Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Pyrénées trip + Pyrénées Buddies Race

As usual in France, at the mid-May , you pack your car with all creeking gears, kayaks, spare paddles, the good old cheese and good meat of your region for Pyrenean buddies and you drive to the Pyrénées.
This year, I was there again!!
I only stay there for a week cause I was working on setting up my company.

The goal of that week was to enjoy the rivers, paddle as much as we can and compete the Pyrenees Buddies Race (France extreme kayak championship).

Fabrice Poueyto welcomed me in his house for the week.
We went boating every day for fun except one day where we had the chance to kayak for a TV crew who were shooting the extreme sports TV show “Riding Zone” on French TV.

So Eric Deguil, Fabrice Poueyto and I paddled down the Cauteret River, dropped a waterfall on its upper section, we finished the day with few interviews.
Fabrice Poueyto dropping in
Eric Deguil, THE moment!!
Who's the photographer??
Sliding down Cauteret
Myself dropping in the waterfall on the upper Cauteret river.

Myself, easy boof on Cauteret.
The happy crew
Fafa interviewing
This is the result of the shooting, live in Riding Zone TV Show.

2 days later we drove to Laruns where took place the Pyrenees Buddies Race (the French Extreme Kayak Championship).
The event received this year a Stand Up Paddle race for pros, the extreme kayak races as usual with a team race + a “Battle of the Paddle” with SUPers and kayakers on a easy SUP race.

About the extreme kayak race, the event started with the team race.
Mat Coldebella, Hugo Cailhol and I, aka “team Level6”, with a perfect run wan finally the race after finishing 2nd last year.
Was a pleasure guys to grab the title with you!!

Concerning the individual race, there were 2 races: a sprint with a qualif run and a final run, and an extreme race.
A did good sprint runs but not that fluid so I ended 5th, a bit frustrated to not improve my best but hey, I didn’t paddle that much this winter so it’s quite normal to not be at your best if you don’t paddle even if I was close to my best physical level.
The next day was the sprint final run where I ended again 5th with a similar run as my qualif run.
The afternoon took place the extreme slalom, I did a fast run which easily put me on the podium.
But I didn’t know exactly why the organizers added me a 50seconds penalty for a untouched banner a while after the race, knowing judges didn’t give me the penalty… Arf, no matter was fun to compete again here at the Pyrenees Buddies Race.
I don’t even know what’s my ranking for the extreme slalom and the overall ranking…

Myself during team race with Hugo Cailhol and Mat Coldebella.

Me extreme slalom
Hugo Cailhol
Hopefully I competed at the Battle of the Paddle which bring together all Stand Up Paddlers and kayakers on an easy SUP course. And yep I kicked few SUPers asses and finished 3rd.

I drove back home right after the race to get back at work.
Was SOOOOO GOOD to come once again in the Pyrenees and paddle all these jewels!!!
Thanks to all Pyrenean buddies!!

Open Canoe Festival 2012

Right after the Freeride World Tour, I went for the second year in a row to the Open Canoe Festival, the Europe Open Canoe meeting.

The Open Canoe Festival took place as usual in the Drôme Valley, south-eastern France.
Paul Villecourt the organizer, trusted me once again to make the video of the event and at the same time to do few kayaking clinics for the kids.

3 days of easy canoeing in a incredible atmosphere where everyone wanna learn and share experiences.
It’s awesome to be part of an event like this, I had to show the good atmosphere of the event in my video so it was super easy to do.
Every year the event is growing up and every year all paddlers from all Europe come and are so happy. This year there were 450 paddlers. C

Can’t wait for next year Open Canoe Festival and feeling the good vibes of all those river and canoeing lovers!!


Local beer

workshops for everyone!!

Paul Villecourt

Myself filming

The kids and myself for a workshop

Outdoor cuisine

Live concert

Paul, I and our pyjamas!!

Ready for the long descent!!

Always good to paddle an Open Canoe

Thanks Paul and all OCF team!!

Dourdou River - Stouts in my backyard

On April 26th, I drove to Bozouls at 20minutes from home to check the level of the Dourdou river. I've been looking to run this section for the last 3 years but always missed my chance for the few hours where the flow is good to go!!
But this year, was the good one!!
I paddled there with Etienne Sahuguet.

Massive stairs to start a lil rapid in the middle and then you drop in a 12meters waterfall!!
All is good to go!!

Myself in the stairs

Etienne in the stairs


Myself dropping in the waterfall

Happy guys!!

We also had a photo in the local newspaper!!

So good to finally ran this rapid!!
Thanks to my dad Jean for the photos!!

Can't wait for next flood!!

Kayak Session - Full page in the Portfolio

Ooooooh yeah!!
A full page photo in the portfolio of Kayak Session!!
Thanks Paul Villecourt once again for the photo!!

This photo was taken in the Canyon of the Verdon on August 2011 during the FLUID Kayaks team trip.

FLUID Kayaks - advert and catalogue cover

This year FLUID Kayaks offers me the covers!! here I'm on the cover of the 2012 catalogue and the advert below already published in numerous specialized magazines.

A great gift after 5 years partnership with the South-African based company.

All this won't be possible without the great work of Paul Villecourt (photographer).
Thank again!!

Photoshoot with Paul Villecourt - UCPA Flaine

On Jan 29th to Feb 4th, Paul Villecourt invited me with few friends for a photoshooting week in Flaine for the french holidays centers UCPA

There I was with 4 buddies for a week in the mountains.

Justine, Sophie, Nico, Antoine and me.


We had great conditions at the beginning and the end of the week.
Half week we had massive snow fall which offered us powder for the rest of teh week.
The Mont Blanc behind!!

Myslef off piste!!


Can't believe I'm able to do this...
Nico, Paul, Antoine and I.



Antoine, THE shot of the week!!

Few of my photos:
Before off piste

Off piste here we go.
photo: Nicolas Varin.
Paul Villecourt going to find a place to shoot.

Well, a beautiful week in the mountains to ski with friends in awesome conditions and a great atmosphere!!
Need to get back in the powder!!

Many thanks to Paul Villecourt!!