I have been dreaming about winning Freestyle Worlds since I first started playboating when I was 7 and this year I was finally able to fulfill that dream! In the past, I have been to young to compete, but this year I finally turned 15 and I was ready to go! After scoring my first helix (but not any blunts) at team trials I was really fired up to get to Garberator on the Ottawa River so I could start learning how to really wave boat!
About 5 weeks before Worlds, we picked my dad up from the Ottawa airport and drove up to Garb. My first impression when I saw it….SICK! The level was lower than what they wanted for the competition so it was really foamy, but I loved it! I was a little flustered at first while trying to learn wave moves, then EJ told me to try a mcnasty in the trough and I nailed it! (Yes I know i'm a hole boater.) After about a week of training, I had a solid left blunt and right backblunt, but couldn't right blunt for the life of me! (Seriously I think I did over 100 attempts) But after a couple weeks and a lot of advice from Claire, EJ, Stephen and others, I figured out my right blunts, right back panams, and started trying to figure out how to helix! The next two weeks were a little frustrating with a lot of on and off sessions, fluctuating water levels and figuring out tricks. Luckily, I was able to meet and boat with people from all over the world which was amazing!! Especially boating with the Brits and the Catalonians (spanish but they would kill me if i said that :p)!!
Finally, it was training week! The first few days were rough with the wave being really green and flushy, but it made me a lot better because you had to land everything perfect. It was also really good practice for not rushing my tricks because we could only be in the wave for 45 seconds, so I really had to make sure I was taking the time to set up and not overthinking my tricks. I was able to work on the mental side of my ride during the first part and I started putting my whole ride together!
Finally, after 5 weeks of training, it was time for the competition to start! First we had opening ceremonies, which started with a big parade involving all of the athletes. We had the most amazing uniforms ever (polos shirts with stars and stripe pants!)! The parade ended in a mini stadium where we got to see some of the areas history including dancing and music! Worlds was then declared open and we finished the day with team pictures by Peter Holcombe.
My prelims were on Tuesday at 10, so I woke up early to get a few warmup rides andthen rested for a bit. After my usual warmup, I sat in the eddy and rocked out to some music until the comp started. I was the first boat in the first heat and I was super excited…. so excited I flushed through on my first ride! After quickly refocusing I was ready for my second ride, I almost got my whole ride scoring two blunts, two backblunts, and a helix, and I ended up first going into semis with a 430!
I then had two days to rest until semi finals where I got to cheer on the k1 and c1 men, and the women, doing sessions in the evening on both days. I was feeling pretty good the morning of semi finals, but a little nervous. Unfortunately, that showed in my rides but I managed to still come out in first going into finals with a 185.
The next day was the last day!!! It was finally finals!! I was feeling really good, pumped up, and ready to rock! I asked Adriene Levknecht to sit in the coaches raft to help keep me happy and laughing in between rides while my dad coached me from the rocks on the side.My first ride was my best! I scored almost my whole ride getting two blunts, two back blunts, a helix, a felix, and a back panam adding up to a 588!!! I then was able to throw my favorite trick, the blunt nasty on my victory lap!! In second, with an epic ride of 220, was my fellow USA teammate Darby McAdams and in third with a score of 70 was Sophie McPeak from Great Britain!! Huge congats to all of the other athletes!! Also a big thank you to Joe Kowalski and Wilderness Tours, Paula Troutman, Matt McGuire, Jeff McLaughlin my parents and everyone who helped with the event, it was truly incredible!