PM_aSWM_2015_ENG - Adidas

Press Release
3 October 2015
Long overdue victory
Gerd Serrasolses (ESP) and Mariann Saether (NOR)
are the adidas Sickline Extreme Kayak World
Champions 2015
Oetz (sgh) – After a weekend of intense racing on the legendary Wellerbrücke rapids in
Austria’s Ötztal valley, 27-year old Gerd Serrasolses from Sort in Spain outpaddled a
field of the world’s finest kayakers in every single round of the competition, claiming
his first and well deserved adidas Sickline Extreme Kayak World Champion title, ahead
of David Bain from Great Britain and triple World Champion Sam Sutton from New
Zealand. 35-year old paddling queen Mariann Saether from Norway won the female title
ahead of Great Britain’s Jennifer Chrimes and Alona Buslaieva from the Ukraine.
Now in its eighth year, the adidas Sickline Extreme Kayak World Championship saw the
largest number of competitors ever: 175 athletes from 30 different countries were giving their
best to get a slot in the final. For the first time in the history of the race a female world
champion title was awarded with a record number of 25 participating women.
Gerd Serrasolses was the hot favourite throughout weekend after putting in the fastest runs in
the qualification, the quarter and semi final and his victory was long overdue as he has proven
multiple times that he has the skill and the determination to win this prestigious race. Last
year, Serrasolses couldn’t handle the pressure of being a favourite and choked the decisive
run, but today he saved his best performance for last, clocking 55.34 seconds, the fastest race
time of the day and a new course record. “I guess experience pays off”, Serrasolses said.
“This year I stayed calm and I want to thank my girlfriend for being there and trying to distract
me, because going last is always tricky as it puts more pressure on you. So I tried to stay
focused. I knew I could do it. I had two good runs this morning, I was feeling good and I was
fired up and ready to go. Now I am really stoked. 2015 has been my greatest season ever. I’ve
done really well in some races, I’ve been all over the world on expeditions with my brother, all
in all it has been an amazing year and to finish off the season like this is a gift.”
The adidas Sickline Extreme Kayak World Championship
Triple Extreme Kayak World Champion Sam Sutton, who also put in a commanding final run
(56.19), was relieved to be back on the podium after two years. “On my last run I actually felt a
bit more like the ‘old’ Sam Sutton”, he said. “At the start of the day I was like ‘man what is
going on today?’, but my partner Kat gave me some encouragement the whole way through,
so that made it work out for the final. Of course you always want to win, but I don’t think I put in
the hard work to get on top of the podium. Being a father is pretty easy for me, my partner
does a really good job looking after our kids, but I have two business plus two other start-up
companies, so my brain is quite far away from kayaking sometimes and now that has been the
hardest part of this weekend trying to bring it back into kayaking. I could have been a bit faster
in Champions Killer overall but I’m happy with my run so that’s cool.” And Sutton adds: “I am
so stoked for Gerd. Of course I would have been happy to win, but I would have felt like I took
the title away from the more deserving person. Gerd is by far the best kayaker on the planet at
the moment, he is so consistent and you could see it out there, he just crushed every single
round, so I am happy for him, he is such a good dude.”
22-year old runner-up David Bain, who reached the final for the third year in a row, was over
the moon after putting down the second fastest run in the final and the second-fastest run of
the day (56.19), matching Lukas Kalkbrenner’s time in the semi final. “I am still realizing that
this actually finally happened. I’ve really struggled for years and getting my head straight
coming into a final and making sure that I paddle the way that I know I can and to actually
finally achieve a result is amazing, because it shows that I can paddle”, Bain said. He sat in
the leading position in the hot tub until Gerd Serrasolses nailed the sickest line of the day. “I
wouldn’t say I am disappointed. It leaves me room for improvement for the following years. I’d
say this is my first result so it gives me something to work on and it’s great to see another
team paddler from pyranha make the final and win. It’s just brilliant having first and second
place up there. The brilliant thing about Sickline and kayaking in general is that everyone
cheers for everybody, everyone knows everybody and there really is a good sense of
community in the sport.”
The five fastest ladies after the knockout semi final round battled it out for world championship
honours on the Wellerbrücke rapids. 35-year old powerhouse Mariann Saether, who competed
in the adidas Sickline Extreme Kayak World Championship for the first time, traded in her
seasonal job as a highly tipped Oktoberfest waitress for a gold medal. She secured her title
with a winning time of 1:03.49. “I had a bit of a problem with Champions Killer in all my race
The adidas Sickline Extreme Kayak World Championship
runs. During training it went really well, but in the race I struggled. Also in my final run I had a
very good line all the way down up until Champions Killer and I felt a bit stalled, but I could get
back in line and I was really stoked when I saw my time. It feels amazing.”
-ENDNotes to the editor
Over 175 of the world’s finest whitewater, slalom and freestyle paddlers from no less than 30 different
countries met up in the picturesque town of Oetz to compete for world championship honours on the
legendary Wellerbrücke rapids, a section of the glacier-fed Ötztaler Ache River that is considered to be
one of the most difficult whitewater sections on the planet.
The Wellerbrücke rapids are solid class 5 whitewater, both technically difficult and dangerous. Any
mistakes paddlers may make have high consequences.
The well known rapids on the course:
Champions Killer (the final drop of the 280-metre long race course) and Champions Killer Minus 1 (the
hole above Champions Killer) are both feared and endeared by extreme kayakers, all of whom respect
the river as much as they want to conquer it.
Result Finals
Complete result list under:
For media enquiries please contact:
Sonja Güldner-Hamel
+49 8031 354 65-12
+49 8031 354 65-10
+49 170 27 50 510
[email protected]
The adidas Sickline Extreme Kayak World Championship
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