The land of Arabela and Devil’s extreme race

Camp site selfie
Camp site selfie


It is long time ago when i was first invited to this place by Slovenian kayaking legend Skubin saying that this is the best kayaking festival in the world, going on beside this river, where the dam is released just once per year. And then this normally quiet little stream becomes a super fun class 3-4 brown pee. This weekend all Czech people even the ones who live outside Czech borders gather for this special occasion for lots of paddling and beer…

Peki doing the boogie dance

A group of 3 Idiots form Soča Valley, Saša Kovačič with his always right attitude, whining Miha Brišar and me, were about to visit to this Arabelas country and attend Devils extreme race, so beautiful and so czech.  4 hours before departure we still didn’t know who is driving, not to mention we didn’t know where is this Arabela. After all, bigger problem for me and Miha was Sašas decision of driving. But of course it was never his fault, fortunately.  Finally we arrived to czech paradise early enough to miss the water, the dam was already closed for the night, so the only option for us was czech beer.  A good preparation for the competition we planned to attend the next day.

No explanation needed

On the competition day we woke up quite early not knowing why, maybe because of too much beer the night before or because of anxiety before the race. We planned to do one warm up lap on the brown river before the race but because of race organization we didn’t have enough time. So we were about to race with no training and not knowing the river. Anyway, mental preparation was peki’s driving on the way to cezch republic, physical preparation we didn’t need, there is a lot of people who apparently train almost every day to win the race.

Breefing for qualifications

Waiting for our race, a little dog took care of some entertainment. This little Duracell battery powered terrier was barking and running around every competitor and once hit the wires of the time control so it switched everything off. That was a disaster for the organizers not knowing what to do next. Their first step of solving the problem was rough elimination of the terrier then the race continued.

Fabian scouting the rapids

Eventually we were about to start the qualifying run, as I said this was the first run for us on this trip and a first run for me ever. Not knowing where the river is taking me I was confidently paddling down the river and confidently missed the finish banner. It was around the corner on the rock and very hard to spot it if you are in competition fever. I was super angry for that but anger didn’t last long, because of the terrier there was no time measured at all, for no one and also not for me.

Yes, turn on the camera

I am not going to talk about what happened with the competition next because it would be unfair. However, our names are not Sam Satan, Mike Down Sun or something similar, so there was no equation on mother earth to put us in the finals.

Pekis boogie dance again

All day we missed waiting for the competition. So in the late afternoon we decided to boycott all the following competitions and start the real Lipno adventure. This was the time when we realized what master Skubin was talking about. It is free paddling down the Vltava river all day looking czech people’s carnages and making a traditional shuttle in a train. That is just ridiculous. 100 kayakers tried to get on a small train. This time there is no rules like 397 years ago, everyone wants to get on the train with all of their gadgets. Kayaks and people were lying everywhere. The passengers  who were already on the train were just curiously observing all the strange people fighting for the place in in too small universe. No offence but it looks pretty much like in some eastern European cities right now.

While kayaks occupy the seats, we have to stand
upper deck of the train




Last station at the upper dam…ready to paddle

It was really a proper czech holiday, lots of beer, kayaking and partying, the best kayaking weekend with the boys you could imagine. There was also some success in the competition, when Matic Trčelj came second in Dam to dam race and our Saša with Fabio and some other guy who came 2nd in Team race. Great success that weekend was. We will see Lipno next year for sure, jee jee, definitely.

Have a great day!


Foto: Garmin VirbXE

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