Once a diversionary canal for river ice, which was converted into the world’s first artificial whitewater course for the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, the Eiskanal will be the site of yet another major international competition as the 2014 ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup Final is set to begin.
With typical German weather on hand (i.e. rain and high temperatures in the low 60s) and a strong field of over 300 competitors, this World Cup Final should provide a real test for those getting ready to compete at the World Championships next month in Deep Creek, MD.
“Augsburg is one of my favorite courses in the world to train and to race. As usual, the weather here in Germany could be better and just a little less rainy. Overall, we are ready. Personally, I am hoping for a better semifinal run, though in the end I just want to have fun on the water and enjoy the race,” said USCK’s Dana Mann.
Ten days removed from a 6th place finish at World Cup 3 in La Seu d’ Urgell, two-time Olympic Medalist Fabien Lefevre (Bethesda, MD) looks to take another step towards the podium in the K1 Men’s category. Michal Smolen (Gastonia, NC), the 2014 U23 World Champion, will try to add expand his 2014 medal collection with another top result. After putting together his best race of the international season in Seu, Richard Powell (Gastonia, NC) tries to build off of that momentum and break through into the finals.
For the women representing Team USA, Micki Reeves (Grand Junction, CO) will make her third World Cup appearance of the season in the C1 Women’s category as K1 Woman Dana Mann (Washington, DC) attempts to use her familiarity with the Augsburg course to make her first final of the international season.
In the C1 Men’s class, two-time Olympian Casey Eichfeld (Charlotte, NC) hopes to build off his strong performance in Seu with another top result. With his vast experience at this venue in K1, Fabien Lefevre will try to use that experience to his advantage in his C1 races. Young-gun Zach “Bug” Lokken (Durango, CO) takes to the water looking for a strong performance before coming back home.
After narrowly missing making a final in Seu, the C2 Men’s team of Devin McEwan (Salisbury, CT) and Casey Eichfeld will look to break through the proverbial wall and get that elusive top-10 result. Meanwhile, the team of Jordan Poffenberger (Vienna, VA) and Tad Dennis (Charlotte, NC) will make their first World Cup appearance since racing in June at World Cup 3 in Prague.
“The feeling as the World Cup Final is about to start is a little bittersweet. While I’m glad to be returning home soon, I am always sad when the World Cup season comes to a close. Our two weeks here have been great and I feel that I have really learned a lot about the course. Augsburg is also a pretty accessible venue so there is always a strong field of athletes competing. Now, the start gate is calling me,” said Casey Eichfeld.
For more information, please refer to the race website.