River Moldau (Vltava) is the longest river in the Czech Republic and so is mostly dammed, but on its top part right under the Lipno dam is an amazing stretch of Class 4-5 whitewater called the Devils Streams. Most of the year this amazing part of the river is dry and has enough water to wash your hands. The last weekend of August, it’s all different story, boaters all over the Czech end Central Europe come under the Lipno dam to enjoy the annual release of warm water.
Devils streams were also a site of the 4th annual Devil’s extreme race. This year we have seen many competitors from and also other countries than Czech Republic. Friday was reserved for training, registrations and also catching up with old friends over a jug of great czech beer.
There was a ZET kayaks stand ready for the whole weekend for anyone wishing to test the new Raptor for free. Most of the Raptors were on the water the whole weekend and sometimes there was even a line to demo this kayak. Raptor is surely turning heads.
The competition started on Saturday with individual slaloms. Spectacular ramp and quite a big hole at the gates 3 and 4 did not leave the crowd quiet and everyone got cheered at. Combination in the gates 3 and 4 also shook with the expected results as some of the favorite paddlers did not make it and ended low on the time sheet.
The slalom was followed by a sprint. Sprint was started also from the ramp, but went on through some of the greater rapids downstream, as well as the famous “window dam” chute. After the race most of the competitors enjoyed the rest of the river running through rapids like Bloody fingers or Stairs and experiencing easy shuttle option by the local train. Simple and easy. After the water was switched off, we all met in the camping ground to celebrate and party hard.
The most expected boater cross took a place on Sunday with the first half of the competitors going into the battle. After a few rounds Viktor Legat took the first place, closely followed by Palo Andrassy, both on their Raptors showing off the speed of the Raptor design.
After we all regrouped and got ready, the competitors lined up for the great team race, paddling the Devil’s streams top to bottom through all the rapids including the infamous Bloody fingers rapid which had seen a lot of carnage, broken paddles and peeled off skin. The winning team was of Honza Lasko, Palo Andrassy and Tomo Andrassy, all on ZET Raptors, closely followed by team of Viktor Legat (ZET), Honza Kolar and Jakub Sedivy (ZET).
After the race, there was a prize ceremony at the campground and with promises about the next event most of the competitors got on their way home.
It was great to see so many Raptors at once on the river. Not only amongst the competitors, but also amongst many of those who just went to paddle and enjoy this festival of great whitewater in Czech. Nice to see the Raptor going so strong and fast…