junior Heat 1/2
|2||Martina FAURAT FONT||ESP||135.00|
Women’s K1 Junior Heat 2/2
|2||Makinley Kate HARGROVE||USA||205.00|
|9||Sonja Regina HACKER||GER||10.00|
Men’s K1 Junior Heat 1/3
|5||Oriol ROIG DUENAS||ESP||148.33|
Men’s K1 Junior Heat 2/3
|2||Nil GARCIA PARRA||ESP||836.67|
|3||Urko COT ERGUIN||ESP||498.34|
|5||Noam CHAMPAGNAC MAGNOL||FRA||313.33|
Men’s K1 Junior Heat 3/3