Respected Czech Republic marathon paddler Petr Mojžíšek has confirmed his entry to the Berg River Canoe Marathon, from 3 to 6 July, and has recruited the strong young German paddler Matthias Schmidt to partner him in the team event.
The 42-year-old from Jesenice in Prague finished sixth in 2016 and third in 2017, and is looking forward to taking part in the new competitive team race.
“I was not able to do the Berg last year, and I was curious how the team race format would work, and what the reaction from the other paddlers would be,” said Mojžíšek. “I was in touch with Keith Moule, who said it has been interesting and fun.”
After racing onto the podium in the solo race in 2017, Mojžíšek plans to aim at one of the higher steps on the Berg podium in the team competition, and to this end has turned to the German whom he first met in 2018.
“Instead of Berg 2018, I took part in a three day 180 km flat water race, Budejovice-Praha, while also organising it,” he said. “Surprisingly, it was a big battle, and it was won by Matthias Schmidt who came from Munich to compete in it.
“After the race we briefly talked about doing the Berg this year, and Matthias was very interested. In March, we chatted again and decided to do the Berg in the new team format. This is something I have not tried before, and am very excited about it.”
The likeable big Czech paddler will be one of the heaviest paddlers in the field, and will recall how tough the 240 km race on a low Berg River was in 2017.
“Luckily, I think I have forgotten some of the emotions I felt during that race, especially on Day 3 and Day 4, and that helped me enter the Berg again!” he quipped.
Mojžíšek comes into the race on a solid base, with some encouraging recent results.
“Two weeks ago, Matthias was here in Prague, and we had a small training camp,” he said.
“This past Saturday I paddled in a crazy 106 km sea kayak race on the Vltava River, and I managed to break my own race record of 2015, which makes me feel comfortable with my current fitness levels.
“Matthias is young and strong, and I believe we will be able to give the others a hard time.”
The swinger for Mojžíšek will be a fuller river than he experienced on his last Berg outing, something that looks very likely, given the full dams, managed water releases and the prospect of good rains in the weeks ahead.
“I only hope for some rain to come,” he said. “I am really looking forward to the race and enjoying the company of all the guys around.”
Normal entries are now being taken until Wednesday 19 June.
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