Interview: Patrick Mariott - Sponsored Canoeist

23/06/2016

Interview with England Canoeist Patrick Mariott

Our sponsored 18 year old canoeist, World rank 24th in Wildwater canoeing, U19 Rafting world gold and silver medallist, GB canoe slalom reserve and UoN Sport Scholar.

Hey Patrick, where are you now and what have you been up to recently?

Right now I'm sat in the cafe at Lee Valley White Water Centre, in-between training sessions on the Olympic course. I am currently living in Nottingham, and in my 1st year studying Medicinal and Biological Chemistry at the University of Nottingham. At the moment I am training for 2016 U23 GB selection for Canoe Slalom, with the race being on the 9/10th April.

We've seen some really cool video footage of you speeding down canoe slalom courses and also at the world rafting champs in Indonesia. Can you give us a rough outline of the trips and paddling you have been up to this year?

This year has been really busy for me, I've been on three major trips around the world. First of all I was selected to be a part of the 2015 Senior GB team for Wild Water Racing, in C1 and C2, we competed on the new artifical course in Vienna, which was an amazing experience and my first taste of international competition. I ended up placing 24th in the C1, and we didn't race C2 as my partner became very ill just before our race. The second trip was a slalom training trip to Metz, Augsburg and Prague, which was awesome as it was my first time in a slalom boat abroad, and a great road trip. Thirdly, and most incredible was the Rafting U19 World Championships in Indonesia, in which we won a gold and a silver medal! Indonesia is such an amazing place, with such a contrasting culture.

Where and when did you start paddling and where do you train?

I started paddling in 2008 at Hinckley Wharf with Break Out Canoe Club, they are a club which I got into through scouts, which participate in a variety of disciplines, but I found my interest in slalom and progressed over the years. Now I train at the whitewater course in Nottingham or at the Lee Valley Olympic site in London.

Which other paddlers inspire you?

I wouldn't say I ever had a role model, but there are loads paddlers I look up to for a variety of things but to name three are David Florence, Etienne Stott and Bradley Forbes Cryans for, respectively; work ethic, the advice I have been given and their perspective on life, and pure paddling style!

Have you got any trips or competitions coming up? What are your current goals?

Depending on how team selection goes, maybe! I'm aiming to go to the slalom worlds and the euros. Other than that I'm competing on the UK circuit and will be travelling around Europe visiting other slalom courses.

What advice would you give to people looking to get involved or get better at canoe slalom or rafting?

To get involved in canoe slalom I'd say to look on the website "slalom uk" which would have details about the closest club to your location. In terms of getting better, I could probably write an essay on this! But to keep it short I'd recommend getting as much time on hard whitewater as possible, with a group of people and get someone to coach you. With rafting it's best to contact British Rafting via their website, but the main 2 venues are Nottingham (mondays) and Lee Valley (wednesdays) where people meet to train. I'd recommend people contact me if they want any more specific advice.

Here at Reed were always working closely with athletes to get your insight and valuable feedback. What Reed kit do you use and what do you like/dislike about it?

I use the Reed Transpire Fleece thermals, which are really thick and have kept me warm and able to paddle all winter. I also use the Reed aquatherm cagdeck, which is a much lighter version of most cagdecks on the market, and lets very little water through.

Thanks a lot Patrick - Good luck with GB selection and your uni course. Fingers crossed we can see you at the slalom worlds and euros!