As the 2012 ICF Canoe Freestyle World Cup Final unfolds on the Nantahala River, Peter Csonka, continues to lead the pack with an incredible 2116 points, while Dane Jackson, USA, sits in second place at the end of the preliminary rounds, a mere 123 points behind the Slovenian he's been chasing since the beginning of the World Cup Series in Rock Island, TN.
Csonka, who has won the first two events, says he is now focused on winning the World Cup Final on the Nantahala because this feature will be the site of next year's World Championships, the most prestigious event in the world of competitive freestyle. Csonka, as well as a number of other fellow competitors have been in the Nantahala Gorge since the beginning of August to get valuable training time on the feature.
Dane Jackson is currently in the lead of the OC1 class, freestyle's open canoe category with a score of 203, where athletes face the additional challenge of a boat full of water. US junior Jordan Poffenberger is in second place with 145 points. Jeremy Lauchs , USA - third place, as well as Chris Noble, GBR - fourth place, and Jez Jez, AUS - fifth place, will join Jackson and Poffenberger in the OC1 final on Sunday morning.
In the K1 Women's Junior class, Spain's Nuria Fontane showed off some beautiful paddling today. Her top place finish will place her at the end of the heat in Sunday’s final round, giving her the advantage of watching her competitors’ rides, and thus the ability to gauge what it will take to bring in the win. Claire O’Hara also kept her spot at the top of the scoreboard in today’s squirt competition, finishing well ahead of the pack. Tomorrow, she will try to replicate this result in the K1 Women’s.
Tomorrow’s competition will open with the men’s C1. The top 20 men from today’s preliminaries will take three runs in the ¼ Final, and later, those who qualify will move on to the semifinal. Several other classes, including the K1 women will also compete in 2 stages on Saturday. It will be physically demanding for those who advance to compete in multiple heats in the same day, but these athletes have come a long way to compete on the Nantahala, and nobody has expressed the desire to shirk the challenge.
Event website: www.freestylekayaking2013.com