Next week the World Junior and U23 Canoe Slalom World Championships will be contested in Bratislava, Slovakia. One of the world's leading young paddlers, Australia's Noemie Fox, will be bringing us insights to the build-up to the big event and the action from the Championships themselves with a regular blog, starting today.

This week marks two months in Europe hopping from course to course with nothing but an accumulation of boats, paddles and numerous suitcases.

During this time, I've learnt that:

1. Minimalism is a lot harder than I initially thought and;
2. No matter how long I've been travelling for or how far away from home I am, arriving to a new venue for a new opportunity is always exciting.

After three challenging weeks on the World Cup circuit, it’s time to press the refresh button and get ready for the most anticipated race of the year for Canoe Slalom's youngest and finest paddlers.

This year, the U23 and Junior World Championships are taking place in the capital of Slovakia, Bratislava. Home to some of sport’s greatest legends, and no doubt future champions, the Čunovo Water Sports Centre is a challenging course with big waves, strong currents and fast water. It is the perfect playground for slalom paddlers.

Upon arrival, almost half of the Australian team were wiped out by a mysterious bug. After a few days of rest, we recovered all our athletes, video staff and coaches and are now back to full strength.

The weather is very similar to at home: extremely hot, humid with the occasional severe thunderstorm. So I’ve acclimatized perfectly!

Waking up this morning was a little bit harder than the rest of the week. My muscles are sore and stiff from all the hard training. As we’re staying half an hour away from the venue, we have to leave early to allow enough time to warm up and look at the course. This meant leaving at 5:45am for a 7:00 am session! Training so early in the day means there is more time to recover, rest, review and recharge for the next session.

With less than a week to go, the nation flags are flying high, the boat racks are being filled up and the excitement is building both on and off the water!

Canoe Slalom
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