The first stop on our tour of Northeastern Turkey was the Town on Ispir. This is the put in for the premier section of the Coruh River, and the start point for the first leg of the 2006 Coruh Extreme Kayak Race held June 1-3, 2006.Day 1: The Mass start downriver race and The "Joan Collins Set"
In Ispir we stayed in a building being used by the UN for a Recreation and Tourism Development Program. Around 5 AM Race Day I was woken up by the sound of bells and mooing. I got to the window just in time to snap this photo.
The first leg of the race was a 11 km long mass start down river race through a CLIV section of the Coruh. Steve Van Den Heuvel from Belgium won this leg. I was 6th and Matt was 7th.
After the race we paddled 19 km further down stream including this rapid the first of the three CLV rapids that make up the Joan Collins Set:
The group enjoying a well earned Efes Beer at the end of the first day.
Day 2: 60 km of whitewater and the individual time trials
Matt got a chance to do a little raft guiding. Taking dad and the crew from the UN program out on the Class IV section of river above the race rapid.
The second leg of the Coruh Extreme was an Individual Time Trial down a 500m Class V named Perfect Portage. Amir Hussain from Iran won this leg, Matt finished in 3rd place and I was 7th
Matt (above) on his bronze metal line and Me (Below).
After the race on Perfect Portage the group continued on down the Coruh finishing 60 km of whitewater in just over 6 hours (including race time).
Day 3: Yousefeli Gorge and the Extreme slalom
On the final day of the race the group completed the 110 km prime stretch of the Coruh by paddling the Yousefeli Gorge. In the town of Yousefeli the Bahal an major tributary comes in and just down stream two more are added doubling the volume of the Coruh. During the first week of June this section offers truly world class big volume paddling.
The final leg of the race was an Extreme slalom race on the Bahal River a tributary of the Coruh that flows through the town of Yusefeli. Paddlers had to touch 5 panels strategically placed in difficult eddies, pass their paddle over a paddle hanging mid stream, roll and catch the finish eddy. Steve won this one, Matt posted another 3rd place and I was 7th.
In the end Belgian Steven Van Den Heuvel won the race, Amir Hussain was second, Matt finished 5th and I was 7th.
The next day Steve, Matt and I went on an Upper Bahal mission......