Saturday, 26 September 2009

1st Munich International Kayak-Freestyle Championchips

The day after the canoe trade show in Nuernberg the first int. Munich kayak-freestyle championships were held in Munich at the Flosslaende, a small artificial canal in Munich which has two small holes for just two weeks every year when there is a slalom competition as well.
The organizers were expecting around 30 participants for the premiere and were quite surprised when over 50 competitors showed up. As many things were improvised (no PC was used, just a original calculator) the awesome atmosphere was guaranteed by the many volunteers who helped the organizers (Maria being injured and not able to paddle had her first job at a comp as a scribe and liked it). All in all it was a spirit like in old times when the comps were still called Rodeo. I.e. food and drinks were spread under the participants and a fun-race was held for everyone, in which the prizes (Paddles, Kober Paddle-bags, Teva-Shoes etc.) were given to the paddlers, guaranteeing that not just the sponsored paddlers take something home. So I really hope the comp will be held again next year and they will preserve the perfect atmosphere of the event! The comp was held in a session format (2 minutes per paddler --> normally 10 min. heats with 5 paddlers) which was well perceived by all participants and spectators as pauses were held to a minimum.
In summary I was really happy to have made the final of the best 5 (final result K1 Men: 1. Seppi Strohmeier, 2. Martin Koll, 3. Val Grollemund, 4. Olli Grau, 5. Me). But my McNastys and Phoenix-Monkeys were just too inconsistent or rather the landing was too often not straight enough so I couldn´t compete with the points of Seppi or Martin. But well considering that I just had 3 hole-sessions this year I`m really content with my paddling and might reconsider my aspiration for the qualifications for the next worlds in Plattling ;-)
Below some pics and check out the official website of the event for the full results:

Going for the Fisherking entry move

Super Cleaning it

Here a nice Loop-Sequence:

Going deep for the Loop 1

Loop 2

Loop 3

Loop 4

Loop 5

Phoenix-Monkey Initiation

Phoenix-Monkey Second Step

Going for the Space Godzilla

Fun Race

Fun Race

One of the organizers Julian Mihé going for the loop

Julian Mihé doing his speaker job

The fun race started with a mass start on the shore and as I saw Olli Grau taking off wihtout closing his spraydeck I thought, shit I´ll have to do the same and hurry to get one of the limited plastic ducks which functioned as the ticket to the prizes. Well it worked out to the extent that I got one of the first ducks in a eddy downstream but after a few other racers torpedoed my boat it started to sink ;-)

Throwing the duck into the crowds

Finally another Fisherking entry move as exit move for this blogpost

All pics by Andy Klotz, Christian Handtke, Maria Stelzig & Manuela Stockinger

cu on the river!

Friday, 4 September 2009

Uganda Episode II

Episode II is just a pure kayak freestyle-porn clip!
Do you spot the move I worked on? To give you a hint, it starts with clean and ends with air blunt ;-)
Nile Special, looking forward to see you again.
Check it out:

cu on the river!

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Lipno WhiteWater-Festival 2009 & Uganda Episode I

After many years of waiting and an endless count of legendary stories people told me, I finally made it to Lipno this year. For everybody who does not know what I´m talking about, once every year the dam on the river Moldau near Lipno (Czech republic) is opened for two days for a whitewater festifval. There are a slalom-, downriver- and raft-race. Since a few years there is as well the Devils Extreme Race which is comprised of a Extreme Slalom, Boater Cross and Team-Race. And what can I say, everything I heard in advance was true. First of all there are huge amounts of paddlers and rafters on and besides the river. Competitors but many recreational folks as well.
We left Munich on Friday night after work and after 3,5 h of driving arrived in VisyBrod which is the take out village and has one camp site, where we met 3 other fellow paddlers (Sebastian Striebl, Klausi Süssmuth and Simon Seeberger) for a good night beer at the happening pre-competition-party. The next morning the group was finalised by Jan Haluzka and Lars Hilleke. After a nice breakfast at a hotel (the prices are really cheap compared to Germany, therefore eating out is a really good alternative to the common kayak outdoor cuisine) we left for our first run. Originally I wanted to take part at the Devils Extreme Race ( but as all other friends opted for the relax-version of the weekend I gave in and concentrated on trying to make Marias first whitewater river run a memorable event. A really good premise for that is the temperature of the water of the river. It is really warm as it has had time to warm up in the dam-lake. I almost felt like in Uganda ;-) The river is really nice, nothing too difficult and every hard rapid can be easily portaged. The hardes rapid being "die blutige Hand" (bloody hand) and I really have never seen so many bloody hands during one day. Well on the first day I managed unharmed twice through the rapid but on Sunday I omitted the bloody hand as I wanted to secure an unharmed hand. Sometimes it is better to take no chances. In the evening after a long and extensive dinner (make sure to eat the Palatschinken with ice cream for dessert!) there was the big party of the Devils Extreme Race with a sweet live concert of a Czech Ska-Band. Rock`n Roll baby! On Sunday you can follow the same procedure as the day before if your head is up for it ;-)
Check out some pics of the weekend below:

Jan preparing the boat for Lars

Last small boof on one of the main cataracts

Eddying out after the boof and you can see the river banks are always lined with paddlers the whole river

Bus-Crew on the way to the second run

Hang loose! Happy days!

fighting dehydrogenation before the Devils Extreme Race Party (at the party half a litre beer cost around 1,-€!)

Cu there next year!

As we´ve just booked the flight to Uganda for this winter again I thought it would be time to cut the footage from last year ;-)
Here the first Episode: