The Cesky Krumlov river marathon took place last month on the 11th of October in the Czech Republic. Myself, Tom Brennan, Peter Tallon and Bruno Halter made the trip from Ireland as well a a large contingent from Wild Water Kayak Club in Dublin.
The decision to go to the race was only made two weeks before hand after Tom posted on FB. A few quick messages and flights were booked. We were offered K1's and K2's to hire for the race so the logistics were straight forward. Myself and Peter opted to paddle K2 and Tom went for a K1.
We flew into Prague on Friday evening, picked up the hire car and hit the road for the 3 hour drive to Cesky Krumlov. Luckily Bruno had been to the race before and was in charge of navigation and driving. We arrived in Krumlov about 9pm and went for a look at the boats for the race the next morning. Luckily we did as they needed some "attention"!
After fitting the boats out we would have to wait until the race to see how they performed. Not ideal but that's what we had. Next morning we got to the race start-some more messing with the boats and then we were off. The K2 start was messy to say the least. After getting some clear water and settling into a rhythm it became apparent that the steering in our K2 was a disaster. There was left or right, but no straight. It was impossible to wash hang as we kept losing control and crashing into the other boats around us. After about 15 minutes I could feel the cuts developing on the inside of my feet from the tiller bar. I know a bad trades man blames his tools but this really was a pig to steer!
The course was fantastic. 37km and 10 weirs and 1 portage. The weirs all had man mad slides and deep pools at the bottom which were very straight forward. Unlike the Liffey the week before there were no lines to remember and the course was very forgiving on boats.
Myself and Peter finished 15th in K2 and Tom had a stellar race and finished 4th in a K1 that was built for a child!
The Cesky Krumlov race is part of the ICF classic series and a well organised event with over 500 craft of all kinds and 1000 competitors taking part.
I would highly recommend going to this race but maybe bring your own boat or hire a wild water racer as these are in abundance and better quality that the k boats. The food was excellent everywhere we went and great value for money too. We ate like kings all weekend to be honest. I witnessed one savage destroy three main courses after the race!
On the Sunday we chilled out and visited some tourist attractions and had crepes for breakfast. The town is a Unesco World Heritage site so its worth strolling around for a few hours. Our flight was not until Monday afternoon so we got up early and visited Prague for a few hours and some lunch before the airport and the flight home.
Here is a link to the race website and some more pics from the weekend below.
Kayak instructor, athlete, business owner and outdoor enthusiast from the west coast of Ireland.
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