Euro Tour 2018: Natural Games

Having first visited the Natural Games in Millau in 2014 as my first international competition, I have always loved the area and have kept coming back. It's a real adventure sports town; para-gliders dropping from the cliff, hiking, climbing and biking in surrounding Pyrenees and kayaking right on your doorstep. 

Arriving this time from Makinito, we were all obviously buzzing to get on the water and go paddling, and with a few feature changes from the week before, it was really hotting up to be a great event. Loops, spaces and cartwheels came nicely and soon had this flowing, however over the week, the McNasty remained relatively illusive. Technique in Millau is quite different to Nottingham, as features are narrower and have defined sticky areas as well as varying tactics for setting up. Although I did get a few, they were not as reliable as I wanted. 

The week in Millau was really fun with a strong British contingency (around 15 paddlers), it felt like a sunnier, cleaner trip to HPP. As the feature is right near town too, there was plenty of chance to explore the local area, as well as the other epic sports going on for Natural Games.

Soon it was time for the whole event to be kicking off and was awesome to see all the sports. Kayaking started with a BoaterX the night before,in which there was plenty of carnage and hits. I made it through the first round, and found myself in semi finals against strong paddlers. Unfortunately, a battle around a block meant I dropped to 3rd place and did not continue to the night finals. 

The following day was a full day of freestyle competition starting early to get it all done before the main party. I was in the last womens heat and so spent some time hanging out by the feature before what felt like a really long wait for my runs. A couple of unfortunate flushes on my rides, and my McNasty remaining illusive, meant I finished in 7th place. With French rules, only top 5 internationals go through to finals, and I was unluckily the sixth!

Although this isn't what I had aimed or hoped for at Natural Games, I still love the whole event and with an awesome adventure sports music festival that night, with trips backstage, VIP areas and an epic atmosphere, it was still an incredible event and one I would not miss!