The Ubayak Festival 2023
When extreme kayaking meets adventure in the Barcelonnette Valley
On June 17, 2023, the Barcelonnette 04 valley, located in the French Alps, was the scene of a thrilling and daring event: theUbayak Festival. Organized by the Raide Poule association in St jean de Montclard, Crazy Water Rafting and other professionals from the Ubaye River, this annual event brought together 70 participants passionate about extreme kayaking, ready to push their limits in breathtaking races.
The Ubayak Festival is renowned for its extreme kayak races, and this year was no exception. Starting from a 10 meter long ramp with a 1 meter jump.
3 races were on the program.
The Border Cross
The “border cross” was one of the most anticipated events, where competitors had to navigate a course strewn with natural obstacles and category V rapids. This intense race required perfect mastery of the kayak and great agility to negotiate rapids and sharp turns. Spectators were in awe of the athletes' impressive performances. The kayakers completed 3 timed rounds on the former impassable course from the top to the level of the horseshoe rapid, the slicer and the dessert. A 300 meter long race in which the best went below the one minute mark.
The Mass Start
Another breathtaking event was the “mass start”, where all participants launched simultaneously on the Martinet Lauzet course, considered at Crazy Water Rafting as the best off course on the Ubaye River. Excitement was at its peak as the kayakers battled for the lead and made their way through the turbulent waters of the Ubaye. This thrilling race was not only an individual challenge, but also a demonstration of team skills, as participants had to navigate around other kayakers to reach the finish line. 70 people took the start.
The Hen Check
The Ubayak Festival was not just limited to individual races, as a team race was also on the agenda. Called the Hen Check, participants had to demonstrate coordination and synchronization to pass this demanding test. In the middle of the horseshoe rapid – dessert, the kayakers had to stop behind a difficult rock and high-five our mascot the chicken.
Teams competed to complete the course in the fastest time possible, creating an intense and friendly competitive atmosphere.
Apart from the kayak races, the Ubayak Festival also offered a variety of activities and entertainment. An open-air concert was organized for participants and spectators, offering a festive and musical atmosphere throughout the evening. A barbecue was offered to restore the participants' energies, allowing them to relax and enjoy the conviviality of the event.
Kayak enthusiasts also had the opportunity to discover and try different models of kayaks thanks to the presence of an exhibiting store offering free tests. It was a great opportunity for kayak enthusiasts to explore new technologies and chat with industry experts.
The Ubayak Festival was a resounding success, bringing together passionate kayakers from all over France and beyond. This event helped promote the natural beauty of the Barcelonnette valley and showcase the exceptional skills of kayakers. Thanks to the impeccable organization of Raide Poule, the Ubayak Festival went off without a hitch, leaving participants with memorable memories.
A Festival in the Ubaye valley which cannot be done without the participation of around twenty volunteers and the support of many kayak brands such as: Hiko, NRS and Easy kayak concept.
Thanks also to the support of many socio-pros of the Ubaye valley: La Maison du pays in Jausier, The wild artisanal beer of Saint Paul in Ubaye, the gènepi of Saint Vincent les forts and the support of the village of Lauzet Ubaye 04340.