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Futa Fest 2013

Futa Fest happened the last weekend of February 2013, from the 21st till the 24th. Everything happens at Cara del Indio, so have to thank Luis and Nivia for letting us stay at their campsite next to the river.

In my opinion the Futaleufú is one of the most fun and friendly rivers in the world so having its own festival is really good for the river and the valley it flows through. It brings more tourism and remembers locals of the great gem they have at their backyard. I think events like this are real positive for the river and the kayaking world as well.

Endesa announced recently that they are planning and developing 17 new energy projects in Patagonia including a mega project of three dams on the Futaleufú that would produce a total of 1.367MW. This huge project would be the second biggest in Patagonia, only beaten by the murder Hidro Aysen is trying to accomplish on the Baker and Pascua.

More info about the Fu and this threatening projects here:

More overall knowledge about the patagonia and fu–ing dams here:

Thursday morning was the BoaterX event down at Toro and Mundaka, great fun rapids. Unfortunately we never made it in time to register and enter the event as we were waiting at the vulcanización (tire place) in Chaitén to repair our two flat tires from our trip back from Baker. Diego took it followed by Santi and Julio. On Friday the Freestyle event was held at the Mundaka wave/hole. Some good beatdowns is what spectators love the most, so perfect spot for that!

Saturday was a fun day with events happening on the Espolón up in Futaleufú town. Open free rafting and kayaking down the Espolón made the day for a few tourists and helped kayaking get more exposure in town with locals and tourists. We paddled the Inferno Canyon which is still pretty fun at this level, some good scary boofs! We then managed to get 11 persons and 10 boats in the truck and almost lost our drivers license and got to court for that!

And finally the last event, the Down River Race on Sunday. About 50 kayakers lined up at the Chucao beach ready to paddle the 8km down to the Futaleufú bridge. All boats were lined up at the beach and all racers had to run, jump on them and start paddling the flat water section till the first bridge where the great rapids start.

I didn’t start really well but managed to stay with the group ahead. We all got our skirts on under the bridge where the current is stronger, but after the flat my arms were burning so much I almost couldn’t get my skirt on! Somewhere in there I lost my paddle and had to hand paddled a bit to get it back. I lost some good time there and started to get nervous, but luckily hit a good line at the bottom and managed to get first. From there on just  tried to go fast and push hard and after 26ish minutes finally crossed the line! Pretty exhausting but so much fun! The rapids were really fun, 5-10 kayakers fighting for the line at the same time made for some great images for the public on the best rapids!

I think the Futaleufú is the perfect place for this kind of race; wide and safe, big water, strong current and many different lines to paddle! Everyone was tired at the bridge but it was a really fun/friendly race. And of course, big party at night in town with awards, dancing and lots of beer!


Personally I was specially grateful to be paddling and ‘competing’ again after a couple months off. This was the first event of the year, but so many more to come… can’t wait for the season to come!!

 Photos by: Cara del Indio and Alejandro Gallegos ‘Cano’

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  1. Futa Fest 2013 | Whitewater News Blog - Kayaking, Rafting, Canoe, SUP & River Conservation says:

    […] Read the full story over at the Team Pyranha Blog. […]

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