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French Alps 2019 paddling trip – Day 08b Lilo Race Slalom Course 2019 by Neil Jones

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French Alps 2019 paddling trip

Day 08b Lilo Race Slalom Course 2019 by Neil Jones

Return of the famous Lilo Race not for the faint hearted, only for the stupid!!

So after a nice leisurely morning paddle down the Durance with a bit of tasty surfing to finish off at St Clements we returned to the camp were the crazy 8, inflated their children’s toys and headed off up to the start of the L’Argentière-La Bessée Slalom course.

Quick brief from Keith, basically condoning our stupid antics and the best line to limit casualties. He lined us up…..sort of…..and we where off!!

I just imagined total carnage from the off but we were all doing pretty well. Keith must have thought the same as he instructed the first race photographer to set up at the first drop. But first fence…drop, was taken well by all and we continued down Couse. This must have been the fact that the first 4 across the line would hopefully receive one off the four throw lines set up at the bottom to catch us??

I cleared the second fence… drop and was beginning to lead the field with Sarah a very close second. As for the rest…..who knows what the other riders where going through; all I knew me and my trusty Pegasus was in with a shot….

As we approached Becher’s Brook, it was me on the flying Pegasus and 3 times regular French Alps Lilo racer Sarah on the stable cactus neck and neck with the experienced river runner Ian in 3rd ridding his new Spiderman camp bed. Also going strong was Nickki, riding “Terry the Turtle” very well indeed for her first time. As for the rest they were a thing of the past… (may not have still been alive, never mind in the race)

Well, Becher’s Brook does what it does to flying horses….and I was off! The next couple of fences….drops where a wee bit of a blur for myself but then again so was breathing at times. To my surprise as we came to the last fence…sorry drop, I was alive AND was in the lead with the spidery rider close second.

One fence…..drop, to go. Pegasus was now with a deflated and broken wing, but still holding in there….with the experienced of Ian moving river right? As we took the last, Pegasus and I dropped into the stopper where the experienced spidery-rider, Ian took the tongue to the finish line.

As anticipated by the wiser competitors in the group. The first over the line will receive the best safety cover. As for the rest, they had a long walk back, or maybe a pickup from Embrun later in the week.

Race two

2 new competitors where talked into running the race as no harm was incurred to the riders, other than trying to drink the Durance during the race.

The race was going steady with Ian again taking a good lead and Nickki running second, Arron and Kirk where going well until they got up close and personal. A steward’s enquiry was called but then a random kayaker took Aaron clean out…so the enquiry wasn’t required.

Pegasus took the same line on the last, straight into the stopper dislodging his new rider Mike…. All finally crossed the line with no further serious injuries to riders or children’s toys.

Think the Annual Lilo Race will be back for the less sensible LCC French Alps paddlers !!!

Race results

First raceSecond race
1stIan Bell on his spidery camp-bedIan (cheating sideways on his Spiderman camp-bed)
2ndMe on the flying PegasusNicky on the beloved Terry the turtle
3rdNicky on Terry the TurtleAleksander on his crazy croc
4thAaron on his campsite airbedAaron on his bed as usual
5thSarah on the spiky cactusKirk with Annie the unicorn
6thAleksander on his crazy crocMike on the wigless Pegasus
7thCraig on his stable diet of pizzaHannah on her cactus to which she is bidding to take home as she got on so well with it
8thCaptain Kirk on his unicornNon-runner (sarah was too tired)

More photographs………