Palguin Extreme Race Results- Demshitz Domination
For the last three years kayakers from around the world gathered at the Rio Palguin, a narrow class V river in central Chile for one of the most extreme kayak races in the world.” The Upper Palguin provides a class IV clean waterfall section that provides the perfect venue for an exciting extreme boatercross race. While, just upstream and downstream are serious once in a lifetime waterfalls including a difficult lead-in 40 footer, the famous Middle Palguin 70 footer, and now huckers are dropping the 85 foot Salto Palguin.
This year the hands down favorites to win the Palguin race were the Demshitz crew. “Demshitz” is a growing group of extreme river explorers notching top runs through South America. Demshitz call Pucón their winter home. Founders Graham and Jared Seiler have developed a team that includes names such as Evan, Ian, and Nate Garcia, Jake Greenbaum, Dave Fusili, Fred Norquist, Anton Immler, and more. Ask the boys, “who is a Demshitz?” and they’ll openly reply, “Everyone who loves to kayak is a Demshitz.”
Demshitz Domination It was a Demshitz kayak crew takes all event. And why not? The Demshitz crew of boaters has been exploring the rivers, bars, and women of Pucón, Chile for the last half decade. Demshitz chief visionary Jared Seiler would gracefully advance to the finals convincingly winning his heats. World Champ Jr. freestyler and renowned creeker Evan Garcia too would advance each round winning his heats. But the winner would be a surprise upset to the exciting international kayak venue.
Event Host Ben May Gives the Crowd an Entertaining Event Ben May, owner operator Kayak Chile, offered an entertaining extreme race that promises to improve annually. For 5,000 pesos (apprx. $US10) competitors got entry and a 6-pack of Escudo. That’s right beer with your entry! May loves to host a great event and this year was no exception.
First Rapid Carnage A four-boat slide was built to give athletes as even an entry into the first rapid as possible. Athletes sprinted for position to enter into a tight first drop slot and then over a 2 m cascade. With four boats/heat you can imagine the entertainment as boaters parlayed for position for the tough bottom lines. Sprinters got out front to the cleanest lines as athletes in second and third often knocked each other off-balance only to be passed by a trailing fourth place racer. Garcia and Seiler would in each round be the first to style the highflying race line corner boof.
It was Jake Greenbaum who surprised the crowd of kayakers. Greenbaum chose a relaxed game of patience only exiting the first crux rapid in first one time. But in each heat he would pass competitors using a line crossing the 6 m waterfall boil that no other competitor was able to perform.
Could’ve Garcia and Seiler Foreseen the Sneaky “Green Bomber” Plan? The final heat Seiler again reached the corner boof first high, dry and fast. This final experienced group spread out more and avoided the first rapid carnage and Garcia was close behind with 3 more minutes of drops to pass. As the director of Huge Experiences’ New River Academy I was hoping for NRA alumni Greenbaum to win the prestigious event. But with a fourth place exit of the first drop against top riders I wrote off even an outside chance. I like all others had underestimated the power of the “Green Bomber.”
Green Bomber Eliminates Athletes at Six Meter Cascade Boil Pass While, Greenbaum patiently cruised and saved energy during the first drops he had a charge plan for Demshitzlers and Palguin domination. Athletes were directed to take the right cascade. Meaning they would have to either travel a round about circle against a wall, try to go behind the veil of the left cascade, or cross the giant boil of the left cascade. Earlier I watched with New River Academy rider Tino Specht several athletes frustratingly miss the boil pass at the 6 m drop. Athletes would sprint to the middle of the boil to only barely be pushed back as riders taking the long route around the boil passed along the wall. Specht wrote off the line for his strategy and would later comment, “I was in front of Jake and watched him paddle right over the boil next to the waterfall to pass me. There was nothing I could do… he cinched our heat with that move.” The Green Bomber had successfully eliminated another top contender.
While, other athletes continually missed the line the Green Bomber would make the pass each heat to secure the international championship title. And what boat was Greenbaum paddling? Greenbaum used a Liquid Logic Remix 69 donated for the day by Pucón Kayak Hostel. New River Academy is proud to announce the past two Palguin race champions have been Huge Experiences’ alumni. Congratulations Jake Greenbaum and Keegan Grady for illustrating your skills and the quality kayak program of New River Academy.