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Showing posts from January, 2013

WWGP Stage 5: Futaleufu Marathon

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The Marathon
The official video: WWGP Stage 5: Whitewater Marathon

The marathon was the final race of the Grand Prix. It was a mass start race held on the Futalafu river on a longer run that included the section we raced for stage 4.

This was my personal favorite race of the event. I think that it was a favorite of a lot of racers. This race was held on the Bridge to Bridge section plus two big rapids below: Mas o Menos and Casa de Piedras, and was very very physically challenging. The race was 25ish minutes of paddling hard through nonstop big water. The water level was very high. If you swam it would not be good because you'd be swimming for a while before you could get yourself to shore. The women set safety along the run for the men and then the men set safety for the women. What was neat about this event was that it was a mass start and that you knew who you had to beat to change your overall standings. To keep my fifth place spot I had to beat Louise Jull and Nicol…

WWGP stage 4: Futaleufu Boatercross

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My best finish for the event was one of the heats of the Boatercross and my overall favorite race was the Futaleufu Marathon. After finishing up in the Pucon area with the Rio Nevados Sprint (Also see posts about the Gol Gol Enduro and the Puesco Boulder Dash), the Grand Prix switched locations and spent a few days transporting to the Futaleufu, in the Patagonia region of Southern Chile. This was a minor logistic feat (thanks Emily!). We spent many hours in the car on bumpy roads and chilling out on a few ferries. Leif spent his time on the ferry taking nice photos.







As you can see from these photos, after the beautiful one day of sunshine for the Rio Nevados race, the weather again turned south. For the entire time we were at the Futa, it rained incessantly. During our time at the Futa we stayed at the Bio Bio rafting camp which had hot showers and a wood fired hot tub (although we didn't get this working until the last couple of nights), which helped to alleviate the cold.…

WWGP Stage 3: Rio Nevados Sprint

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The Rio Nevados was Leif's favorite run from Chile and the easiest race of the Grand Prix.

The idea of the Whitewater Grand Prix Chile is that it is an event that selects the best all around class V+ paddler. To do this, the athletes race down different types of courses with each course highlighting different skillsets. The paddlers who do the best perform well at all the races. So far we'd raced a pool drop run with big drops (see WWGP Stage1: Gol Gol Enduro), and a nonstop tight technical and steep boulder garden sprint (see WWGP Stage 2: Puesco Boulder Dash). If you were following the Grand Prix from the beginning you would know that Stage 3 was supposed to be a Slalom Event on the Mariman rapid on the Rio Trancura. This was one event that I was really looking forward to as a challenge. A giant slalom race (zig zagging through a short section of whitewater making it through preset gates) tests a whole different set of skills than racing down as fast as you can. Unfortuna…

WWGP Stage 2: Puesco Boulder Dash

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I felt that this was, by far, the riskiest race that we ran.

Stage 2 was originally going to occur on the Upper Rio Fuy.  A classic waterfall section with very photogenic drops.  It was to be a short sprint down four stacked mid-sized waterfalls.  However,  due to the presence of didymo (an invasive algae) in the river, the officials from that region decided that it would be best not to have the competition at that location for fear that our boats and gear would spread the algae to other Chilean rivers.  Didymo is a huge ecologic concern around the world including creeks and rivers in Europe, New Zealand, Chile the United States and Canada.  Didymo proliferates in low nutrient clear mountain streams, forming slimy mats that smothers fish eggs and severely effecting the ecosystem of the stream (Science Daily).  Didymo is native to northern regions of Europe, Asia and parts of North America  Its spread to Chilean Rivers in the Los Lagos Region (where most kayakers go) can most likely be…

WWGP Stage 1: Gol Gol Enduro

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The Gol Gol was my favorite run from the Whitewater Grand Prix.

Leif and I arrived in Chile to warm weather, clear skies, and low water. As the competitors started to arrive, spirits were up and I started to gear up mentally for two weeks of intense paddling. I had never been to Chile and I had no idea what to expect with the races, other than they would be challenging. I was a little apprehensive about racing some of the toughest races I've ever raced, right off the couch. Most the other ladies had already been in Chile for a couple of weeks! I had spent the last six weeks working every day on my research and school work so that I could skip out on three weeks of classes and finals (along the the 6 weeks I already missed in due to field work), and trying to stay somewhat in shape by swimming about four times a week. I was really glad to find out that we would get, not one, but two days of practice on what everyone was saying was the most challenging race run on the schedul…

Back From the Grand Prix

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Well, Leif and I finally made it home from Chile.  If any of you were wondering where all of our coverage of the Grand Prix is, I can assure you, it is coming!  Leif and I did not take a computer with us on our trip and so we are just starting to wade through the pictures and footage.  So stay tuned, we are going to be coming out with a series of articles in the next two weeks about each race to give you a blow by blow of the event and the trip; our perspective of the moods, emotions, and how the event went.  We felt that this aspect was missing in the official coverage (and see their facebook page) and are excited to provide it to you.

The official videos are pretty short, but I believe that more material will be released in the coming month, so keep checking.  For example, I know that there will be a badass women's edit just featuring the seven ladies!

I would like to thank everyone who supported our trip to Chile: Fluid, Stohlquist, Season 5, Steve Robinson, John Kramer, Nathan…