Over the weekend we escaped the hustle and bustle of Prague and drove over to the picturesque mountains close to the border of Austria and Germany. After a three hours drive over a windy road we found ourselves in Lipno, the race-site for the annual Devil’s Extreme Race. The river flows only once a year for a couple days. This results in an accumulation of the best boaters and biggest beaters, congregating at one river for one reason. To party, paddle and experience the best whitewater Czech has to offer.
Photo – Ciaran Heurteau
In the early morning the dam releases the water and fills up two lakes, before it tumbles down the steeper race section. The time-trial on Saturday morning seats you up for the head-to-head race later on the day. It’s a knock-out system where the fastest paddler of the qualification races the slowest. The time trial is a four minute afford on the mellower class III section of the river.
Photos – David Vory Sodomka
I race the speedy new Dagger Phantom, resulted in being one minute a head of the other chicks in the race. This gave me the advantage to choose the start position at the class V head-to-head race.
The men’s where off first and we could check out the new race lines, as the finish and therefore the lines, had changed from previous years.
Photos – Nick Pearce
The first round cut the field in half and every round the race gets harder and harder, more exciting and tighter! At the end of the day Mike managed to stay in front in every heat, winning his title for the 4rd time in a row. Michal Buchtel ended up in second and Sam Sutton won the battle from Victor Legat over 3rd place.
Photo – Nick Pearce
Photo – David Vory Sodomka
In the chicks I was racing the finals against Czech paddler Tereza Svobodová and Kaca Baresova (CZE) and Zuzana Balejova battled over the bronze medal.
Photo – Nick Pearce
K1M 1st Mike Dawson (NZL) 2nd Michal Buchtel (CZE) 3rd Sam Sutton (NZL)
With her father running a kayak school and an older brother and sister already hooked on paddling, Martina had pretty much no choice than to become a kayaker. She grew up in the small seaside village of Schoorl, just to the north of Amsterdam, spending her teenage summers working as a kayak instructor for her father or following the European freestyle circuit.