2016 European Championships, Plattling, Germany

Results: Medals and finalists:
WK1 Gold medal, Claire O’Hara
WK1 4th place, Nicola Beeby
WK1 5th place, Islay Crosbie
JWK1 Silver medal, Sophie McPeak
JWK1 Bronze medal, Ottilie Robinson Shaw
The Euros went very well for the GB Team this year and the women brought home exceptional results. Claire won her first European float gold medal and to see five of them gain a finals placing was very satisfying. Unfortunately none of the men or C1s gained a finals placing this year but great promise for the future was shown. The competition in Europe is fierce which is why the Euros is such an important part of preparation for the following Worlds. The senior classes become ever more dominated by athletes who choose to paddle and train full time.
Team spirit and cohesiveness was amongst the best I have known which helped my job of guiding and organising run smoothly. I was also asked by the Team Captains to represent them on the Competition Committee.
Two problems did mar the week however and whilst both appear to be due to an oversight there are steps to be taken which can minimise the possibility of either happening in the future.
1) I was contacted on the Monday by the event organiser (I had been unable to track him down prior to this as at the early stages he was operating from a van and only onsite briefly) to inform me that we were the only team who had not paid the entry fees of €1600.  The entry has to be done for us by British Canoeing head office but they had not paid the fees as, I am now told, “for Europeans they are normally paid on arrival”. Unfortunately this had not been drawn to the committees or my attention and it seems not to have been noticed that the money had not been drawn from the account.
Andy Goodsell (BC) and Bev (our treasurer) both offered to make a bank transfer but as this could not be guaranteed to be in the organisers account before the deadline I had to use my credit cards to draw the cash.
2) During finals the commentator keeps the competitors and crowd informed of the running scores. During the third and last rides of the WK1 final and just prior to Nickys final ride we heard him announce that she already had 430 points which she knew guaranteed her a bronze. As she entered the feature he corrected it to 413 points which was fourth place but she didn’t hear and didn’t improve her score. This was obviously devastating so we took it up with the judges. The commentator came out to speak to us (myself, Nicky, our coaches and Pete Harmer, a judge) and explained that he had to pick up the scores from the individual judges screens, write them down and work out the running totals. He then had to get them out verbally in German and English ASAP. He apologised whole heartedly. There are no grounds for appeal in the rules in such a case. We had to leave it as a very unfortunate human error but strongly recommend that approaches are made to the ECA and ICF that either commentators are given better access to information in the judges tent, or that if a big screen is in use as at this event the scores must be shown on there such that there is no confusion.
During the event I had the opportunity to discuss various matters with Albert Woods, president of the ECA and it became apparent that the role of Technical Delegate to the ECA comes up for election in March next year. This will be notified to BC Head Office so it would be advisable for the committee to look out for the notification as we should do our best to put forward a nomination, I do have a person in mind who would be perfect for the role.
I would like to thank the committee for their assistance in making this event a success, the juniors parents and Emma Witherford (WK1 reserve) for helping in various roles in team training and during the competition, and Islay for organising the very well received team dinner.
We also owe a huge debt of thanks to Dennis Newton and Bruce Jolliffe, our team coaches and also to Jacko who came out at his own expense, who worked extremely hard all week, coaching and providing detailed feedback sessions, to help our athletes achieve their best.
Tim Ward
GB Team Manager
29th June 2016