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Roadtripping in Italy

The Pyranha Team van has had a great start to the European paddling season, roadtripping round Italy and Switzerland, supporting events and competing in races. Matt Bostock and I were the ones tasked with kicking off what is shaping up to be a very busy summer!


We started the trip supporting the Val Sesia River Contest at Scopello, a great event run by the locals with plenty of Boater X carnage and a brilliant party,where the Italians showed us how to play their version of musical chairs.


Val-Sessia-Boater-X Party

After a day spent recovering from the party and taking advantage of some much needed rain in the rivers we headed to Switzerland to visit Kanuschule Versam on the banks of the Rhine.


We spent a great evening playboating with Toro and then the following day he showed us down the Vorderrhine, one of his local creeks.


Matt on the Vorderhine


From there we headed back to Italy and the Aosta valley in search of the river Ayasse, which took a little longer than we hoped as we had no idea where it was and we paid a little too much attention to sat nav


When we eventually arrived it was at a great level, but it rained overnight and the following morning it had turned from beautiful clear blue to muddy greeny-brown. Luckily after a few hours chilling out in the sunshine it had turned back to blue and was good to go.

Ayasse Top Drop

Ayasse Pont Bozet

Val Sesia was calling with the promise of rain so off we went and sure enough it chucked it down the first night. Sadly the rain was short lived, which was bad for the rivers but good for the temperature.

We were in Campertogno for the Gene 17 River Festival but we had some free time to take advantage of the increase in water levels.  Unfortunately as we were walking down to the Lower Sermenza Matt slipped over, twisted his ankle and hurt his leg and so spent the next few days doing lots of hobbling and not much boating.

The Gene 17 event included a number of competitions including a freeride competiton on the Egua and the first Sweet Rumble BoaterX outside of Norway. The Freeride event had some great boaters competing in it who were clearly going to be unbeatable, so I resorted to gimmicks in an attempt to pick up some points.

Egua Freeride

Unfortunately so did some of the others..                                                                           whilst Nick showed us all how it’s meant to be done…Nick clean Hammer


In the evening we all battled it out for a second time in the Sweet Rumble, the course was easy but the competition was fierce.


All too soon it was time for me to fly home and leave Matt to carry on the roadtrip without me. What better way to finish the trip than a few runs down the Sorba slides in skins?


Here’s to a great summer.

Take it easy


Words: Dave Hollins

Photos: Matt Bostock, Tim Trew & Dave Hollins