1st ever Indian Extreme Race, The Ganga Kayak Festival 2013
The Ganga Kayak Festival (GKF) had always been a dream of Bhupendra (Bhupi) Singh Rana’s and this year it finally became a reality! Bhupi and a group of young professional kayakers/raft guides from the Rishikesh area in Uttarakhand, India planned this event. The purpose of the Ganga Kayak Festival was to provide a platform for Indian kayakers to showcase their skills on a competitive level for the first time in India. There are many impressive kayakers in the country but, these athletes have never had the opportunity to display their athleticism – the hope of GKF was to bring more awareness to the sport and its dedicated athletes.
The event took place on the 20th of February 2013; there were 40 plus kayakers who competed (2 of which were women). The competition comprised of 3 different races taking place on the Golf Course rapid on the river Ganges in Uttarakhand, India. The events were: Sprint and Boater Cross for Indians only and Mass Boater Cross for all. The entire course was about 300 meters long and is a grade 4 rapid. There was an obstacle in the middle of the rapid that each athlete needed to touch during the Sprint and Boater Cross event. The athletes were judged on who completed the race the fastest.
The athletes all battled hard and really put their hearts into their races. The results are as follows:
Sprint: 1st: Sanjay Rana 1:21.90 – 2nd: Ayodhya Prassad 1:22.12 – 3rd: Sohan Rana 1:28.41
Boater Cross: 1st: Dinesh Prasad – 2nd : Sanjay Rana – 3rd: Kan Singh Chauhan
Mass Boater cross: 1st: Rishi Rana – 2nd: Anil Bhandari – 3rd: Nick Pearce
Over All Champion: Sanjay Rana
The participants and winners all did amazing and definitely brought exposure to themselves and the world of kayaking. The winners received equipment prizes such as Dry tops, PFD’s, kayaking gear, etc. The Overall Champion and Boater Cross winner received a spot in the 2013 Himalayan Whitewater Challenge in Nepal to represent the Ganga Kayak Festival and India.
Kayaking is a huge sport with so much potential in India. Some of the best rivers in the world are right here in our own backyards – we just need to start taking better advantage of them. Kayaking can grow on so many levels with the right people paving the way. This being said; we are already planning an epic 2014 Ganga Kayak Festival! Our hope is to grow this event each year while bringing exposure to India and it’s kayakers but, also growing internationally with kayakers from around the world.
A special thanks is owed to the Ganga Kayak Festival’s team that made this event a reality – Bhupendra Singh, Trina Paturas, Bhuwan Bisht, Gappu Rawat, Vikash Bhandari, Bheem Chauhan, and all of our sponsors, athletes and supporters