Published on March 2nd, 2019 | by Kayak Session
2018 Puesco Fest (Chile)
Puesco Fest celebrated its fifth anniversary in November of 2018 in Puesco, Curarrehue, Chile. Each year the festival compliments the magical power of the Trankura river valley in Puesco with live music, camping, workshops, native Mapuche culture, and world-class kayaking.
With nearly every river and stream in Chile inscribed with private ownership and under threat of hydroelectric intervention, the mission of PuescoFest is to celebrate the free-flowing rivers of the world. The festival was born as a form of « positive protest » to share the magic of this valley in its natural state. It is a unique event that mixes grassroots Class V kayak racing culture with local culture and a full-on music fest scene.
The granite boulder gardens in Puesco have attracted kayakers from far and wide for decades, and the PuescoFest races bring the world’s best together to test their river [and party] skills during the four-day event.
This year Aniol Serrasolses stole the podium from three-time winner Evan Garcia, and Chilean paddlers Pedro Astorga and Lucas Varas put up a fight for top three in both the Tres Troncos sprint race and in the Puesco Salvaje downriver race. Students from World Class Kayak Academy battled for the “Puesco Divertido” head-to-head championships, and they worked with local legend Gigo Castillo to provide the best safety possible for the demanding race courses.
Internationally famous acts like Anita Tijoux and Matanza headlined the music festival line-up of 20 artists, and over 2000 people gathered together to celebrate with them in this remote corner of Chile. US gear manufacturer NRS provided title sponsor support for this event for the fifth consecutive year to help keep the rivers running free.