Mass start race For the first time I can ever remember the King of the Alps race, at its first edition, has experimented a new race format based on two races: a mass start marathon and a boaterX. The overall winners won the title of King and Queen of the Alps.

I honestly appreciate a lot this new event in Meran (north Italy) in the second week-end of June 2012. First of all the race format was something new and interesting: the long race was a mass start 25 minutes run down a class III – IV river with many possible lines. All participants were placed before a long artificial slide waiting for the signal to start.

Mass start

The first kilometer decided the head of the race but the result has been defined after the first half of the run. Michele Ramazza managed to overtake Daniel Klotzner (2nd place) 1 km before the finish line while Sam Sutton (3rd place) was right behind. This race has been physically quite stressful but very fun to do for all paddlers.

The other race has been a classic BoaterX in the middle of the gorgeous town of Meran with a very fair start ramp and a class IV rapid with multiples lines. Moreover, for a small registration fee of 30 euros, the organizers provided nice money prizes (500 euros for the winner), nice north-Italian food and a very nice party with a live band.

All the races took place on Saturday to allow everybody to run the wonderful class V gorge 30 minutes driving away of the event area or handle the hangover the day after.

Michele Ramazza became the King of the Alps 2012 with a first place in the marathon and a second place in the boaterX. Sam Sutton, the winner of the boaterX, took the second place with Daniel Klotzner in third place.

I think this event is going to grow up because everybody enjoyed the race format and the organization.