Published on November 6th, 2019 | by Kayak Session

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Modi Khola Express III 2019 – Video, Report, Results

Words by Kripa Dongol – Video by Anup Drai Gurung

On October 22-23, 2019 national and international paddlers battled it out on the Modi Khola, an excellent grade 4/5 river nestled inside Nepal’s famous Annapurna Conservation Area while enjoying the view of the iconic Mount Macchapucchre. The Express Series is a travelling kayak festival organized by Nepal Kayak Club aimed at bringing whitewater adventure and fun-filled competition to mighty Nepali rivers threatened by large hydropower projects.  The first two Express Series championships, the Marshyangdi Express 2015 and Bhote Koshi Express 2016, were held on rivers that had proposed dams or dams in the development process. Since 2017, the Express Series has been held at Modi Khola, a river we love and just cannot get enough of.

This year, Nepal Kayak Club’s young members stepped up to the challenge, making this an event entirely organized by and for kayakers. A recent flood had washed out the beautiful grade-four race section so the organizers scouted a new section, creating a new and exciting race course for our returnees as well. Spade kayaks sponsored a brand new Royal Flush for the South Asian Champion – attracting a record number of local paddlers from Nepal and India. We also attracted international paddlers ad spectators from sixteen different countries.

The paddlers competed in Sprint, Giant Slalom, Head to Head challenged. Winner of the Boater X got a direct entry into the end challenge, giving us seven finalists. Paddlers also competed in a fun Roll competition, sang with the live band and danced with and like the locals. The athletes faced off on the final day competing for prizes of over two hundred thousand Nepali rupees.


Modi Khola Express III 2019 results

Overall South Asian Champion

Tak Bahadur Gurung (Tarjan)

Overall Men’s

  1. Mate Marton – Hungary
  2. Tak Bahadur Gurung – Nepal
  3. Suman Tamang – Nepal

Overall Women’s

  1. Franziska Biechler – Germany
  2. Elizabeth Heath – Australia
  3. Rosalie Triolo – United States

Boater X

  1. Yannick Zeller – Switzerland
  2. Amit Magar – India
  3. Daman Singh – India

60 Sec Roll competition

Daman Singh – India with 27 rolls in 1 minute

In addition to being badass kayakers, NKC’s young paddlers put their organizing skills to work at Modi Express III 2019. Every year, we get to see more athletes getting involved in Whitewater and we are so grateful to our sponsors for making it events like these that put athletes and rivers first possible. With some mistakes and conflicts, everyone learned a lot and we can’t wait to see them make it a bigger event next year.

Thank you to our sponsors NRS, Spade Kayaks, WhiteWater Nepal Pvt. Ltd, Everest Awakening, Birethanti Canyoning Restaurant & Bar, Kayak Session Magazine, Viking Rafting Iceland, Best Adventure Nepal, Big Smile Nepal: The Multi-Sport Adventure Specialists, JIGIoutdoor, and Bhanjyang Village. Big thanks to our supporters Nara Nepal, Equator Expeditions, and Visit Nepal 2020-Lifetime Experience. See you all in 2020!


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