The 2013 summer paddling season is in full swing, and as each weekend becomes more full of races, competitions, and festivals, we'll take a quick look back to recap the best of what happened. This past weekend:
The Ekstremsportveko in Voss, Norway is a weeklong outdoor and action-sports festival and the fourth stage of the AWP Whitewater World Series. The 15th annual event ended Sunday and hosts a few whitewater paddling events, include the event’s oldest whitewater race--the Brandseth downhill sprint. Though at a low-water level, the Brandseth remains a very technical and challenging Class V run. Canoe & Kayak Award nominee and Norway’s own Mariann Saether took first for the women, and New Zealand’s Sam Sutton won the men’s class.
The US made its presence known at the second Slalom World Cup this weekend in Augsburg, Germany. Six US paddlers ranked among the Top 20 through the first day--seven if you count Fabien Lefevre (Bethesda, Md.) the kayaker and Lefevre the canoeist. One week after winning Bronze in kayak, the two-time Olympic medalist for France ranks 17th in K-1 and 18th in C-1 through heats, advancing to Saturday’s semifinals in each.
Meanwhile, Dana Mann (Washington, D.C.) finished 14th in women’s K-1 in her first World Cup of the season and first as a member of Team USA. The Slovakia-born paddler turned in a semifinal run time of 118.17 seconds, which was +6.86 seconds behind the round’s first place finisher. She incurred one gate touch penalty, which was enough to knock her out of the Top 10 and a place in the Final.
In New England news, first race of the seventh annual Lozer Cup series kicked off Sunday on the Deerfield River in Northwestern Massachusetts. The event mixes old-school boats with wildwater rules on Class III-IV whitewater and produced a number of surprises on Sunday. Brett Mayer, new to the Northeast from Virginia, paddled his Perception Wavehopper to win the race in his first Lozer Cup race with a time of 18:24 minutes. New England local Jeff Belanger came at a painfully close second place with a time of 18:29.
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