Capital canoeists David Florence and Bradley Forbes-Cryans began the year in sparkling form at the Australian Open, but the European season has been less kind to them so far and neither managed to do themselves justice in round two of the slalom World Cup in Augsburg, Germany.
Florence won in Australia and was fifth in Prague last week, but two clipped gates and four seconds of time penalties cost the triple world champion a spot in yesterday’s C1 final in Bavaria.
His time of 107.32secs would have easily made him one of the top ten qualifiers from the semis, but those two expensive errors left him down in 17th place and out of the final.
“That was some of the best paddling I’ve done for a wee while, but you can’t afford two mistakes. That’s one too much,” he admitted. “You’ve just got to take the positives and go on to the next race near Leipzig next week. It’s a good venue and I’ve had good results there before.”
Forbes-Cryans was also trying to look on the bright side after a missed gate ruined any chance he had of reaching the K1 kayak final.
The 22-year-old had improved from 24th at the European Championships to 18th in Prague, but that missed barrier in Augsburg handed him a crippling 50-second penalty and he finished 31st overall. He was in good company, though, as Olympic champion Joe Clarke was 33rd after making the same mistake.
“It was a very difficult turn at the bottom of the course, gate 23 out of 24,” explained Forbes-Cryans. “I thought I had it but then it flipped away from me. I shook up my race plan this weekend and I felt like it ran really well for me, so I’m more encouraged for the rest of the season. I feel I’m getting closer to the ideal balance.”