After a long journey across Europe, I went to one of the best places for kayaking on the planet - the Altai.
In the first weekend of August 2-4 august on the river Chuya on Majoy cascade, near the village Chibit were held fourth traditional competitions «King of Asia». These competitions are organized by team of Altay kayakers “Riverzoo” to stop the construction of a new dam on the river Chuya.
This is probably the most challenging competitions in which I had to participate. The Majoy cascade is one of the most difficult places on all Altay. First descent of the cascade on catamarans at the end of 1970th took 28 days, now it can be completed in 3 hours
This year, as always, came more than 40 participants from all of Russia, and also a lot of strong paddlers came from Europe, U.S. and Canada, such as Ron Fisher, Benjamin Hjort, Mark Bosso and Merian Setter. Therefore, the competition to have a truly international.
Organizers picked suitable sites for all stages of the competition. Qualifying was only the 10 strongest paddlers, of which only 3 out of Russia. Qualification for the girls performed at a single site easier, but on such a high water level it was not easy to overcome this distance without coups. On the same site hosted the most spectacular race kayak cross. The results in this discipline were as always unpredictable. The first was my friend Alex Lukin, I finished second, third was one of the strongest russian paddlers Ivan Kozlachkov fourth Mark Bosso from Canada, none of the foreigners have not been able to overcome Russian heroes.
In women, the strongest was Merian Setter from Norway, and the second was from Alona Buslaieva from Ukraine and third Alaa Sidorova of Russia
Also on this site was carried out "Chinese race", First three lucky winners were held in the final race.
Men's final race was held on the lower part of the canyon, which is considered the most difficult part. This is great 8-minute race on big volume rapids class 5 in the canyon. Where there is only you and the forces of nature! I participated for the third time in this competition and each time before the start of the finals, I have only one thought in my head "faster to get to the finish line, faster have ended it". But in spite of all the difficulties and dangers I managed to pass all thresholds with no big mistakes and keep a good speed throughout the race. This allowed me to take first place. So I won the title of “King of Asia” for the third year in a row, the second was Alex Lukin from Moscow, and the third is Ron Fisher from Switzerland.
Finale for women was held at the lower part of the canyon. Where to qualify for the men. Here, as always, was not equal Merian Setter and become Queen of Asia 2013, which ranked first, the second was Anna Yarmoshina from Sankt-Peterburg, the third was Alona Buslaieva from Ukraine (Queen of Asia in 2010 and 2011.)
But "King of Asia" is not just a competition. It is also the festival and a time for fun. This year it was the same wedding founder of kayaking on the Alatay and the team Riverzoo Vasiliy Porsev and one of the strongest women freestyle kayaлук in Russian Maria Dobrzhitskaya. Well of course a great final party!
After the competition, I stayed on for a couple of weeks in the Altai and managed to run all the most interesting rivers of Altay Chulyshman. Kurkure, Chulcha and of course the legendary Bashkaus with his «Book of legends».
Altai is the place where you want to go back again and again, each time you are going to find something new for yourself!