adidas Sickline Extreme Kayak World Championship 2017 - Oetztal (AUT) - Highlight

Kayaking: 10th anniversary event at „Wellerbrücke Rapids“

Sickline Extreme Kayak World Championship 2017

October 5 to 7, 2017, Ötztal Valley (Austria)

For the 10th time already, Austria’s legendary “Wellerbrücke“ rapids are the setting for the Sickline Extreme Kayak World Championships. From October 5 to 7, 2017, the world’s best female and male whitewater kayakers meet at the big anniversary event at Ötztal Valley to determine their world champions on one of the most difficult whitewater sections in the world. The event provides a truly unique field as the best athletes of different disciplines – freestyle and slalom world champions, extreme kayakers, and river expedition paddlers – come together in a race situation.

A “sick line” is the perfect, smoothest and fastest line downriver. That’s what the competitors have to find when racing the so-called “Wellerbrücke” rapids, a famous section of the glacier-fed Ötztaler Ache River, peppered with loads of natural obstacles. The course has the reputation of being the Eiger Northwall of whitewater kayaking and offers the perfect setting to crown the female and male World Champions in extreme kayak racing. The Wellerbrücke rapids are solid class-5 whitewater, both technically difficult and dangerous. “Seal Launch” with a 6-metre gradient right after the start, “TNT Rapid” with an S turn and a 5-metre gradient, or the 3-metre exit drop called “Champions Killer” rank among the most challenging obstacles.

For safety reasons, the Wellerbrücke rapids are officially closed year-round. The section is only open for the Sickline event. Organizers ensure highest safety standards during the competition. The qualification takes place on an easier part of the river. Only the 52 best male and 8 best female athletes are allowed to enter the Wellerbrücke rapids in the actual competition. In terms of skill and fitness, the 280-metre course demands everything from them. They cannot afford the slightest mistake and must be extremely fit, as the cruxes are located at the end of the course