Day one was a good one in Pattaya, three races, 2 golds and 1 silver. August in Thailand is hot and humid, but that hasn't stopped our crew from having team USA‘s best start to IDBF World Championship in years.
The first race of the day was 2k mixed premier, 10 women and 10 men racing 19 other boats in a pursuit format. The highest seeded boat starts first, and every 10 seconds another boat goes, ending with our team, who was ranked number 1. Seeds are based off of past performance in a given event. Historically team USA has performed well in the 2k, usually placing on the podium in one of the disciplines. China and Canada were the boats just in front, and our strongest competition.
China are fast starters, their short, fast stroke rate and lighter weight allows them to reach maximum speed quickly. As expected, they jumped out ahead in the first few hundred meters, hammering away at 100 strokes a minute. In contrast, our style is longer, slower, and more power. It really helps the boat glide, and at the same time uses less energy. Many of the crew hail from different paddle sports like kayak, outrigger, marathon canoe and rowing, so it fits our style. For us, the longer the race the better.
By the start of the 2nd kilometer, we gained back the damage inflicted by China. Their stroke rate lagged as the race wore on, signaling that they were fading. We got stronger as the lactate and heart rate built, pulling into the lead in the final quarter. Despite a late kick by China, we held on for the win! Indonesia was a surprise 3rd, edging out Canada. They will be tough competition all week.
The mens race was a little different as China was seeded 1st and USA second. That meant our strategy was different, our goal was to have a good start and try not to let them close the gap and ride our wave. We did just that. A good start, coupled with excellent buoy turns secured victory. Chinese Taipei rounded out the podium.
Day two is going well as well. The mixed team took 2nd in the 1k, results below.
The mens team also won silver, in a tight race against Chinese Taipei.
Full results can be found here https://idbfchamps.org/2019tha/mobile