Asa­han River Fes­ti­val

Adventure - - Contents -

By Mike Dawson

By Mike Dawson The Asa­han River Fes­ti­val in North Su­ma­tra is home to some of the world’s best white­wa­ter and for the first time in well over a decade it at­tracted the best kayak­ers on the planet to bat­tle it out on the rag­ing rapids. The Toba Caldera Cham­pi­onships in­tro­duced a new gen­er­a­tion of white wa­ter kayak­ers and rafters to the warm white­wa­ter of the Asa­han in hopes of earn­ing there share in $25,000 USD in cash prizes.

One of the most clas­sic sec­tions of white­wa­ter in the world, hid­den away in ru­ral Western Su­ma­tra was al­most for­got­ten about be­fore event or­gan­iser Lachie Car­racher was shown the river 8 years ago by In­done­sian kayak group Tri­taseta, since that time Car­racher has been work­ing closely with the lo­cal com­mu­nity and now the In­done­sian Gov­ern­ment to pro­mote the re­gion and put it back on the map as one of Asia’s top ad­ven­ture des­ti­na­tions. The 10-day event saw com­peti­tors from nu­merus coun­tries in­clud­ing strong con­tin­gents from Ja­pan, Italy, France, USA, Canada, New Zealand & Aus­tralia. The first 4 days of com­pe­ti­tion saw Sprint, Head to Head, Down River and Slalom raft­ing events on the “bridge to Bridge sec­tion of con­tin­u­ous class 3+ warm big wa­ter”. The strong­est teams were pro­fes­sional raft­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion Phoenix Raft­ing from Java, a rouge in­ter­na­tional assem­bly by the name Phuk Rick­etts and a Czech raft­ing team, These teams were con­sis­tently plac­ing across all events. Com­pe­ti­tion was tight and the white­wa­ter was un­for­giv­ing. Hun­dreds of spec­ta­tors crowded the fa­mous Bridge in town and cheered as days of com­pe­ti­tion went down in the hu­mid Su­ma­tran Jun­gle.

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