Surprise? Not! We all knew it was coming.
Jackson Kayak and Red Bull kayaker Dane Jackson showed he is still very much the world’s best, winning, finally, the one race that has eluded him: Austria’s Oetz Trophy race, formerly the adidas Sickline.
“I’ve made a couple finals during the Sickline race on this course, but I was never quite able to put a fast enough run down in finals to take the win,” he says. “I’m stoked to finally put down what I needed, and take the win here at the Oetz Trophy. I’m already fired up for next year!”
Jackson won the event in relatively high water just two-tenths of a second faster than second-place finisher Mario Leitner. In all, just three-tenths of a second separated the top three racers on the minute-long course. Jackson used it as further training in his quest to beat the heralded four-minute mark in the upcoming Green race in November.
At first, racers weren’t even sure there would be a race, the water was so low. But then, as elsewhere in Europe in this whacky water year, the rains came. And came. And came. Almost swelling it too high.
“After enough people talked about how low the river was getting, Mother Nature decided to deliver more than enough flow,” Jackson says. “The river went from around 180cms to around 270cms overnight, a bit more than you want on the main Wellerbrucke. Though by the morning the level had dropped down to around 230-240cms — which is more than I’ve seen in this area but much closer to the realm of what you want for these sections.
“So, I decided to head up for at least a scout, which turned into a rowdy lap of the race course, then followed it up with a joy lap on the middle Oetz, which I hadn’t done in almost 10 years. Another joyous day out here in Austria!”
Men’s Results: 1st – Dane Jackson, 2nd – Mario Leitner, 3rd – Michele Ramazza
Women’s Results: 1st – Laura Hofberger, 2nd – Maike Most, 3rd – Martina Wegmann
Full Results: https://oetz-trophy.com/results/?lang=en
“It’s definitely not low water anymore..” | High Water Wellerbrucke / Middle Oetz
Photos courtesy Damiano Benedetto/Katja Jemec