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UPDATE: from Jesse Phillips in Italy
26 May 2010
Article by Jesse Phillips, WAIS Kayaker, current National Champion, K2, GAP co-presenter
Update from Italy to other places...

K2 200M Kayak partner Steve Bird and I arrived into Milan on Tuesday May 11. The overall transit experience was very pleasant, as we kept up hydration and had a reasonable plan as to our plane antics - watching a certain number of films and then trying to sleep, as well as eating and stretching.

We arrived in Italy to a 12 - 13 degree morning, and we were picked up by our massage therapist Christine and we zipped down to Ternate, our current home. We are staying at Hotel Montelago, a quaint little orange and yellow building perched upon a lake and under mountains (hence the name Mont-e-lago).

Steve and I share a room, overlooking the lake, it is rather beautiful (I type this at 9:30pm and I'm looking onto our own lake). We have a great setup here: brekky is downstairs in a room next to the hotel foyer, lunch and dinner are across the entrance in another building right on the lake. Meals are generally made up of pasta, rice, meat, fish, beans, vegetables and we have a buffet style salad/fruit bar.

We are training in a group of four men, Chris Alagich (QLD/QAS), Matt Goble (SA/SASI), Steve Bird(WA/WAIS) and myself (WA/WAIS). We get along really well - considering Chris and Matt were the combination we beat at Nationals by 0.01 seconds in the K2 200m. We have a good level of banter between the group, and we have introduced a "dufus" hat into the squad for any wrong-doings we encounter along the way. So far, Steve has had it for leaving his wallet behind at a coffee shop down the road, i've had it for leaving my shorts behind at the pool, etc. The "dufus" has to wear the hat at all times other than training, sleeping and showering. I have had a few looks of interest thus far in my travels wearing the hat. Anyway, moving on...

Training has been great, solid sessions mixed with recovery sessions make up the life of a 200m specialist kayaker...and the occasional massage. We have been doing some testing with paddle stroke force, velocity in the first 50m, starting gate technique and also some great warm-up routine options, which will hopefully be of benefit to us, and to be able to pass back onto out fellow paddlers back home.

But, most importantly, we are having a great time - I think when you have the distance between home, like we have now, you realise all the things you do at home and what you can improve/cut out/add in to your lifestyle and (as an athlete) your training routine. Maybe it is about the cultural permeation of Europe, but it is a nice revitalising period (for me at least).

Let's dig out of that emotional trench I just dug and talk about...

Dah dah dah dah dah dahhhhhhh, Dah dah dah dah daaahhh: THE WEEKEND (May 22-23)

The Australian Kayak "Sprinters" took to the Italia National Kayak Selezione Championships in Milano. The course was fantastic and we had a great weekend of racing.

This is our list of medal winning races:
K2 200m woooohhhh! (J Phillips/S Bird)
K4 500m YEEEHHHAAAHHH!! (J Phillips/J Simpson/C Alagich/S Bird)
K4 1000m ("wow" you say, "didnt know you could paddle 1000m!". Response: "we can't......psssstt: the Italians weren't that strong") (J Phillips/M Goble/C Alagich/S Bird).

Steve and I didn't drop a race (6 in total) which is consistent. So it holds us in good stead for the coming weeks of competition in Hungary and Germany. We leave on an aeroplane tomorrow at 7:00am from Milan's Milpensa Airport, oooohhhh we can't wait for a 5:15am wake-up, it reminds us of home! And we can't wait for afternoon water sessions Ramon Andersson (our coach)!!!

These photos portray the post-race dance/debrief/...whatever, Steve and I were remixing at Milan; our non-verbal comm. has improved out of sight under the influence of the passionate country of Italy (our WAIS Psychologist Kevin Hayter will hopefully be impressed!)


Best regards from Italy,
Jesse Phillips
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