|Interview: Mat Dumoulin|
Interview: Mat Dumoulin
What has been your inspiration to be involved with this event?
It has been something that I have been waiting for... a new way of competing. I like the idea of a new competition format, something that combines both creeking and freestyle. I was still hungry for more after the Worlds at Buseater and am happy to be back here at high water.
So far, what has been some of the challenges of the event?
It is going to be tough to travel, paddle and stay focused for 15 days straight. Staying focus will be a big challenge. Also, combining the two formats, creaking and freestyle and switching between the two of them. Also, getting my back healthy so that I can compete well.
What happened to your back?
I flew here straight here after four months of kayaking in Mexico. I was there kayaking as well as some board surfing on the coast. We were coming back from a trip to Chiapas with Rafa Ortiz and the Sickline Addidas Team and we went to run the big-bannana section of the Alseseca. This is a nice class V run. I was following Raffa over a boof and drove hard to the side of it. I ended up booting into the green water and hurting my back. I am trying to get it to a point in which I can join the competition. I don't want to trade in a couple days paddling for a 6 month recovery. Plus these big waves are hard on the back.
Do you believe this competition could take the place of the World's Freestyle Championship?
I think that 5-6 years ago all the best freestyle paddlers were also really good river runners. This is not the case right now with Worlds. This event keeps those linked together. I think the sport will naturally progress in this direction.
The process of athlete selection has been unique in this competition. How has that shaped the pool of athletes present?
There are so many good kayakers around the globe....it is hard to pick out the best ones. How do you do it? You look for well-rounded kayakers who have accomplished many things. This is true out of everyone in this competition. I think the team here is well chosen. It is not always easy to be a great freestyle paddler and a great creek boater. It takes years of practice and experience.
Any predictions for winners?
I think Nick Troutman is going to be hard to beat. Also, Gerd Serrasolses is a great boater. Whatever happens it will be great to watch. Everyone is capable of winning.