Karukera Kayak Challenge 2011

Tuesday, 01-Nov-11 13:58:36 UTC
Yannick Laousse

Yesterday was held the final of Karukera kayak challenge. More than 50 participants and two winners. Yannick Laousse imposed himself on the race over Franck Fifils, becoming champion of the Caribbean.

Billed as a favorite Yannick Laousse proved just that, winning the second edition of the Karukera kayak challenge. He imposed himself after 2h 14min on a long course of 30km between the beach and marina of Rivière-Sens. At the start of the race at 9 o’clock yesterday morning, Britain’s Ben Brown, world champion in marathon canoeing in 2010, started strong, but perhaps a bit too strong for the heavy waves. But the Englishman wanted to establish the pace. He continued to lead the first kms but quickly, another favorite, Spanish Walter Bouzan, world champion in marathon kayak double in Singapore last week, was in its wake. In Capesterre-Belle-Eau, he overtook is competitor and took off.  Walter very quickly suffered from heat and bad sea conditions, because he is an expert in flat water kayaking. Yannick Laousse, controlling his strokes, found the form, taking opportunity to slip in the lead ahead of Spanish. “I took a good path, and I run the race,” he said.

The race for the podium

The Vice-champion of France kept the lead throughout the race, while remaining alert to the competition returning. Behind, the podium contenders succeed. Walter Bouzan, Franck Fifils, Ben Brown and Stephane Roudaut. It’s a fight to try to take one of three places. The sun is high and the sea very rough, but kayakers have the tail wind, some choose to take the other side and where the sea is calmer and the manage their energy. At this stage of the race, fatigue is felt. But nothing can be done!

The last 3 km ...

“The race does not stop the passage of Lighthouse Old Fort and it’s in the last quarter of the race that all can play”, said Franck Fifils, kayaker member of Yacht Club of Basse-Terre, and organizer of the event, during the presentation of the event. Indeed, the last 3 kilometers between Old Fort and Marina have been fatal to many. The podium places were played at this level. Difficult when you are champion of Ocean Racing, to paddle in the open sea in calm water. That was the benefit of the Spanish. “My specialty is the calm water, at the start of the race conditions were difficult but now I could come back.”.  He passed Stéphane Roudaut, a member of the France team, which has struggled over his limit. “The last mile was hard. The Spaniard was able to enjoy it, he has a technique that I do not have ” he said. The only one to succeed at the game seems to be Spanish, to the regret of Ben Brown, who sees him escape to the podium in the last kilometers. “I saw him move, I said oh shit! I was too tired at the end. I am a little disappointed, but we always learn. ” The Briton finished fifth after Franck Fifils. “My goal was to manage my race to win the championship in the Caribbean. At the lighthouse, I was dead, I wanted to held and there was a little wind. I knew I was leading the pack, but I did not know how I was. “. Franck finished in fourth place and won the Championship and the Caribbean Ocean Racing in front of Olivier Tanton of the Yacht Club of St. Francis. Yannick Laousse won with more than one minute ahead of Walter Bouzan and Stephane Roudaut.

- 3 QUESTIONS to RONY Martias, Saur-Sojasun cyclist: “I wanted to show that we could succeed”

The cyclist, currently on holiday and sponsor of the second edition of the kayak challenge Karukera 2011, had opportunity to try kayaking. He completed a course of 8 km.

What are your impressions after this test?

It was fun, I hurt all over. I have not said that we should adjust the shims, so my feet were too far and I made more effort than others, but I came out pretty well. As a competitor, I wanted to show that we could succeed. I wanted to learn as soon as possible and show that an athlete is an athlete, even if the discipline is not the same.

Were you injured during the race?

It’s nothing. After the channel of Saintes, I stopped to drink water and I returned. I did a little leg injury. I did not panic, there was a monitor and I had the buoy, but back in the kayak was not easy.

Is this an experience that you will repeat?

I will repeat, this is something that I can bring from the bike, because there you work up and then admire the coast of Guadeloupe. I really enjoyed it very user friendly. It changes with respect to bicycles, because there is no high level pressure. Everyone helps each other, it creates links. I think to do in leisure, but not this year, I have 15 days holiday, but why not next year. I want to make the voyage to the Saintes kayaking, it’s a challenge that I want to achieve.

Nicole and Hervé


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