Valsesia River Festival 2013 Round Up


After a month of near perfect conditions in Valsesia for Gene17’s Steep Creeking Trips, more fresh snow and blue bird days greeted paddlers for the 2013 Valsesia River Festival in Campertogno. Now in it’s third year, attracting paddlers from all over Europe, the Valsesia River Festival has action, excitement and entertainment for everyone. On the morning of race day, we had time to enjoy the view and take a morning hit with fine cafe from our hosts il Gatto e la Volpe, before the hard charging began.

Steep Creeking clinics with Gene17 on the Egua

As paddlers settled in for the festival with fine conditions, some signed up to Gene17’s clinics. These are one day tune ups for steep creeking technique and take place on a local classic. Paddlers joined in from Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, the UK and Ireland with Gene17’s core staff Simon Westgarth & Jakub Sedivy being joined by Gene17 old boy Dave Carroll. These days were spent on the Egua and Lower Sermenza, where fine lines and cool times were certainly had. Day clinics are also part of Gene17’s programme at the upcoming Sjoa River Festival in Norway.

Pamina Sesia Alpin Sprint 2013

On Saturday, racers joined the fun from far and wide, plus a solid crew of Italians coming in for the weekend. This year the popular team event, a pre-requisite for the individual Alpin Sprint proved very popular, with more than 25 teams, having a blast down the Sesia Alpin Sprint. The race course is over 3 km of Class III/IV boulder garden whitewater, and is great fun for fiends to enjoy together. The faster teams left first, to ensure the race course was clear for the cruisers and fun finders. After a short break for lunch, the individuals set off, again the faster crowd went first, as this time trial was used for the ranking on the evening’s boaterX.

Team Pyranha charge hard at the end fo the Sesia Alpin Sprint

Italian supremo Michele Ramazza, led the charge for his team and in the individual race to claim top prize, team mate Thomas Waldner slotting into second on the individual run. We also had over half the field in the unsponsored class plus several mixed teams, making the race competitive or just fun for all.

    Sesia Alpin Sprint 2013 Team Race Sponsored

      1st Place – No Idea; Sam Sutton, Thomas Waldner & Michele Ramazza
      2nd Place – Kober Pirates; Thomas Funke, Markus Hummel & Joerg Hackinger
      3rd Place – Team Pyranha; David Bain, Andy Butler & Matt Cooke
    Sesia Alpin Sprint 2013 Team Race Unsponsored

      1st Place – Val Putes; David King, Tom King & Boris Labarriere
    Sesia Alpin Sprint 2013 Team Race Mixed

      1st Place – Drago Rossi – GZ Team; Pamina Vitta, Andrea Colombo & Macello Pamigiani
    Sesia Alpin Sprint 2013 Individual Race Mens

      1st Place – Michele Ramazza
      2nd Place – Thomas Waldner
      3rd Place – Joe Morley
    Sesia Alpin Sprint 2013 Individual Race Women

      1st Place – Jen Chrimes
      2nd Place – Pamina Vitta
      3rd Place – Lowri Davies

The Full 2013 Results

Off the BoaterX Ramp during the Sweet Rumble

As evening drew near, it was time for the Sweet Rumble, a boaterX event in Campertogno. Popular to watch and more popular to paddle, or perhaps better put too fight it out with your friends down through this tight boulder garden. The use of the large ramp made for a more balanced start, making each round a tough contest. Still a winner is always found, and again Michele blasted the path through the rapids to win the BoaterX. In the girls event, speed demon Jen Chrimes was pushed aside as Lowri Davies from Wales grabbed the top place in another exciting round of BoaterX.

Ladies on the Sweet Rumble 2013 in Valsesia

Crowds watching the Sweet Rumble in Campertogno

    Sweet Rumble 2013 BoaterX Mens

      1st Place – Michele Ramazza
      2nd Place – Joe Morley
      3rd Place – Sam Sutton
    Sweet Rumble 2013 BoaterX Womens

      1st Place – Lowri Davies
      2nd Place – Jen Chrimes
      3rd Place – Katja Stein

The Full 2013 Results

Setting up for the Palm Throwbag Olympics

Even after a day of racing on the Sesia Alpin Sprint and Sweet Rumble BoaterX. There was still space for the mass dash, Palm Throw bag Olympics, more comedy than skills for some and yet paddlers need these skills to save their friends. Popular as ever, Dave Carroll ring master and prize throwbagger himself, created an entertaining course and made those not racing laugh at the chaos with throwropes. Winners were found and a great times was had, although our camera died, (but Palm we have a video out soon of the madness). The atmosphere was set for another great party, Ies Fokiwa, the guitar man from Holland brought home the rock tunes for us all to dance into the small hours.

Another great event and good times on and off the river, so much so, we’ll do it all again in 2014, 21/25th May in Valsesia of course and at the il Gatto e la Volpe campsite.

Huge thank you’s go to our sponsors and supporters, il Gatto e la Volpe, for their great event BBQ on Thursday night, Pyranha Kayaks and Gravita Zero for the Sesia Alpin Sprint, Sweet Protection for the Sweet Rumble and Palm Equipment for the Palm Throwbag Olympics. Plus Kayak Session for their great support too.

VRF 2014

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