The Sjoa River Festival is an annual event hosted by Gene17 and Strie Strommer. This is a super fun event with awesome races as well as loads of other entertaining activities. The festival kicks off with a mass start raft race down the Sjoa play run followed by the infamous Pimps 'n Hoes party.
Norwegians train their children at a young age to love the rain
Kayakers hiding from the rain
The next day is the qualifier race which is a time trial through the 'Washing Machine' rapids on the Sjoa. High water levels on the Sjoa river made it a fun race through big waves and holes. Results below.
Women's time trial results
Men's time trial results
The time trial results decided starting positions for the Ula Extreme, a race down a cool section of slides on the Ula river. Race format is two races down the same section both counting towards your final placing. After the first round the kiwis were looking strong in both the mens (Sam in 1st, Jamie in 2nd, Willz in 3rd and Brendan in 10th place) an the women's (Me in 2nd and Lulu in 4th) unfortunately I took some marginal to poor lines in the second round landing me in 4th position but Lulu had a huge improvement on her time and ended up 2nd. Sam and Jamie took out 1st and 2nd in the mens shot boys.
Cheeky roll in between slides
Nick's concentration face
I just liked the pretty colours in this photo
Benji putting on some great facials
Dag with even better facials
Willz heading towards a strong finish
Jamie on the first drop
Sam 'daddy' Sutton earning some cash for his baby
Nini looking staunch in the fullface
Sanga sunbathing Norwegian style
Jamie and Willz hadn't had enough racing after the time trial so they did some head to head laps
After the Ula extreme we headed back to Sjoa kayak camp for the 'king/queen of the Sjoa race' fastest unsponsored boater wins a Pyrahna kayak of their choice. The race went as follows...
English people talk a lot
Step 1: throw your throwbag into the cockpit of one of these Pyranha kayaks. If you miss you go back to the start, if you get it in you retrieve your bag and proceed to the next step
If you miss your shot safety dog steals your bag
Riley lining it up
Step 2: Run to you kayak, get on the river, try to put on your spraydeck before you hit too many waves and race to the end bridge (photo by Mel Parminter)
The next activity was the Palm Throwbag Olympics. This fun event had an obstacle course of targets which you had to hit with your bag, the first person to hit all the targets, repack their bag and hand it to Simon was the winner of a brand new Palm PFD.
Palm Throwbag Olympics, serious business
Lulu won a free throwbag to replace her 'antique'
Tie!!! Luckily Strie Strommer was generous enough to give us both life jackets
The grand finale of the event is the Sweet Rumble BoaterX. Usually this event is held on the Amot section of the Sjoa River but due to rather high water levels the racecourse was moved to the Slalom section. Not quite as burly as the Amot but a great racecourse and awesome for spectators.
Nicole warming up for the Sweet Rumble
Fierce competition amongst the men
Willz trying to take Julian out
Jakub stomping the boof
Not so fierce competition amongst the women...
The Sweet Rumble Championship was fiercely contested with a first ever first equal in the men's between Sam Sutton and Pavel Andrassy. The women's final was a bit of a showdown with Sandra Hyslop from England taking an early lead but I managed to sneak past her taking a faster line through the hole to take out 1st place, Sandra in 2nd and Katya Stein from Germany in 3rd.
Shuttle vehicle, shot Pyrahna
Big chur to Simon Westgarth from Gene17 and everyone else involved in organising an awesome festival! I hope to be back next year.