Maybe they just have the lines dialed. Whatever it is, it worked as both Joe Morley and Nouria Newman won the men’s and women’s divisions, respectfully, for the second year in a row at this year’s adidas Sickline extreme race on Austria’s Ache River.
Last year, Morley bested three-time adidas Sickline champion Sam Sutton from New Zealand. This year, his 56:48-second final run saw him finish the Class V-riddled course a second faster than second-place finisher Mike Dawson at 57:42, who bested Spain’s Gerd Serrasolses to advance to the final.
“On my final run everything went well, I’ve been going faster and faster all weekend,” Morley told reporters afterward. “I knew what I needed to do, so I just went down and did it. It feels pretty good to win twice in a row.”
Morley has one more race to win to tie Sutton’s record of three Sickline wins. Suton followed dawson in third, with Serrasolses taking fourth and Dane Jackson fifth.
Coming off a broken back, Dawson, meanwhile, now has three silver medals at the event, the first two coming in 2009 and 2011. “It’s so good to get back on the podium here,” Dawson said. “It’s great just to be paddling again.”
In all, more than 130 of the world’s top extreme racers from 25 countries competed in the head-to-head qualifying format in hopes to win world championship honors on the Class V Wellerbrücke rapids at this year’s event, taking their licks in such rapids as Champions Killer (the final drop of the 3000-meter course) and Champions Killer Minus 1 (the hole above).
In a more familiar family battle, Freestyle World Champion, Dane Jackson bested his father EJ to finish 5th overall.
In the women’s division, which saw its largest turn-out ever, it was all France’s Newman again, winning for the second year in a row with a total time of 2:06.04 after two runs, New Zealand’s Toni George took second and the Netherlands’ Martina Wegman third.
“I only did small mistakes, so I had a good day,” Newman told reporters afterward. “I’m not racing against people, I’m just trying to race against myself and get in that mode were I’m in the perfect flow with the river.”
1. J. MORLEY
2. M. DAWSON
3. J. SUTTON
4. G. SERRASOLSES
5. D. JACKSON
6. F. DORFLER
7. T. SCHMITT
8. S. SUTTON
9. D. BAIN
10. J. KOWALSKI
Full results and rundown: www.adidas-sickline.com/en