Sunday, 30 November 2014

Slow motion paddling in Madrid

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

ADT SeaDog Paddle Series Race 3 by Chalford Wealth

The 3rd race in the ADT SeaDog Paddle Series - brought to you by Chalford Wealth! 

A light South East wind provided loads of fun runs inside the famous Fish Hoek bay as paddlers diced it out over the 8km course. Well done to Dawid and Nikki Mocke who took line honours.

This week's race was bought to you by Chalford Wealth. Go and view their website a

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Special thanks to Brandon Killbride for the onboard footage and Caitlin Martin for land footage!


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Sunday, 26 October 2014

Preparing 2015

Here you have some video shooting of the Alberche Kayak Club trainings, while Elite Kayak prepares its great comeback in January 2015. You can see, around minute 4, how we cross with the Spanish Sprint National Team.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Pérez-Llorens and Llamedo, winners of the Asturias Championship of Cross-Canoe

The winners on their first portage. Photo: Cope Ribadesella
This last weekend was finally held at Ribadesella the Asturias Championship of Cross-Canoe, which was postponed last February due to a storm. Weather was not actually good again at this time, but at least the race could take place normally.

After the usual start running from the far end of the beach, the first to hit the water on their kayaks were eventually those who would claim victory, in this case Luis Amado Pérez and Miguel Llorens (SCD Ribadesella) in K2 and Emilio Llamedo (Los Rápidos - Jayre Aventura) in K1, who together led both laps to the course with two portages included again on the beach.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Spanish Winter Championships (II): Youngsters set the bar high

In the younger categories, we could see lively and very colorful races in the Spanish Winter Championships. Not only because of the number of paddlers, but the times achieved in less than favorable wind conditions, make us optimistic about the development not only of the season, but the next few years regarding the junior national teams, where the last year we already got a few world and European medals.

Pelayo Roza, Junior K1 champion. Photo: E. Durán
The Junior Men K1 was a good example, with special involvement of the sprint national team members. The trial over 2,000 meters was won by Pedro Vázquez (Los Rápidos - Jayre Aventura) with 8:14, a time that due to the strong headwind could only be beated by 11 senior paddlers. Pelayo Roza (SCD Ribadesella) took second place, followed by Ramón Lecumberri (Náutico Sevilla , first U17). The same podium would be given the next day at the end of the 5,000 final, but with the exchange of the first two positions, because after a great comeback in the sprint, the gold went to Pelayo Roza.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Spanish Winter Championships: Javier Hernanz claims back the title while Eva Barrios and Antonio Campos get second gold in a row

Hernanz, Germade and Peña (left to right). Photo: E.P. Aranjuez
This is the first post of the few I will dedicate to the Spanish Winter Championship over 5,000 meters, held again in a splendid sunny Seville and marking the first milestone of an intense 2014 season just started.

After a tough 2,000m qualifying on Saturday, due to strong headwind and that was won again by Francisco Cubelos in the K1 Senior Men (4th consecutive year that Cubelos claims victory over this distance), the 70 fastest paddlers had an appointment in Sunday's final, which was expected, as usual, hotly contested.

The start had its particular role in this race. After forming two large spearheads, one on the left after Rodrigo Germade and one in the center led first by Carlos Perez Rial and later by one of the components of Kayak Tudense (which seemed Roi Rodríguez), it came the inevitable moment when paddlers begin to look to either side and the two spearheads come together and begin the fight for the best washes. After the usual sound of voices and clash of blades, one of the paddlers ended up in the water. Once he managed to get on the boat again, helped by the Red Cross zodiac (which actually made him tarrible waves after that) we all thought that he could be Paco Cubelos.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Javier Hernanz claims his Regional Winter Championship in Asturias (Spain)

Javier López (left) and Javier Hernanz (right). Photo: Anselmo Bernal
Although we have to wait to Seville to see a new duel Llamedo - Hernanz, we could assist to a nice spectacle at the always colourful Asturias Winter Championship, held last Sunday at Trasona Dam. It somewhat reduced version of the championship, as bad weather forecast made the organization cancel all the races scheduled on Saturday, including all the U14 categories, Masters races and the 2,000 meters qualifiers for U16, juniors, U23 and seniors.

Olympians show their quality on the first weekend of the Nelo Winter Challenge

Olympic paddlers seem to have started strongly this 2014 season and the first session of the Nelo Winter Challenge, held this past Saturday at the training center Aguieira (Portugal ), both at the 2,000 and at the 200 appeared London 2012 medalists showing their value with victories.

The Nelo Winter Challenge inaugurated a new format plenty of paddlers, both from Portugal and several other European countries. Races were held over 2,000m in group with a turn at an island, and then the 200m also in group and with paddlers being eliminated in successive rounds until a final 10 boats race.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Kayak Tudense and Breogán O Grove, clubs taking the main titles at Galicia regional Winter Championships

Left to right: Millán, Rodríguez, Piña and Alonso. Image: Aurora Santomé
It was held in the dam of Verducido (Galicia) the Galician Winter Championship. As usual , great participation in all categories in a cool, windy day, which caused a little problem at the starts, especially the K1 Senior Men, as explained below.

As in all the championships being held these days prior to national Spanish Winter Championships in Seville , there were many races for all the categories throughout Saturday, beginning at U12 and preceding the main categories.

Emilio Llamedo starts the 2014 season in victory

Llamedo leading the final sprint. Photo: Paco (Club de Mar de Avilés)
Current Spanish Winter Champion, Emilio "Milin" Llamedo, seems to go on the correct way to renew his title next month in Seville 2014 after his victory last Sunday in the Miguel Ángel Pérez Memorial race, held in Trasona (Asturias) under the organization of Club Náutico Ensidesa. It was on this occasion the 25th anniversary of a race that has always been the unofficial kick out of Asturian season and has already become the second event in number of participants in the region after the Sella Descent.

According to those present, wonderful spring day in the Asturian dam. The big news apart from winners and the results themselves, were the presence of more than 500 paddlers on the water, which speaks of good canoeing health in Asturias apart from the current pressing economic problems. It is gratifying to see that, despite the difficulties, the courage and the will always remain present to jump onto the water .

Over a distance of 4,500 meters (3,000 for women, canoes and children) were competed the different races, with different batches for the U14, after which were gradually

Monday, 24 February 2014

David Rodríguez Dorado, Carolina Massagues and Álvaro Rodríguez Rica, Regional Winter Champions in Madrid (Spain)

Photo: Escuela Piragüismo Aranjuez
On a cool but sunny morning in Aranjuez, the river Tajo was the scenario of the Winter Regional Championships of Madrid, held again after not being competed 2013. Three hours of competitions made enjoy the spectators who came to the facilities of the Aranjuez Canoeing School, with five different batches for the different categories.

It started with the U16 Men K1, always one of the most crowded categories. Nice fight in the lead between Víctor Pardo (Cuenca), Martín Erpén (Aranjuez) and Raúl de la Peña (Alberche Kayak) after getting rid at mid-race of the foruth paddler in the group, Carlos Alonso (Aranjuez). Finally, very tight sprint in which the order was Pardo, Erpén and de la Peña, thus resulting Martín Erpén regional champion, as Victor Pardo club belongs to Castilla-La Mancha region (tehy competed with special invitation).

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Héctor Cubelos beats his younger brother Francisco Cubelos at the Regional Winter Championship

Héctor Cubelos, older brother of the London Olympic finalist Francisco Cubelos (K1 1,000) and Isabel López were the absolute winners of the regional championship of Castilla-La Mancha (Central Spain), held last Sunday at Las Herencias, village very close to Cubelos brothers Hometown, Talavera de la Reina (Toledo).

Left to right: Héctor Cubelos, Francisco Cubelos and David R. Dorado. Photo: Escuela Piragüismo Aranjuez

On a sunny day , but with a strong flooded river Tajo, which had its role in the competition, the audience could enjoy a good day of racing, with the participation of about 130 paddlers of all categories, including the Olympic Francisco "Paco" Cubelos in his last test before the Spanish Championships to be held in Seville in four weeks. The start, due to river conditions and let's say "lack of coordination" between the referee and the paddlers, was somehow difficult and by the time it was done, 80% of the competitors had a two minutes penalty on their race time. Most of junior, U23, but all of Seniors, so actually it didn't have influence in this category.

The race was programmed over 5,000 metres, but river conditions made shorten it to barely 4,000. It was led from start to finish by the younger of Cubelos brothers, Francisco, who took with him about 7 paddlers in a big front bunch, including his brother Héctor, David Rodríguez Dorado, Alfonso Lucas, Enrique Peces and Benjamin Ramírez, among others.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Elite Kayak's 2014 goal: The Spanish panorama

From this season, we will translate into English every post we make in the original Spanish web. You could say that many of them are from very small competitions around Spain and maybe they don't have a real interest for a global audience. But let's think it the other way around: we will try to do what we would like to find sometimes in different scenarios from our daily perspective of canoeing. What's going on in Germany? Difficult to know if you cannot read German. Even though, digging in German newspapers among general news is not fun (it's not anywhere else, I guess). South Africa is for me an example of information about canoeing, through pages like Canoeing SA, Mocke Paddling, and many others I wouldn't like to forget here (sorry). We can get also lots of news from Australia and New Zealand (Sportscene has got a lot to do with that, thanks so much to them and their visionary project). Denmark focuses a lot also in communication, it's always a pleasure being awared about their competitions. Or places like France, Italy or Great Britain are easier due to specific magazines, as well as we are lucky to be able to read those languages.

Anyway, we would like then to be the Spanish information spot for foreigners. Maybe we are thinking too big? For sure, just two people (sometimes barely one) to gather daily information only allow us to write about Sprint, Marathon, rarely Slalom and almost never about other disciplines. But let's see how it works. Once this is established, the true merit comes from paddlers doing their best every single day on their kayaks and canoes, representing Spain abroad or just entering the finish line in a local race. Then it will be your choice to follow their careers, rewrite about them in your pages or social media, etc... But at least our window open to the world will have a meaning if you just read it once in a while.

Along with this aim, we will keep posting about the big international events, mixed with the Spanish news.

Thanks so much for your attention and let's hope to meet often back here again, dear foreign reader. See you on the water!!

Gonzalo Melero

Videos of the three days of Dusi 2014

We've got so much to learn in Europe (no to talk about Spain itself...) about Media Coverage of canoeing in some other countries. These videos of the three days of the Dusi Canoe Marathon are just science-fiction for Spanish paddlers, so we keep feeding the growing enthusiasm in our country for South Africa's biggest races. Click here below to watch the videos:

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Dusi, Day 3: Birkett wins fourth Dusi and Zondi first in an epic stage. Robin Kime and Ulansky keep reigning

Birkett & Zondi, winners. Photo: Stuart Berry
Andy Birkett continues to grow his incipient legend by winning this morning his fourth Dusi Canoe Marathon fourth with Sibonelo Zondi, the second black paddler to achieve the absolute title of this great South African race.

The third and final stage, held again under a very hot weather, followed the script laid down after the first two days, where Birkett and Zondi had almost nine minutes on their closest rivals, Jasper Mocke and Hank McGregor. The accident in Day 1 by Lance Kime and Thulani Mbanjwa, who were part of the three candidates for the title, made the victory a matter of two.

Birkett and Zondi started with conservative tactics, thanks to the big advantage that they had. Ahead, 36 kilometers to the finish line in Durban, with a first part of about 5km on the flatwater of Inanda Dam to enter after the portage down the wall in the clear waters of the Umgeni river, where rapids as Tops Needle or Pumphouse, and especially the Burma Road optional portage, usually mark the course of the race.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Dusi, Day 2: Birkett and Zondi speed up for the title

Birkett & Zondi made a solo race down the river. Photo: Twitter @AntStott
Undoubtly they were already favorites before the start of the race, but the superiority Andy Birkett and Sibonelo Zondi are showing in this year's Dusi Canoe Marathon only a few could imagine it yesterday morning at the start in Pietermaritzburg.

The beginning of this second stage, in mode of trial according to the times yesterday, saw Jasper Mocke and Hank McGregor pushing very hard from the start to try to reduce some of the disadvantage of 5'27" with the leaders. They managed to closed it to four and a half minutes, but like if Birkett and Zondi were waiting for their rivals to get tired, after the first two long portages they put the effort on the river and passing through the biggest rapids of the day, after the confluence of the Umgeni river with the Dusi, the put back the gap in five and a half minutes.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Dusi, Day 1: Andy Birkett and Sibonelo Zondi want to set the race clear from the beginning

The A batch going through Earnie Pearce. Photo: Twitter @DusiCanoe
This morning started the 63rd edition of the Dusi Canoe Marathon, which this year takes place in K2, and has been a day full of action and news.

After an early departure (6 AM local time, 5 AM CET), among the 61 seeded K2s there were three clear favorites: Lance Kime and Thulani Mbajnwa; Jasper Mocke and Hank McGregor; and Andrew Birkett and Sibonelo Zondi . But last year's winner Lance Kime and his partner (also K2 winner) Thulani Mbanjwa, didn't have much time to enjoy the race. At Witness Weir, the second obstacle of the day just three kilometers from the start, they broke their K2, seeing themselves forced to a long stop for a quick repair and losing almost every chance for the title, except unexpected catastrophe on their rivals in the next two days.

So, right from the very first kilometers, everything pointed to a McGregor/Mocke vs Birkett/Zondi race, where the first ones set a blistering pace on the water.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Jasper Mocke renews his "Doctor's degree" in Perth (Australia)

Great aerial view after the start. Photo: John O'Sullivan
The Mocke brothers, in their usual Australian tour during January, managed to claim the top two spots in The Doctor, the second race of the Surfski World Series 2014, after the Mandurrah Cup won by Jasper Mocke a week ago. And again the youngest of the brothers claimed a tough race on the blue waters of Perth.

On a perfect day for the surfski, no more and no less than 330 boats gathered in Rottnest Island to face the 27 km. of downwind to the finish line in Sorrento Beach. Among them, 46 SUP (Stand Up Paddle), booming discipline in the last years.

The massive start was hectic until the first turn of the race, before facing the open sea. The Australian Cory Hill ...

Monday, 20 January 2014

Balboa and Guerrero inherit the throne at Río Negro. Quiñanao dominated the K1

Left to right: Guerrero, Balboa, Pérez and Scalesi. Photo: Official web
If days 3 and 4 represented a turn upside down in the K2 standings at Río Negro Regatta, no less were the last two stages arriving to Viedma, final destination of the great Argentinian race. On the final day, the very young Franco Balboa and José Luis Guerrero claimed the overall victory, inheriting the throne left by Pinta and Mozzicafredo after having escorted them last year in the twelfth crown of the former kings of the regatta.

On the other hand, the misfortune came to Santiago Scalesi and Spanish Luis Amado Pérez, who were leaders until the last day, but saw how the final victory eluded them a few kilometers from the finish line.

On day 5, from San Javier to Viedma (34 km.)...

Friday, 17 January 2014

Río Negro Regatta: Scalesi and Pérez turn the race upside down after change of starting rules

Santiago Scalesi and Luis Amado Pérez, new leaders. Photo:
On the last two days were held in Argentina the third and fourth stages of the Río Negro Regatta, from Choele Choel to Luis Beltran (38 km.) and Don Andrés to General Conesa (43 km.). And there has been a very big change in the K2 races due to the incidents in the front bunch on the first two stages. To avoid them, the officials decided that the Senior Men K2 would startone by one every 30 seconds, in a controverted decision that could change completely the pace of the race. As it finally did.

The lucky draw set Juan Manuel Scalesi and Julian Algañaraz to start first, while Santiago Scalesi and Luis Amado went 30 seconds later. It wasn't long before they joined together to pull forward. Behind,  Balboa and Guerrero started on sixth position, so there were three other theoretically slower boats ahead that could be their reference to reach the Scalesis. And in fact, at half race they were pulling of a second group after the leading duo.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Balboa and Guerrero set the first Stone at Río Negro Regatta

Balboa and Guerrero lead the race after Day 2. Photo:
Last Saturday, a new edition of the Río Negro Regatta (ARG) started with the first stage between Neuquen and General Roca, of 46 km. With the withdrawal of the Río Negro kings, Néstor Pinta and Martín Mozzicafredo, after their 12th victory on a row in 2013, several couples aim this year to sit on their empty throne.

With the usual heat (races start at 3PM) and a slightly shallower river than in former editions, paddlers must take care of their strenght if the want to go all the way down through the Patagonia until arriving in Viedma next saturday. In fact, after two stages, times are about 15 minutes higher than last year over the same course.

There were five couples commanding the race in K2 from the start of Day 1: Franco Balboa and José Guerrero, Santiago Scalesi and Luis Amado Pérez (ESP), Agustín Reyes and Guillermo di Renzo, Juan Manuel Scalesi and Julián Algañaraz and, finally, brothers Mauricio and Rodrigo Caffa.