Sven and Marcel Paufler finish seventh in the kayak two-man at the European Canoe Marathon Championships in Portugal from June 27 to July 2, 2017.
After competing together for the first time at the World and European Championships last year, the two athletes from Störtebeker Bremer Paddelsport were able to show with their Consensus canoe that the surprising results were no coincidence. At temperatures of over 30 degrees in Ponte de Lima (Portugal) the race started in the top class. A distance of 29.8 kilometers had to be mastered with seven portages, i.e. transfer points where the athletes have to run a short distance with the boats and then continue.
The Paufler brothers had a mixed start, but in the course of the first kilometers they were able to establish themselves in the leading group with their Consensus canoe. They were able to keep their position until the first portage, after which the group split up due to the high pace and the numerous intermediate sprints and the Paufler brothers had to ride in the first chasing group. There they often managed to set the pace and thus the race strategy and they never let the gap to the leaders become too big. Boats from the leading group also dropped off during the race, among them the European Champion from the Kayak Single from the day before, José Ramalho (Portugal). But also boats of the second chasing group caught up with the Pauflers, so that this group became bigger. At times even the connection to the leading group could be restored. In the last portage, however, the four leading boats, which decided the medals among themselves, were about one minute ahead of the Bremen team. After another very good portage, they went into the last kilometer in fifth place. In the end the Hungarian team around Adrián Boros and László Solti won in 2:00:14.20 hours ahead of the two Spanish boats. Sven and Marcel Paufler had to admit defeat in the final sprint and after a lot of lead work in the last laps against the Swedes and the British kayak two-man and were seventh in a time of 2:01:20.47. Both are highly satisfied with the result. On the one hand, the new boat of the two since this year ran very well, on the other hand, the intensive training work was rewarded. Once again, no boat with a younger crew was placed ahead of the Bremen team. Compared to last year, there were many more opportunities to shape their own race course and not have to adapt almost exclusively to the strategies of the competition.
Already two days before Marcel Paufler had started in the kayak single of the U-23 men. Here he also finished in a very good seventh place. For him, however, this race was much more rewarded by hard work. Although he was able to ride in the leading group in the first laps, he then had to ride in the chasing group due to the numerous tightening of the pace and fights for position. Together with the Spaniard Carballo, he was able to get closer to the leading group, but it was only after the second portage that the Italian Bonacina, who was falling behind, was able to re-establish the connection. In the meantime the group had shrunk to eight boats, but Paufler had to pay tribute to the exhausting race to catch up and from the fourth lap onwards he had to drive a few seconds behind the leading group. In the last laps four boats had finally pulled away, of which the Hungarian Adam Petro (1:54:30.30 hours) became European Champion again. In the group of four directly behind, Paufler was then in a time of 1:56:22.07 hours in the final sprint only just behind the Portuguese Cameira and Rodrigues and ahead of the Italian Banacina.
The European Championships were particularly important for the two athletes from Bremen in view of the upcoming World Championships in South Africa in September, which are also the highlight of the season. Now they can train for a few more weeks and also make last adjustments to the boats before they will be transported to South Africa at the end of the month. The complete result lists.
We are very pleased to be able to support the Paufler brothers on their successful path with professional equipment and are now keeping our fingers crossed for the World Cup in South Africa!