Heather Hankinson | Oetztal, Austria - The Extreme Kayaking World Championship kicked off today in the scenic valley of Oetz, Austria.In it's 5th year, the Adidas Sickline World Championship has attracted more talent this year than ever before.
On this qualification day, despite blue skies and postcard perfect vistas, the river lived up to it's reputation and gave many paddlers a hard time.
125 male competitors raced in the qualifications today with only the top 48 securing a race in the semi-final tomorrow.
Mike Dawson, Sam Sutton and Paul Boeckelmann.
Other strong finishers today were Hannes Aigner, fresh from his Olympic bronze medal, Lukas Kurbrican, Alberto Diez-Canedo, Thilo Schmitt, Vavrinec Hradilek and Fabian Doerfler.
In the women's category, Rosalyn Lawrence topped the results list by 4 seconds, with Martina Wegman and Jennifer Chrimes in second and third. For the first time, these top three girls will be allowed to race the Wellerbrucke section of the river in tomorrow's Semis and Finals.
Despite the unquestionable talent at the Championships this year, the Wellerbrucke section will no doubt see some competitors in trouble tomorrow due to it's challenging and consistent nature.