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Published on avril 3rd, 2014 | by Kayak Session https://www.kayaksession.com/img-current-issue/upload-your-video.png

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2014 Ganga Kayak Festival (India)

The second annual Ganga Kayak Festival took place 5th & 6th March near Rishikesh India with a big splash. This International Kayak Competition set a record for Indian Kayak competitions with 73 participants representing 5 countries including India, Nepal, Canada, Norway and England. Forty three pro kayakers competed over two days in a sprint, a boater cross and a mass boater cross competition. The second day saw twenty six beginners take to the water as well as a women’s class race with four women competitors representing England, Norway and India with the youngest female competitor at only fourteen years of age from Rishikesh.

The setting for the race is in the beautiful adventure sports capital of India in the state of Uttarakhand. The race takes place on the Golf Course rapid a class III+ rapid of the Ganga River approximately 15 km upstream from Rishikesh. Surrounded by the Garwhal mountains and on a pristine beach of the Holy River Ganges this event is not only an upcoming exciting addition to International Competitions the world over but it is one of the most beautiful settings for competitors and spectators alike.

Manik Taneja paddling hard Ganga Kayak Festival 2014

The event was originally created to expose truly talented Indian paddlers to the world of international level competitions. Both India and Nepal have world class athletes but are often constrained by their location and minimal exposure to other international locations and competitions. Ganga Kayak Festival hopes to fix that by building a truly world class international event in India.

This year the Ganga Kayak Festival added an extra extreme element to the competitions with the addition of a six meter high seal launch ramp. All competitors began their race at the top of the ramp and launched into the river. The boater cross race saw two kayaks on the ramp at once and the final four all took off from the ramp on their way to determining the top three winners of that exciting competition.

andrew gibbs from england

Nepal and India were well represented and came in with the top pro winners in all categories. The overall winner was local pro kayaker and upcoming whitewater power house Dinesh Pandey with first place in the sprint and third place in the boater cross competitions. Nepal took second and third place in the sprint and Pramond Gurung of Nepal came out on top with first place in the boater cross. Another local power house Sanjay Rana blew the competition away in the mass boater cross as all 43 pros took to the water. Sanjay took off and came in first overall in that exciting to watch mass boater cross competition.  In the women’s category a local Indian woman, Sunita Chauhan took the top prize followed by England and Norway.

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The competitions were exciting, challenging and showed how many of the participants were true world class athletes. The entire two day event was full of sportsmanship and surprises. « I have never seen such true athleticism not only from internationals but also from our Indian athletes. It was a full action packed event from pro’s to beginners/juniors to women. I was proud to see the youths, both girls and boys getting into the sport of kayaking » said Bhupendra Singh Rana -NRS sponsored international competitor and president of Ganga Kayak Festival.

sunita chauhan winner of the women's class

The event was organized by the newly formed TASS (The Adventure Sports Society) and supported by many local and international sponsors including the Uttrarakhand Tourism Board. Top prizes came from NRS, Suunto watch, Salamon shoes, Level Six and other excellent gear from Adventure Axis, Madras Fun Tools and Adventure Compass.  Although still in its beginning stages, the event was very well organized. All competitors were treated to challenging competitions, a beautiful location, beach camp stays and food and music throughout. Red Bull was even on hand to give everyone an extra boost of energy.

Dinesh Pandey Overall Winner Ganga Kayak Festival 2014

The Ganga Kayak Festival team is already preparing for year three. This is an International Kayak Competition to watch. It will only get better and more exciting. India and Nepal have some truly world class competitors and all of the international players were true pros. This competition will be on the international kayak competition circuit in a big way soon. The competitions are hot, the location is stunning and the hospitality is unmatched. Be sure to check it out next year.

Full Results go to > http://www.gangakayakfestival.org/ 

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