While creek racers in the Rockies and elsewhere are busy chalking up results domestically, a crew of kayakers overseas recently battled for top bragging rights in Italy at the unofficial Teva extreme kayaking world championships.
Lower than normal water levels forced the four-day competition on the Chiusela River in Ivrea, Italy – consisting of two days on the mountain river of Chiusela and another two days on the slalom course in Ivrea – to be moved a few hundred meters upstream where the rapids are even harder. The first day’s extreme downhill course took about two and half minutes with two rounds and the total time winning. After the first round Honza Lasko from the Czech Republic and Michele Ramazza from Italy were sitting in the kayaking catbird’s seat in first place. Both were even faster in the second round, with Lasko ending up in first overall, with Palo Andrassy from Slovakia taking second. For the women, Anne Huebner won the overall category.
The next day two team races were held, one on lower Chiusela followed by a night sprint on the slalom course. Team New Zealand won the first race and Team Britain the night sprint for overall team honors.
A start from a ramp kicked off the next day’s morning sprint-slalom on the Ivrea slalom course. Sam Sutton from New Zealand opened up the throttle to take first, followed by Germany’s Jacobus Stenglein and Lasko in third. A final kayak cross competition determined the overall winner of Teva Extreme Games, with the order changing several times during the run. In the end, Italian Filippo Brunetti ended up on the podium, with Lasko in second and Sutton in third.
The finish was enough to earn Lasko the overall winner of the 2012 Teva Games Freeride World Champs 2012, with Sutton taking second and Brunetti third.
“It was an awesome event,” says Sutton. “It combines a little bit of everything and draws some great paddlers.”