NELO Winter Challenge 2011 Report
The Portuguese Canoe Federation, Nelo and the Montemor-o-Velho Council organized last weekend the PORTUGAL WINTER TRIAL 2011 - NELO WINTER CHALLENGE.
Being Portugal one of the few countries in Europe where you can paddle during all year with comfort added together with the best sport facilities and technology of the new High Performance Center located in Montemor-o-Velho, an event in the off season was brought to life: the PORTUGAL WINTER TRIAL 2011 - NELO WINTER CHALLENGE.The plan to have an event that more than a traditional race, it would be a tool for the coaches and athletes to assess their condition and progress in training, so the race consisted on a 2000 mt time trial and a 200 mt tournament.
A partnership was made with the Régate Internationale du Pas de Calais 2011 (http://www.aslcanoekayak.com/), that takes place in France (Arras - Nord Pas de Calais) in the last weekend in January in a similar format, that way a small Winter Series was created, that motivated a lot of French, Spanish and Portuguese paddlers that raced in both events, and in that way were in play for the big prizes worth more than 7000 Euros in equipment for the winners of the Series. Adding to that the close to 200 athletes training in Portugal in this time of the year, assured a total of 15 countries, to wish were added the big Portuguese number, making a total of 500 competitors in the first edition with some more famous than others.
The facilities in Montemor are new and truly amazing what makes a race like this much easier to organize, and gives the athletes all the technical facilities they require and more.
The first day took place the 2000 mt time trial, in the Senior Classes, the Portuguese rising stars dominated the Kayak section winning the K1 Men Fernando Pimenta followed by Cyril Carre FRA (2007 K2 World Champion) and Emanuel Silva POR, in the ladies it was Beatriz Gomes POR followed by Teresa Portela POR and Spela Ponomarenko from Slovenia in 3rd, in the Canoe it was Romain Beugnet from France that won over Jose Bouza ( 3rd 5km Poznan 2010) from Spain and Pierrick Martin also from France. In the younger classes there were great and interesting times and duels with different nations winning France, Portugal and Poland had the best results.
A technical analysis of the results will now be given to the coaches and participants from where they can check their video and time during different sections of the race. (Rough cut of the 2000 mt winners video)
The second day the weather improved what created conditions for a pleasant day at the course and for some fast times.
Ekaitz Saez from Spain, 2009 World Champion in the 4 x200mt was the first winner taking over João Ribeiro Portugal (2010 WC 2nd K2 500) and Givago Ribeiro BRA, Givago one of the fast Brazilian team that lined up in the weekend. In the Ladies Teresa Portela (3rd ICF Ranking 2010) POR had a good win over a strong field, with Beatriz Gomes and Joana Vasconcelos POR taking the rest of the podium, in a final where Spela Ponomarenko SLO and Marie Dellatre FRA took 4th and 5th, proving the high level in the girls race, as all 5 have been winning medals at the highest level in the last few years. Yurii Cheban Ukraine was one of the biggest stars racing in Portugal this weekend, and he did not dissapoint his Portuguese fans by taking the win, in front of a promising Helder Silva POR and Vadim Tsipam UKR in 3rd, having Yurii Cheban and Attila Vajda was a strong motivation for all the young canoeists.
The overall winners of the Nelo Winter Challenge to wich were distributed 2000 Euros in equipment were in the senior classes João Ribeiro POR Teresa Portela POR and Romain Beugnet FRA, see full results here: http://www.nelo.eu/images/uploads/ACUMULADO.pdf.
As for the Winter series where the winners took over 7000 Euros in Prizes, including a boat for the Senior with less points from all classes were:
Senior Overall Romain Beugnet FRA C1
Senior Kayak Men Maxime Beaumont FRA | Entry for the Nelo Summer Challenge (including 4 nights accomodation)
Senior Kayak Women Marie Delattre FRA | Entry for the Nelo Summer Challenge (ncluding 4 nights accomodation)
Junior Kayak Men Pierrick Bayle FRA | Bracsa Paddle
Junior Kayak Women Marjolaine Seillier FRA | Bracsa Paddle
Junior Canoe Antoine Delporte FRA | Bracsa Paddle
Cadet Kayak Men Eduardo Pereira POR | Bracsa Paddle
Cadet Kayak Women Margaux Coppin FRA | Bracsa Paddle
Cadet Canoe Maxime Petit FRA | Bracsa Paddle