Otoño... Stikine+Sickline+Green race

Después de dos semanas remando el Stikine llegó la hora de volver para casa, casi después de un año para arriba y para abajo del continente Americano (México - Chile - México - Canadá - USA - Canadá). El Stikine ha sido uno de los mejores momentos de este viaje, haciendo 4 descensos de unos 100km y con más de 100 rápidos de agua grande en cada uno… sin duda uno de los mejores ríos del mundo rodeado de un paisaje espectacular, paredes verticales y por suerte buen tiempo y caudales estables y buenos amigos! Gracias Stikine!

About to drop into the Stikine with the Adidas Sick-Line Team! Good times!!!
After two weeks on the Stikine with the rest of the Sick-Line crew I finally flew home after almost a year of travels up and down the American continent. The Stikine is one of the best rivers I've ever paddled, almost 100km, 100 big water rapids, 3 to a few hours on the river, you choose, best scenery, amazing canyon, great friends and amazing times! Definitely hard to beat and this season up there was awesome with stable flows and amazingly nice weather! Thank you for the good times!

Going right at the Wall 2 for my first time!
Una semana por Sort y enseguida tocó ir para la Sick-Line en Austria, la carrera más difícil e importante del año. La sick-line es una carrera muy corta(de menos de un minuto) por lo que no puedes cometer ningún fallo, ya que sino los otros 150 participantes te pasan dejando fuera de las finales. hay mucho nivel y muchos palmistas rápidos, sobretodo palistas de slalom de toda Europa.

I spent a few days home and soon enough I headed north for the most important and harder race of the season, the Adidas Sick-Line in Oetz, Austria. On its 5th edition now the event is in my opinion one of the hardest without a doubt. There are a lot of paddlers (about 150) and a lot of really good paddlers from all over the place plus some of the best slalom teams in the world (germany, czech republic, slovenia, slovakia… the course is really short and explosive (under a minute) and if you do one mistake you loose a lot of time and there's no place to recover, the race is over.

This year I felt like I didn't have much time to prepare for it as i was on the Stikine, however being in the water for most of the year without any injury made quite a difference with my previous editions. I finally reached the super final again and after a not great final run I ended up 6th, just behind team mate Sam Sutton. Props to Egor for taking third! I was happy with the result and hope I can do better next year. 

Siguiente, la Green Race en Carolina del Norte, EUA. Primera vez para mi aunque es una de las carreras más famosas del mundo. Río muy técnico con muchas piedras y además con long boats, pero muy divertido.

Next was the Green Race in North Carolina, USA. The weekend prior to the race I attended the Russell Fork race in Kentucky, just a few hours out of Asheville. I paddled the river once and the raced it, was interesting to see how much I could remember and trying to go as fast as possible while deciding where to go at the same time, definitely an interesting experience! I ended up 5th after I got lost and dropped into an eddy/hole that flipped me… All good though, training for the Green race was on. 

La carrera no me fué nada bien y no conseguí remar cómodo el día de la carrera. Tanto en long como en short boat no estuve fino y fallé muchas lineas que me hicieron perder mucho tiempo. Al final 4º en ambas categorías. Sin duda habrá que volver el año que viene mejor preparado.

With dam releases being on certain days the locals have sue advantage on that river, I managed to learn the lines pretty quick but there are many tricks and little rocks that are hard to master. Race day came and unfortunately I didn't paddled my best, I had to roll once and lost a bunch of time in the slides. I then did short boat and that didn't work too well, it was hard to adapt and that was my second short boat run ever… I lost some time here and there and got stuck on the slides again… at the end I came 4th on both classes but some good seconds from the firsts spots. 

Anyway I'm happy I made it and got to discover the south east kayaking community over there and experience the Green race, famous for being one of the oldest racing events in kayaking history. I hope I'll be back next year for more and improve some lines down the Green. Congrats to Pat Keller for throwing down an amazing long boat run taking first place! See you next year!

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