Machu Picchu Kayak Fest 2017 Organizers Roundtable
We are proud at Kayak Session to be associated with the 2017 Machu Pichu Kayak Festival, that will take place from Nov. 3rd the Nov. 5th, on the Rio Vilcanota near Cusco in Peru. Leading up to the event, during the event and after off course, we will be publishing pre race update, live coverage and reports of all sorts (articles, videos, photos).
By: Diane Samardzich
The organizer’s team of the Machupicchu Kayak Fest, comprised of Niceto Yalan, Leonardo Gonzales, Diana Samardzich and Sandra De Ugarte is announcing the 2017 edition. The competition will take place in Cusco-Peru, between the 3rd and 5th of November. KS had a brief chat with them to get a heads up on the event.
KS: What is the motivation behind creating the Machu Picchu Kayak Fest?
Niceto: We started the festival because we really wanted to provide Latin American youth with a space to practice kayaking in a safe and fun environment. Asides relating with the international whitewater community, participants also get involved and understand the importance of river conservation in Peru. The Machu Picchu Kayak Fest is the only competition held next to one of the wonders of the world, which allows us to promote Peru as a destination for both kayaking and cultural tourism.
KS: Please tell us a bit more about the competition format. How will the event run?
Leonardo: The Machu Picchu Kayak Fest is a three-day competition on some of the best white water rapids in Peru. Participants of all levels will paddle the Vilcanota River on sections ranging from Class III to V. This year we are presenting downriver, slalom and SUP plus a boater cross race for experts only that will challenge kayakers to the best of their abilities.
KS: The Machu Picchu Kayak Fest turned out as big event in its first edition. For those who couldn’t assist, what should they expect?
Diana: Last year we had 60 competitors representing 13 different countries, among them a great crew of 10 female kayakers. The event gathered about 200 spectators that created an impact on the economy of Santa Teresa town. We also had the support of local authorities and over 20 sponsoring brands. We are really happy with the outcome of the first edition and motivated to present a better version of the festival this year.
KS: Sometimes a big limitation for white water competitions can be finding funding. How does the Machu Picchu Kayak Fest cover the financial elements of the event?
Sandra: Once source of funding is the inscription fee: kayakers have the option of getting an all-inclusive package that includes transportation, lodging, meals and access to every race, as well as a race only payment. Still, the biggest source of income is through sponsorship deals. This year we want to thank Al Aire Libre, The North Face, Palm Equipment, El Albergue, Quechua Treks, Intu, Terra Explorer, Chola y Che, Cola de Mono and the city council of Santa Teresa for their support.
Watch the 2016 Machu Pichu Video report