Sjoa river festival 2014

by Tomo Andrassy

This year I spent in Norway just 10 days which is really unusual for me. My story started when rest of my classic Norway crew cancelled the trip. Fortunately I have a lot of good friends and immediately I was able to create plan B. Plan was simple. Fly to Oslo, take train to Sjoa, borrow kayak, find my friends who have car and spend here 10 days full of paddling and also competing on one of the best races in Europe - Sjoa River Festival.

First days in Sjoa area brings a lot of rain and everybody started to talk about cancelling of competition. Hopefully rain stopped just few days before competition and water level came from supper high to “just” high. First in the order in competition list was Team Race. Due to the high water it took a part on Heidal to SJOA rafting base section.

Due to the high water it took a part on Heidal to SJOA rafting base section. Long distance of paddling – approx. 25 min wasn’t only one think to deal with. From the start every team have to run from Strie Strommer shop to river bank where was kayaks, paddle down, take out at Sjoa rafting and run back to football field with kayak and finally everybody from team have to throw throwbag to kayak – which was a bit mission with shaky hands from paddling. It wasn’t easy but with my team buddies Honza Lasko and Honza Kolar from ZET kayaks we won this race and we started our successful mission here.

Next day it was ULA EXTERME race in the order. With the later start (around 15.00) we used time and run upper part of ULA before competition which was also good warm up for us also. On the race with some mistakes in first ride our ZET team dominate again when Honza Lasko took 2nd place after gold Jamie Sutton, I was 3rd and Honza Kollar 5th.

With no shame we had again reason for big party at the evening. As usual last took a part sweet rumble race on famous AMOT section. Course pumped up with lot of water promised a lot crazy situations and tide battles. It was a great battle from the beginning and ZET team dominate again when in the final heat met Honza Lasko, Honza Kollar, Me (all 3 from TEAM ZET) and Jonny Haugen. As the winner could be just one, Honza Kollar with his famous run took title of Rumble champion before Honza Lasko and Me. That was 3rd race and again 3rd opportunity to celebrate in the row

This year it was my shortest trip to Norway but I think it was also one of my best. But, it would be impossible to happen without help of my good friends which I have there. One again thanks everybody who make this trip happened and see you next year on SJOA RIVER FESTIVAL again.