JK Team 22/09/2014 | Posted in 2013 Karma, Creeking, Internationalization, Spain, Whitewater
Sometimes it’s a good idea to have a break and forget the stress and pressure of the competitions for a few days.
After this World Cup series, both Quim and me needed a few rest days so we joined our kayaking club, the Salt-ter kayak club on it’s summer trip as instructors of the kayak school.
Besides competing in international events, we also focus on growing new paddlers, we have gained lots of experience on that during the years thanks to our mentor and friend Jacko Jackson.
So the plan this time was to do a freestyle camp in Millau on the first week of the trip and then move for another week on to the classic rivers of the French Alps; Guil, Gyr, Durance, Guisane…
The first week was a full on training for both us and the kids, it is amazing to see how fast they improve and I really think there are future stars between this group of paddlers. I would keep an eye on this catalan crew as they will be kicking ass soon. It’s hilarious because sometimes they are more into it than ourselves, Pol, the youngest of the crew could name you any boat and all the specs you needed; length, weight range, weight, volume… or even the top 3 of any world championship… it’s just so cool to see kids who are passionate by kayak, just as we are.
After celebrating in our traditional ways Quim’s birthday, (paella was mandatory) the whole group of nearly 40 people moved on to the Alps.
On our first day there we just did some floating around on la Durance and even saw some tremendous carnage by one of the youngsters of the school, he managed to stay in the famous Rabioux hole for like a minute, with his tinny shooting star and without the paddle, rolling with the hands again and again, shame that we don’t have this on video!
After that the sections became more and more difficult; Chateau de Queyras, Gyr, Ubaye, Guisane, Triple Chute… Quim even solo-ran a few uncrossable sections in la Gyronde river, the lower Gorge of the Ubaye with the local legend Raphael Thibaut or the hidden Chinchi, a tributary of la Biaysse, a pool and drop gem hidden far away from civilization and which has an epic put in right after la Dourmillouse Waterfall.
The highlight for the kids was the Triple chute and the Fournel waterfalls, they did at least 7 laps on that… and it had 7 drops… so they ended up running about 49 drops in one afternoon… pretty sick if you’re just 12-15…
Unluckily all vacations come to and end and it was time to refocus again, my brother and I need to head up to our next destination, Bratislava, where we will need to defend our European titles… stay tunned!
Núria Fontané I Masó