Piteälven – Euro Cup Team Boater Cross Event


Again the tent was nice and hot by the time I staggered out. It was another day on the Piteälven. The team event was on the cards and with our late start we were hurrying to get going. The competitors would paddle the entire stretch as a team and finish after the big hole below the final slide.

I made my way up on the river left bank to get some new angles of the rapids but this turned out to be a mistake. The river was far broader than what I thought and I could not cross the river to get onto an island that would run next to the main stretch. Eventually I retreated back down and by then Tuomas and the boys were at the bottom already.


High up on the river left banks are plenty of other drops to choose from...


Two guys running the final slide on the standard right line.


The Finns after their race. (Aapo #15, Satu #3, Samuli #5 then Tuomas Kuronen (top, left), Tuomas Vaarala (top, middle) and Mikael (top, right)


Ingrid Schlott (yellow boat) and Deb Pinniger (red boat) coming down the final slide.


Ingrid missing the meat of the hole but still not opting for the safer but slower chicken run on far left. A very good line indeed to take.


The big hole at the finish line is just upstream of this bridge. The big slide at the end is also visible in the background.


The slide went down quite easily for most people but the hole was fairly interesting. A number of people took the chicken line through it but some not. I think the entire Polish team got worked a little in the hole but they all made it out. Tuomas Vaarala, Mikael Lantto and Jussi Tanskanen came in at an overall 3rd place so they were really stoked.


Another group down the slide.


A member of the Polish team getting eaten but he managed to get out without any major trouble.


We all hung around at the end and watched until the last group was through. Once everyone had completed the course the guys wanted to run the left line of the big slide. They did this in fine style and there were no major mishaps. The only problem was when Tuomas Kuronen took Samuli’s boat down he forgot to fasten his chin strap on his helmet. He stated off with a casual spin of the paddle with one hand, then dropped down but flipped in the hole. Once he had rolled the helmet was gone! We all had a good laugh as he paddled forward to grasp the helmet and put it back on.


Tuomas walking up to run the left line of the big slide.


A view on the final side. The side closest to the camera is the river left line which is shown being run in the photographs below.


Mikael Lantto busting through the diagonal.


Samuli Suokko on the same slide. This was his second run and he purposely did not punch the diagonal so that he could drop into the hole. He is not well... hehehe


Tuomas Vaarala.


Jussi Tanskanen.


Tuomas Kuronen. Moral of the story: always fasten your chin strap!!!  


The view to the other side just above the camp but below the hang bridge.


Later on that day the wind picked up a bit and the weather starting turning for the worse. I took a long four hour sleep that afternoon and then chilled at the play wave downstream to watch the other guys. Later on it would be another sauna session and a few beers maybe, I can’t actually remember.






Photography by: Adrian Tregoning, unless otherwise stated.

Words by: Adrian Tregoning.


Next article: Piteälven, Sweden. Freestyle Event.