GB Girls bring home the bling from South Africa
Three GB young ladies headed off to the E&A Wakeboard and Wakeskate Championships 2011 in South Africa, and three ladies brought home medals! February 15-18th 2012 saw the emerging young GB boat talent hit up the Vaal River near Johannesburg as part of the 7 strong GB team.
Katie Batchelor (European Girls Silver 2011), Charlotte Millward (European Junior Ladies Gold 2011) and Nancy Creedy (European Junior Ladies Silver 2011) headed off to the warm waters of Emerald Resorts and Casino, Vanderbijlpark 4000 feet above sea level. Having all qualified top 4 in the UK Nationals last summer, they were eligible for selection. With a few months’ notice of making the team, the training began.
Charlotte Millward – Junior Ladies
Charlotte received a Lascelles award last year; recognition of her riding potential by her peers. The funding helped her to compete extensively around the UK in 2011, including the Scottish Lock Stock tours, Rider’s League, AOD and Ryan Birch competition. Charlotte won Silver at the Junior Boat Nationals in the Junior Ladies division and so all of this experience put the young rider in good stead for her first international competition as part of Team GB. Despite the anticipation and anxiety of an international stage, the contrast of warm water and board shorts to her UK icy winter training, banished all nerves and she rode well qualifying first, then going on to win the title of 2011 E&A Junior Ladies Champion.
“Being presented with my medal and standing on the podium was an absolutely amazing feeling, then chuckling at the rest of the team and all of our parents singing the National Anthem” Charlotte Millward
Nancy Creedy – Junior Ladies
This was third time lucky for Nancy at the Europeans, finally making the podium in second place. With two previous European and a World championship competition under her belt, the newly signed CWB rider was primed to bring all of her experience together to raise another Union Jack aloft the podium.
In preparation for the competition, Nancy hit the gym and embraced yoga as part of her training, helping her strength, flexibility and visualisation of her competition runs.
“Going over my run in my head really helped. Like they say, ‘You only achieve what you believe’.” Nancy Creedy
Katie Batchelor – Girls
One of the most prolific female Team GB riders representing in both boat and cable wakeboard teams, KTB brought her wealth and range of international competition to the fore in South Africa. A recipient of the Lascelles grants last year as well, Katie has clocked up a number of competitions enhancing her wakeboarding CV.
In January, she headed out to Florida for a week’s training with GB coach Stew Mackie at Chain of Wakes (look out for her Brits Abroad feature coming soon). Whilst her training helped her acclimatize to the South Africa weather, she couldn’t possibly have prepared herself for the fatigue of riding at 4000ft altitude, nor calm her nerves when discovering the Girls final was not the following day as scheduled, but only a couple of hours away! However, she still qualified first and placed second in the final, then had the new unexpected pleasure of kicking back and enjoying watching the Saturday finals.
“My absolute best memory would definitely have to be winning silver and singing my heart out with Tom’s dad to the National anthem whilst Charlotte and Nancy were on the podium and again when Sam got his gold! YEAH TEAM!” Katie Batchelor
Team GB always has a great reputation for embracing a ‘family spirit’ and the feedback from this trip seems to be no different. With excursions to Animal world, a safari, water world and general shenanigans at the team hotel pool, it’s amazing that they came back at all.
“It was like going on holiday with a group of friends rather than a team. I really didn’t want to come home.” Charlotte Millward
It was Sam Carne’s debut as Team Captain and he seems to have struck the right balance between fun, family and fierce riding. Guiding his team to a medal tally of 5, he also managed an impressive juggling act of team captain and competitor to secure himself Gold on Open Men.
“I was extremely impressed with all the girls. They showed maturity on the water beyond their years. It was a pleasure to have them on the team and I can only see good things for the future” Sam Carne Team Captain
Here’s the video diary that Nancy made of the trip.
“Sam was a great Captain and gave us a lot of encouragement, especially on the dock just before we were about to ride. He was easy to get along with and I really look up to what a great wakeboarder he is” Charlotte Millward
Huge congratulations to Team GB on their medal tally.
GOLD Charlotte Millward Junior ladies, Sam Carne Open Men
SILVER Katie Batchelor Girls, Nancy Creedy Junior Ladies
BRONZE Harry Eames
Rider ‘shout outs’
Katie – Mum and Dad, Phil at Quayside, Stew at COWakes, UltraSport EU, Liquid Force and Box End Park.
Nancy – CWB Boards, Mystic, Quayside, Ten-80, WakeboardUK and my family.
Charlotte – Boardwise, Mum and Dad, Team GB, Graham Creedy and BWSF.
Well done girls, we’re looking forward to seeing what 2012 holds for you. Stay across WAW for news of forthcoming events where you can get involved in competing, and maybe one day become a GB team rider too.
All photos provided by the girls
Sunday 04 March 2012 | Permalink
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