The X2 compeititon being held in Volda/Ørsta on the westcoast of Norway is a multisport festival with extreme kayaking, skiing and mountainbiking.The kayakers were up first in the extremerace in Bygdelva, on Flemming Schmidts old backyard run. The waterleve was low, and despite fighting off a blizzard in the morning, thirty people showed up to race down to the finish line. Five women competed, which was awesome, since only one participated last year.
The course was low volume, and consisted of slides, technical rapids and a clean boof at the end. Not hard to get down, but definitely challenging to be racing on as it was hard to keep the lines clean through many of the rapids. Benjamin Hjort came out on top in the mens, followed by Martin Vollen and Dag Sandvik. Mark Basso from Canada raced into a fourth place, with Andy Philips close behind.
In the womens I snatched the lead in the first round, but messed up the bottom drop and lost a lot of seconds. Determined to improve by a lot I raced 7 seconds faster in second run, which combined put me in 6th place in the Men´s category. My second time was only 4 seconds behind Benjamin, so I was quite stoked on that. Michelle Basso paddled to second place, and Nini Bondhus snatched the third. Well done girls!
Highlight of the day was probably listening to the guy playing the fiddle on the side of the river while we paddled, and eating a local dish called “Balls in a bucket”… Yeah, don´t ask…
With low water in the area most kayakers got on their skiis on Saturday. This area of Norway is known as the “Alps of Norway”, and the scenery is notthing short of breathtaking. With the best skiers in Norway lining up for start on Saturday on a big face, we headed up for a good dose of pure entertainment. The finals were spectacular, with cliffs being hucked left and right. Two local heroes from my neck of the woods skiied to victory in Men´s alpine and Men´s telemark class; Torgrim Vole and Ove Nestvold. Nice one!
The party on Saturday night was pretty much unforgettable, and I can not wait to get back to this awesome festival next year. I might even try and do some competing in the skiing division, though only for pure fun.