Midnight Sun Whitewater Festival, Iceland
Five years in and soaring to new heights, this summer’s Midnight Sun Whitewater Festival made waves like never before on both the local and international paddling scenes.
The 2017 edition of the festival took Iceland’s annual creek championship race to the north’s Barká river for the first time for a spectacular mix of big air, technical lines, breathtaking scenery, and fiery competition.
With the largest and most energetic turnout to date, this year’s event welcomed a record-breaking number of paddlers from all over the planet, including the event’s first female participant, Goma Sunuwar from Nepal.
A long-time local favorite run and classic section of Icelandic waterfalls, the Barká reliably delivered the goods, bringing out the best in paddlers, spectators, and sponsors alike, as they joined forces to push the competition, prizes, and festivities to the next level.
From the morning’s first seal launch, the intensity was palpable, and only ramped up over 4 subsequent rounds of high flying action. In the end, a mere 0.11 seconds separated the top 3 podium finishers, and it was Sadat Kawawa of Uganda that took away the gold and the glory.
In true whitewater fashion, those who missed their lines were taken as sacrifice by the Norse river gods and rewarded with traditional bootie beers for their efforts in front of the night’s roaring crowd. With plans already in place for next year’s event, it promises to keep pushing the bar even higher.
June 29-30, 2018: put it on your calendar & see you there!