Interview with 2011 World Champion, James “Pringle” Bebbington

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Name: James Bebbington or Pringle

Age: 25

Hometown: Warrington, England.

Sponsors: Dagger Kayaks, Teva Footwear, Palm Equipment, AT Paddles

You’re coming in with a big win from Plattling, what’s it like coming into this year’s competition defending the title?

Well having already won once the pressure I put on myself isn’t there like it was in the past. It means I have a clearer head going towards Worlds, I feel unburdened and am really looking forward to the battle. I think it will be even tougher this time, everyone is really pushing their hardest but that is a good thing as it’s really fired me up. This time I’m going to enjoy every minute of it and just do my best, I feel strong and am kayaking better than I ever have, so I’ll just have to wait and see if my best is good enough this time.

Did you take any time off from training to enjoy your win in 2011 or was it straight to focusing on 2013?

Yes I went to Thailand and Bali and got married to my wife Katya (who will be competing for Russia at Worlds) After that I was back paddling full-time, but I do like to have a break from time to time to do something different so that I don’t get bored of kayaking. For example this winter I cycled from Marrakech to the Sahara and back…

You’ve combo’s are off the hook. Do you think the carbon boat is a big part of that?

Thanks, it’s one of the areas I really enjoy innovating. Yes Carbon plays a big part in that, it is much more responsive, you use much less energy throwing the moves and everything goes bigger. That said the shape still plays the biggest part and in carbon that is even more noticeable. I’ve only really noticed a big difference in performance in my old Carbon Guigui Easymix and my new Carbon Jitsu, some of the other Carbon boats I don’t notice the difference as much.

Speaking of combos, what’s your favorite trick these days? Anything new coming out for worlds?

I’ve been working on lots of links lately instead of combo’s but yes I hope to have a few new ones ready for Worlds. Ideally I’d love to link a 45 second ride but we’ll see how that goes Favourite combo though is still my Lunar-Tricky-Loop!

What’s the rest of the summer looking like getting prepared for 2013 worlds?

I’ve just been competing as much as is possible all over Europe. Next up we have the Sort Open in Spain which will be very tough with many big names there - Mathieu Dumoulin, Quim Fontane Maso, Dane Jackson, Sebastian Devred…Then I have a week in Nottingham whitewater course coaching before we head to NOC to begin training there.

Do you have any competition day routines, superstitions you stick to?

I don’t have a superstitions but I have a routine yes. I try to stick to my usual training day routine just switch my strength workout for cycling or some activity that doesn’t tire my kayaking muscles. I find rest makes me slow so I need to stay active in some way. I also do quite a bit of mental rehearsal, visualisation and meditation on competition day to get myself ready. I started doing it before last worlds and it helped a lot so hopefully it will pay off this time too!

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2013 Bryson City/Swain County, NC TDA