25 Nations – 250 Paddlers – 100% Fun. That sums up Italy’s King of the Alps kayak contest, which organizers held with COVID protocols in place (including testing) this past weekend on the Passer river in Merano, Italy.
The South Tyrol lured paddlers from all over the world (at least those who weren’t at The North Fork Championships) to paddle together, party and battle it out for the title of KING and QUEEN of the ALPS and the European Championships.
The competition sets itself apart by combining events for all skill levels through a range of different disciplines. From a rolling competition in a swimming pool, to a Class III marathon race open to all water crafts, including OC1 and packrafting, and hosting the European Championships in the form of a Class V race down the ‘Intimidator’ rapid.
“For a person that self admittedly doesn’t really enjoy competing, I have to admit, this event is bloody cool,” penned UK kayaker Bren Orton about the event on his Palm Equipment blog.
Throw in a “skate-yak” competition and you get the idea.
For Orton, his main race was the finals down the Intimidator Rapid. But to compete on that race course, he first had to qualify by placing in the top thirty in the marathon race, a 30-minute Class III race neck and neck with around a hundred other kayakers.
“It’s bedlam, absolute bedlam,”
he said. “Paddling hard down this style of water for that amount of time is not something that I’ve ever really practiced. I remember being shocked when I was at this event a few years ago with how hard some people were able to go throughout this race. I personally wanted to quit or throw up at least 27 times throughout this race but I managed to hold on and qualify in twelfth place and make it into the finals.”
In the end, Orton ended up in fifth place, with local Italian paddler Mathias Weger taking the King crown, followed by Austria’s Andi Brunner in second and Italy’s Michele Ramazza in third. For the women it was all French, with Nouria Newman taking first over Devilez Marlene.
|1||6||65||MATHIAS WEGER||Kayak Senior Man||ITA||23:40.5||1:28,4|
|2||5||8||ANDI BRUNNER||Kayak Senior Man||AUT||23:38.6||1:28,9|
|3||2||7||MICHELE RAMAZZA||Kayak Senior Man||ITA||23:24.6||1:31,2|
|4||3||78||STEFAN HENGST||Kayak Senior Man||GER||23:27.4||1:31,6|
|5||11||149||JANOSCH PLATNER||Kayak Senior Man||GER||23:58.1||1:31,7|
|1||2||155||NOURIA NEWMAN||Kayak Senior Women||FRA||25:25.0||1:35,8|
|2||1||142||DEVILLEZ MARLENE||Kayak Senior Women||FRA||24:52.6||1:36,97|
|3||8||144||MAIKE MÖST||Kayak Senior Women||GER||26:23.7||1:43,73|
|4||10||150||MARIEKE VOGT||Kayak Senior Women||GER||26:34.5||1:45,43|
|5||3||137||LÉA GRISON||Kayak Senior Women||FRA||25:37.0||1:50,09|
Read more here: https://www.king-alps.com
Read Bren Orton’s post here: