From now on, it will be a date for long distance enthusiasts to put into their calendars. With its 130 kilometers, the Dordogne integrale is joining the tight circle of extreme races and should attract many French and international paddlers in the following events, beginning from the next one: Saturday the 7th of May, 2016 (and from now on, every Saturday of Ascension weekend). Philippe Marchegay, co-organizer of the event since 2006 gives us the low-down on this new annual event!
Dordogne Intégrale: France’s Longest SUP Race!
Hello Philippe, what is the story behind the Dordogne Intégrale?
The Dordogne intégrale was originally a Kayaking race which started in 2006 and which had instant success with 70 participants from the first event in 2006. In 2009, we had a record participation rate with 330 people. Unfortunately in 2011, due to water levels being too low we had to drop the race, and the Dordogne Intégrale remained dormant until last year when we had the pleasant surprise of once more welcoming 130 people to the event!
How long has the Dordogne Intégrale been open to Stand Up Paddle?
We decided to open up the event to Stand Up Paddle, which has seen a rapid growth around the world, for the revival of the Dordogne Intégrale last year. As luck would have it, Florent Dode (French international Long Distance SUP racer) whom I didn’t know, caught wind of this and him and 2 other paddlers participated in the 2015 event. In winning the 2015 event and participating again this year, Florent unwittingly became a wonderful ambassador for us within the world of Stand Up Paddle racing.
A video of the 2015 Dordogne Intégrale:
What kind of SUP boards are welcome?
Rigid or inflatable boards in the race or touring format.
Could you tell us about the route?
The race is characterized by its length of course, but also by the landscapes crossed during the adventure!
It’s a bit like the Dordogne Intégrale allows you to have 3 races in one: the first 35 kilometers take place in gorges (Argentat-Beaulieu-Liourdres), then 60 km have views of impressive limestone cliffs which plunge down to the water (Carennac – Souillac- St Julien Lampon), and finally there is the Périgord (35 km), with its incredible medieval castles and villages (Vitrac – Castelnaud la Chapelle).
Some difficulties pepper the race with its class 2 rapids, but only in the first 35 km.
On the catering side, everything is catered for: a big pasta party on Friday night, breakfast served on Saturday morning, 7 sweet and salty provisions and finally a big old gastronomic Périgord banquet at the end. With a little music for the less exhausted and the open bar… for everyone!
What is the obligatory safety wear?
It is obligatory to wear the life-jacket and to take a watertight mobile phone on board.
How much time can we expect the whole race to take on SUP?
The speed of the current is around 5km/h in the uphill part (30 km), then lowers to 3km/h downstream. So don’t expect to simply be carried along, 130 kilometers is long and constitutes an endurance test in every way which requires honed sporting skills.
Here are the times from last year:
– The winner in man’s single kayak Roland Lebeau in 8 hours 15 minutes,
– 1st SUP Florent Dode 11 hours 33 minutes,
– 2nd SUP Franck Siegel 12 hours 49 minutes,
– Last finisher in 13 hours 50 minutes,
– Percentage of finishers: 85%
It should be noted that there is no notion of quitting on this race, but rather a classification first of all in terms of time, then in number of kilometers covered!
The race starts at 6:30 am from Argentat for everyone, with an obligation to stop at the first bridge reached after 21 h.
– Official site: www.vallee-dordogne.com/agenda/course-extreme-canoe-kayak-dordogne-integrale
– Facebook page: www.facebook.com/Dordogne-Intégrale-1559022421079012/
– TotalSUP event page: https://www.totalsup.com/en/events/item/807