Junior Pre-World Championships

July 8-9, 2005

Soca River, Solkan, Slovenia

Benn Fraker Wins C1

John Gerstenberger 4th in K1

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 the winner.  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 grief.

The Junior Team traveled to the Augsburg area Sunday evening arriving after 1:00 am at  the hotel Zur Linde in Friedberg.

Pre-Worlds Results are posted here http://www.timing-mojstrana.com/

Qualifier Results: C1  K1  K1W  C2

Final Results: C1  K1  K1W  C2 

Saturday ~ USA qualifies 4 boats in the top 20 in 3 classes:

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:

23 Countries:


The provisional entry list has these entries:  

84 K1, 54 K1W, 45 C1, 16 C2

The top 40 K1s, K1Ws, C1s and the top 10 C2s make the Semi-Finals.

The top 10 boats in each class qualify for the Final run.

photos by Jennifer & Davey Hearn

more news & photos from the Junior Trip

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