First of all, after taking over from the mountain bikers, there is a sprint to and through the river Drava. Then is the first important hurdle – snapping on the kayak, closing the spray deck and leaping from a height of seven meters with the kayak into the river Drava. Often the equipment has failed to last this jump, marking the end of many teams’ competition. Having landed comfortably in the River Drava, a five kilometre-long whitewater regatta awaits with difficult upstream passages that push the sportsmen to their limits. In addition, the unusual length of the course – the kayakers are in action for over 30 minutes – is a particular challenge for the athletes. After completing the last few metres in the River Isel, the kayakers need to complete a sprint finish on the main square in Lienz with their equipment (the boat!). That is no easy task after the efforts in the water, and especially with cold feet.
ALPINE WILDWATER KAYAKING
Taking on the current to the end
Gates must be navigated in the correct direction with the whole head and one part of the boat. All gates in the Isel Waterfall must be navigated according to the rules, otherwise disqualification may result. All upstream zones need to be navigated from low to high (simply follow the numbers). Mistakes at gates, indicated by red signals and whistles from the referee, require the gate to be approached and passed again (carry the boat back and embark again). All upstream sections are navigable by paddling from one eddy to the next eddy. After three unsuccessful attempts to get from one eddy to the next, portage from the eddy is allowed, although only from one eddy to the next one. The spray skirts must be closed each time. Help from others of any kind is forbidden, and breaking this rule will result in disqualification! There are checkpoints!