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 (www.devilsextremerace.com) 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:

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