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Feb 01, 2017

A Ten on Ten! The Grand Finale of Paragliding World Cup Superfinal 2016

In a first of its kind, the athletes completed all ten tasks at the Paragliding World Cup Superfinal 2016 in Governador Valadares, Brazil.

WRITTEN BY

The Outdoor Journal

Aaron Durogati and Seiko Fukuoka took away the winning trophy.

“For the first time ever,” boomed Goran Dimikovski’s voice to a cheery crowd, “we have finished all ten tasks in a superfinal. This means the weather was perfect and the conditions were excellent.”

The 2016 Paragliding World Cup (PWC) Superfinal defined the end of the 2016 World Cup Tour to decide the overall champions of the year. It took place between 17th and 28th January, amidst the rolling hills of Governador Valadares, also the largest flying site in the world. The event witnessed perfect conditions to complete all ten tasks, a first for a paragliding superfinal. The tasks ranged 79.2km to 112.4km in distance.

Goran Dimikovski, President of the Paragliding World Cup Association, announced the results to an enthusiastic crowd. Italy’s Aaron Durogati and France’s Seiko Fukuoka took away the winning trophies in men and women categories respectively. For Aaron, a Gin Glider athlete who has also been selected for the Red Bull X-alps, this was his second win after taking the title in 2013.

The 2017 season will start on 20th May, with the first round in Coeur de Savoie, France.

RESULTS

Overall
1. Aaron Durogati (IT), Gin Boomerang 11, 7,263
2. Adrian Hachen (CH), Gin Boomerang 11, 7,216
3. Charles Cazaux (FR), Ozone Zeno, 7,115

Women
1. Seiko Fukuoka (FR), Ozone Zeno, 6,723
2. Nicole Fedele (IT), Ozone Zeno, 6,696
3. Laurie Genovese (FR), Ozone Zeno, 6,528

Countries
1. France
2. Switzerland
3. Italy

Teams
1. Gin Gliders Inc.
2. Air’G Products
3. OZONE Paragliders

For more on the Superfinal, check out PWCA’s Facebook page.

Feature Image: Flyers on the final task day. © Philippe Broers/PWCA

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Events

Jul 10, 2018

The 2018 Whitewater Awards: Nouria Newman and Benny Marr take the spoils.

The Whitewater Awards is a gathering of the world’s best kayakers to show off the biggest and best things that have happened in the sport over the past year.

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WRITTEN BY

Brooke Hess

 To be considered for an award, athletes, photographers, and filmmakers submit media taken over the past year that they believe showcases the best progression in the sport.  

There are sixteen different categories for submission, including separate male and female categories within the “Best of” kayaking categories. Categories include Photographer of the Year, Film of the Year, Expedition of the Year, Best Trick, Best Line, River Stewardship, Grom of the Year, Rider of the Year, along with several others.  Awards are decided upon by a voting process done by the Association of Whitewater Professionals.

This year’s Whitewater Awards was held in the Egyptian Theater in downtown Boise, Idaho. It was hosted on June 14th, the same weekend as the North Fork Championships, which takes place on the North Fork of the Payette River just outside of Boise.  The North Fork Championship is regarded as one of the hardest kayaking races in the world.

The race takes place on Jacob’s Ladder rapid, which is a rapid so difficult and consequential that most kayakers feel accomplished simply by surviving the rapid, much less racing the rapid. Nouria Newman, a 3-time NFC racer and winner of this year’s Whitewater Awards Female Rider of the Year describes it well,

“The NFC is the hardest race in whitewater kayaking. [Jacob’s Ladder] is a scary, consequential rapid. Running it is challenging, and it only gets harder to race it and make the gates.”

In order to minimize the risk involved in the race, event organizers have developed a strict qualification process for racers. 30 racers will qualify to race Jacob’s Ladder. Ten of them are pre-qualified from placing top ten at the event the year before. Those ten then read numerous athlete applications and vote on the next ten racers who will join them.  The last ten racers are decided through a qualification race on S-Turn rapid, another one of the North Fork’s infamous class V rapids.

Every year on this same weekend in June, kayakers, photographers, and filmmakers from around the world flock to Idaho to celebrate quality whitewater, progression of the sport, and the community that surrounds it. Both the North Fork Championship and the Whitewater Awards had great turnouts of athletes and spectators this year.

John Webster

The finalists of each category in the Whitewater Awards were presented in film format at the Egyptian Theater for the entire audience to view, with the winner being announced live. Winners were presented with an award and expected to give a short speech at the event. The big winners of the night were Nouria Newman and Benny Marr, who were awarded with Line of the Year and Rider of the Year in the female and male categories. Nouria says that voting for the “best” in each category is a challenging process, “…voting is always tricky, (look at both French and U.S. presidents, not too sure if they are really the best available option). And it is also very hard to compare lines and rapids. What’s bigger? What’s harder? I got voted Best Line of the Year with a good line down Parque Jurassic, a long technical rapid, but Rata’s line down Graceland, which is a huge slide, was equally as good, if not better.”

No matter how tricky the voting process can be, Nouria agrees that the Whitewater Awards plays a large role in the progression of the sport, “I think it’s super cool to see what people can do in their kayak, how they push the limit of the sport and how they open new possibilities.”

For more information about the Whitewater Awards, you can visit whitewaterawards.com, you can also follow them on Facebook and on Instagram.

You can follow Nouria on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

You can follow Benny on Facebook and Instagram.

Cover photo courtesy of Ari Walker

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