Tuesday 27th September

core rapid

Everything is ready here in Oetztal (Oetz Valley) for the free-ride world championship. People are training here since Friday 23rd. The water is quite high due to the recent show fell couple of weeks ago and to the high temperature. The sun is shining on the valley but the race course is pretty much in the shade all time. Looking the race course from the river bank is quite fun because you can see a lot of carnage from everyone. The holes are pretty big and they like to flip kayakers so much!

world championship kayak micheleThe race course is the same for three years but this time is going to be an even better race because the core rapid with this flow has three different lines and all quite hard to style. That means we will see people going for a slower but safer line on the river right, someone else will try the middle or the left lines witch are faster but more risky.

At the moment looks like the water is getting a little lower day after day and that could close some lines and make some others easier. I personally haven't decided yet what is going to be my race line but I hope to figure it out in the next few days. In the meantime, me and my girlfriend are enjoying the very nice weather and all the wonderful Austrian cakes.

Wednesday 28th September

The water in the river is getting a little lower and the lines begin to be clearer in the final race course. The first rapid after the seal-lunch is tricky but not very difficult. The important thing is to keep the boat straight and hit the little boof just before the flat water. Now there are 10 seconds of straight paddling before the core rapid. The core rapid has two holes very close and the fastest way to run them is a very difficult and fast double boof. After this passage there are 3 possible lines:

sickline coursesickline course 2

  • a safe one on the right but probably 2 seconds slower (black)
  • one in the center quite fast where you could get stuck in the hole above the undercut (red)
  • the fastest one on the left where you risk to go under a rock because the second hole of the double boof could push you under it (green)

Now there are still “the undercut” rapid and the last drop, a 3 m slide that can be boofed with a very strong stroke on the right. Hitting the last boof perfectly could take you to the finish line with few paddle strokes.

On Friday will take place the qualifications starting just after the double boof and finishing 300 m downstream through a class III rapid.

Friday 30th September

Today Michele got his place in the finals with the 13th time overall. Follow the race live tomorrow!

Qualifications results

Saturday start list of the head to head

Saturday 1st October

The race has been great! The level of the kayakers was very high this year.
Michele was really fast in the final until he lost his concentration for a second and that was enough to loose speed, control..and the podium!
But again he was close to have a great result and he will keep training hard for the next kayaking season!

Sickline 2011 party, Photo gallery

Saturday Superfinal results

Watch the race!

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