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Events

Jul 05, 2016

Applications open for Red Bull X-Alps 2017

The application phase to compete in the world’s toughest adventure race is now open.

WRITTEN BY

Press Release

Red Bull X-Alps 2017 will be the eighth edition of the epic paratrekking race and starts on July 02, 2017. The race committee is inviting applications from adventure-proven men and women who are capable of journeying more than 1000km across rugged mountain terrain, by foot or by paraglider, nearly non-stop over a 10-day period. Applications are open from July 01 to August 31, 2016.

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An athlete flying near Zermatt, Switzerland during Red Bull X-Alps 2015. © zooom / Felix Wölk

Red Bull X-Alps is a race of endurance and strategy; endurance because when the weather doesn’t play ball for flying, athletes continue on foot, running or power-hiking, occasionally up to 100km a day; and strategy because knowing when to take off, when to land, what valleys have which winds and how to respond to them makes Red Bull X-Alps a thinking sport.
From the start gun to the finish, it’s also a race where anything can happen. In the 2015 edition, fans watched in amazement as rookie athlete Sebastian Huber and race rockstar Paul Guschlbauer tried to chase down reigning champion Christian Maurer. They ultimately came second and third to Maurer, but the millions of fans watching Live Tracking were on the edge of their seats for days.

Tom De Dorlodot (BEL) hiking on the Gaisberg near Salzburg during Red Bull X-Alps 2015. © zooom / Leo Rosas
Tom De Dorlodot (BEL) hiking on the Gaisberg near Salzburg during Red Bull X-Alps 2015. © zooom / Leo Rosas

“The level is extremely high and is getting higher in each edition of the race,” says race director Christoph Weber. “In this race if you make a little mistake the other athletes will quickly leave you behind. Anything can happen!”

Applications are open from July 1 to August 31, 2016.

Being selected to compete in the world’s toughest and most prestigious adventure race is an achievement in itself. The race committee selects athletes from around the world who have solid mountaineering and trekking experience, endurance fitness, mental strength and proven flying ability. Anyone who meets these criteria will be considered.

Redbull xalps

Think you’re up for the challenge? Go to Red Bull X-Alps to apply.

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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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