SRF 2022 – RoundUp

SRF 2022 – RoundUp

Our return from a soft two years of a low key event, meant that this year’s Sjoa River Festival was always going to be one to remember. From the controversial finish on the Sjoa Raft Race, the French domination of the kayak competitions, the stellar Sjoa Juniors Foam BoaterX, the all new Friends Float…..there were so many highlights to enjoy, and of course paddling trips with your mates too. We could not of asked for a more perfect swing back into normality, the weather tried to bring back the mixed summer’s of old, yet we were out enjoying the rivers.

Sjoa Raft Race

Bravado, cunning and forgetting the actual rules framed the Sjoa Raft Race. This year, the Raft companies of Heidal, took charge of running this popular race. All this meant there was a lot of friendly rivalry between all the raft guides making the start line and the opening straight a tempestuous affair. The tense pace kept up all the way to the finish line. To finish, teams needed to de-robe from their river wear and jump into the awaiting hot tubs at Sjoa Rafting. Unfortunately the first team to arrive, forgot these specific rules, and simply jumped into the hot water, the arrival of the second team remembered the rules, and gleefully took their dip and first place…..thankfully between the team from Sjoa Rafting and Heidal Rafting the prize was shared to soften their placings……

Strie Strømmer Åseng Team Race

The le Mons style mass start team race, makes for an energetic antics from the off at the start. Sadly Julian Turin took the wrong spray deck, meaning that within 100m from the start, his boat was swamped and this team incomplete. Local raft guides come supreme paddlers, Sasha, Rob & Robert chased the remnants of the French team down to take first place, with Matěj Koudelka and Kevin Robben taking second place, plus Beth Morgan, Eveliina Kallioniemi & Mia Derdau finishing third overall and the first mixed/ladies team.

Gene17 Ula Slides Race on the Washing Machine

With another year of low water on the Rondane Mountain plateau, we again moved the Ula Slides race to the Åmot Canyon, with the return of the Washing Machine slalom. This year’s course was set just before the race to ensure all had a fair chance of finding their lines through this challenging course. In the first round, only a handful managed the complete course without any penalties. Surfing the Washing Machine wave proved the undoing of many, as the left to right move into a small right eddy was tricky to master.  Still Jonas le Morvan managed two clean runs, with the second run improving on his first to sweep the win. Marlene Devillez fresh from her Freestyle World Championship third place success, gave us masterclass of her paddling, to clean the slalom track and win with style.

Full Results

Friendship Float

With a change around with the programme in 2023, we wanted to offer a mass participation event for all. So Ine’s idea of a Friendship Float on Friday event was born. Often paddlers whom can only come to the festival for the weekend, now had a chance to get fully involved as soon as they arrive. A stream of happy paddlers, with enjoying post-pandemic reunions, sharing a fun paddle down the Sjoa Normal section is now a new headlight of the Sjoa River Festival. We’ll do the same again in 2023.

Sjoa Juniors

Rob Wilson offered up another highly popular and extremely successful Sjoa Juniors programme. This year the busy on the water fun was matched with evenings of engineering foamie boaters for the most serious BoaterX competition…….

Åmot BoaterX

All the fun starts to come to a head with the BoaterX on Saturday evening. The Gene17 Ula Slides Race on the Washing Machine serves as the time trail for the BoaterX seeding. The last two rapids of Åmot Canyon provides an excellent BoaterX race course, where differing lines offer risky chances to get ahead, often paddlers overtake due to another’s forced error or simply getting a better line. The trills and spills of BoaterX means few paddlers leading into the first rapid arrive at the finish line in premier spot. And this year’s Åmot Canyon proved no different, with lots of sweeping from a lowly position to break through into the next round Eda Skalicy proved adapt at such a class move, where by others got in each others way, and Eda swept through. Still the clam customer Jonas Le Morvan winner of the Washing Machine slalom, proved to have the winning touch, getting ahead at the start, and keeping ahead of the traffic to win.  In the ladies, Marlene Devillez showed steeled nerves, staying focused all the way to finish line, with Beth Morgan chasing her down all the way, without forcing an error from Marlene.  Full Results

Palm Throwbag Olympics

After dinner and before the Saturday night party, we manage to squeeze in some light relief in the form of the throwbag Olympics. This year proved no different as paddlers showed up throwbags in hand ready to go. Chaos reigns, some people quickly realise their throwing skills need urgent practise, and others skilful aim keeps them in the running to be the champ. This year saw many of the Sjoa Juniors trying their luck…..

Sjoa River Festival was another edition of a great event, we all went away with good memories and enjoying paddling with our friends new and old. We’ll be back again in 2023, 11/16 July is our next event…….one last thing, we were lucky to have an evening with the Naturvernforbundet – The Norwegian Society for the Conservation of Nature. This is a new feature to the festival, as we look to engage our community on river matters.

Comments are closed.