With extreme kayak races largely going by the wayside due to insurance and other issues (note the cancellation of this year’s North Fork Champs and Homestake Creek Race at the GoPro Games), as with the coveted Green Race at least a few marquee adrenaline-fests are still drawing the sport’s best. The most recent: the Level6 King (and Queen) of the Alps Race in South Tyrol, Italy.
Each year, the Level6 King of the Alps Extreme Kayaking World Championship crowns a king and queen of the event, with this year’s champions Zach Mutton of New Zealand for the men and uber-star Nouria Newman of France.
Located on the border of the Alps in Moss in South Tyrol, Italy, the race is held on Passeier River, which flows along the Passeiertal Calley and passes through the town of Merano in the heart of the Alps in the corner of Italy, where it meets the borders of Austria and Switzerland.
One of the biggest world championships on the planet for whitewater kayaking, the event involves a qualification round, quarterfinals, semifinals, and a finals. For the 11th time in a row this year, some of the world’s best kayakers battled it out for the legendary title of the “King and Queen of the Alps”. The qualification combined the time of two runs added together, with the qualifying top 15 men and 10 women then competing on the final course on the legendary Intimidator rapid on the Passer River in the little village of Moos. In all, this year’s event drew a record 132 men and 28 women competing in the kayak division, as well as competitors racing OC1 (canoes) and packrafts on the course.
The final is an intense, one-minute time-trial sprint through nearly 300 meters of raging Class V filled with waterfall, slides, waves, and holes. In the end, King Mutton and Queen Newman took the royal crowns.
Watch Winning Run Here
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