After a busy spring in Italy I just had time to repack and throw some warm clothes into my bag before I was back on the road north to Norway for the summer. The longest days of the year mark the time for the Ekstremesport Veko in Voss, this year set for the last week in June. Every year it attracts a huge crowd of extreme sport athletes from all over the world, and kayaking is a big part of the Veko. Levels were good this year and all throughout the week cars filled with kayakers could be seen zipping up and down the valleys searching for rivers to run. Most of the runs were in and the weather was great.
Thursday bought with it the more and more popular Brandseth Extreme race, one of the best race courses I know. Steep, technical and thanks to Veko also very popular with both athletes and spectators. The starting field was filled with top notch kayakers from all over the world and so the competition was fierce. The technicality of the Branseth means that even small mistakes made big difference. In the end Sam Sutton won the race, followed by Evan Garcia and Jamie Sutton
On Friday we met on the Myrkdalen carpark for the first ever (still unofficial) Myrkdal team race. We had six teams of two and reasonably high flows in the river. This race has been a dream of the local boys (Mark Basso and Ben Hjort) in Voss for many years and for the first time this year they managed to pull it off. The Myrkdal is one of the harder classic runs around Voss and one of the best anywhere.
We paddled as a group past the waterfall portage and afterwards raced through the rest of the class 5 section in the teams of two all the way through the Holy Diver rapid to the lower bridge. Again the Suttons showed their dominance, followed in second place by Brendon Bayly and myself. It was a great race and many of us hope it will become a part of the Veko programme in the next few years.
Pictures: Lucie Sediva