2016 Derby du Veneon – Racing in Paradise
Blessed with warm weather and blue bird sky, the 2016 edition of the Derby du Veneon was one to remember. With a high elevation put-in at 2000 meters, temperatures and weather matter on this river. It’s not rare to see snow at this time of the year so when organizers and paddlers saw temperatures rising to a daytime high of over 25 degrees, they knew water levels would be just perfect. And perfect they were.
The Veneon is one of the most beautiful rivers in Europe, yet remains quite unknown. It flows in a pristine valley near Grenoble, France – a rare gem to have so close to a major city.
The event consists of two races; slalom in the morning and a long race in the afternoon. Each team is made up of three paddlers. Race organizers created the event to mimic a day on the river with friends. Kayakers paddle in groups because it’s fun and it’s safe. Racing as a team adds an extra challenge and creates an atmosphere of camaraderie and competition but doubles as safety, allowing this race to exist in such a remote river.
Nearly 150 paddlers attended the event this year, with 36 competitors. For the third time, a team of downriver racers calling themselves Happydesc took the trophy. The team also won a trip to Colombia with French paddling phenom Jules Domine and his river operation, Expedition Colombia.
The event wraps up with a rowdy, open-air party in the evening. The annual event takes place each September and this grassroots event showcases a piece of whitewater paradise. Don’t miss next year’s race!
For full results and more info go to Derbyduveneon.com.