Junior Pre-World Championships
July 8-9, 2005
Benn Fraker Wins C1
John Gerstenberger 4th
An exciting weekend of racing in Solkan, Slovenia
has concluded with a satisfying result for the American team.
Benn Fraker won the C1 event with a pair of fast runs. He shrugged off a
phantom gate penalty on the first run Sunday while reveling in producing the
fastest raw time of the round. In the final, Czech Jiri Vanek put up a 194.64
to take the lead. A strong challenge came from Spaniard Ander Elosegui, who
laid down a total score of 194.57 after trailing Fraker by 4.93 seconds in the
opening round. Fraker responded with a flawless run to mid-course, where he
brushed gates 9 and 10 in the tight offset combination. He then blazed to the
finish without error, posting a 192.19 total while the announcer declared him
Nick Lomas finished 13th.
John Gerstenberger paddled two strong runs to finish fourth in K1. Rick
Powell was 25th, Jure Poberaj was 28th, and Garen Stephens was 38th.
Garen had to loop back for gate 14 and missed a couple of gates at the end of
the course in the Sunday Semi final.
Penalties caused the lower rankings although the skills of all of our team
members were commensurate with top 15 results at least. The racing conditions
were difficult with higher water than expected. All athletes of all countries
tended to take some penalties on the tight course. There were very few
athletes with two clean runs Sunday.
Paris Robinson was 15th, Ashley Nee was 37th, and
Molly Stock was 41st. Molly missed the move on the tight 9-10-11 move on
2nd run Saturday and was not able to get back for it, and missed another gate
at the bottom of the course. Ashley missed an offset gate near the end of the
course in the Sunday Semi final at another spot where many athletes came to
The Junior Team traveled to the Augsburg area Sunday evening arriving after
1:00 am at the hotel Zur Linde in Friedberg.
are posted here
Saturday ~ USA qualifies 4 boats in the top 20 in
The qualifier was held today on nearly double the flow planned by the race
organizers. Demo runs took place at noon after the course was quickly
assembled in 90 minutes following the 10 am team leaders meeting. Two groups
raced both runs back to back with the C2s and K1s going first. Water was
stable if a bit muddy for the afternoon until the last half hour of K1W second
runs, when it rose slightly.
Our US K1s raced strong, qualifying 4 boats for the race Sunday, with John
Gerstenberger leading the charge, finishing in 6th position (189.84) with a
touch on each run. Rick Powell was 16th (195.82) with a clean first run and 2
touches on the second. Jure Poberaj was 21st (198.55) with 2 touches on each
run, and Garen Stephens finished 26th (201.21) with a clean first run and 4
touches on the second. Others included Jared Perlmutter at 52nd (213.47) and
2 touches, and Isaac Levinson at 83rd position (806.59).
In C1 we qualified 2 boats for Sunday. Benn Fraker, second to Japan
wunderkind Takuya Haneda by just a tenth of a second after first runs,
finished 3rd (199.65) just 1.24 seconds out of first. Nick Lomas was 20th
(225.98) with 7 touches. Chad Lewis, after posting a seemingly solid 18th
place result on first run despite overtaking and colliding with a struggling
Croatian, suffered from a DQ due to his new boat weighing in 150 grams light.
It had measured at 10.06 kilos Friday at boat inspection, after our workout
in the rain, but inspectors pegged it at 9.85 kg after his run. A German C1
was also DQed for the same problem, due to the day being warm and sunny and
the boats having dried out quite a bit compared their condition Friday.
In the K1W class, Germans raced strong, taking 1-4 and 6 of the top eight
positions. We qualified 2 boats for Sunday. Ashley Nee held the US top
position in 12th place (230.91) with 2 touches on first run and 1 on second
run. Paris Robinson was 21st (246.49) with 6 touches total. Molly Stock just
missed qualifying for Sunday with a 41st place finish (338.41).
The Race Stats:
AUS, AUT, CAN, CRO, CZE, ESP,
GBR, GER, IRL, ITA, JPN, LAT, MKD, NED, NZL, POL, RSA, SGC, SLO, SUI, SVK,
The provisional entry list has
84 K1, 54 K1W, 45 C1, 16 C2
The top 40 K1s, K1Ws, C1s and the top 10 C2s make the
The top 10 boats in each class qualify for
the Final run.
by Jennifer & Davey Hearn
more news & photos from the Junior Trip