Let the river flow: FutaFest 2013 (photo essay)

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The 5th annual FutaFest held late last month in Futaleufu, in Chilean Patagonia’s Palena province, was blessed with good weather and enthusiastic competitors from all over, from France to Peru to the United States. The festival highlights the incredible quality of the Futaleufu River which still flows free and pristine through the region, and is justifiably dubbed by the event organizers as “the number one” river in the world for rafting and kayaking.  For sure, if you scan most top five lists about the world’s best spots for whitewater rafting it is going to be there.
 
Patagon Journal was proud to be a sponsor of this year’s event. Our executive editor Jimmy Langman was there and took the photos herein.
 
Mitch Sasser, director of FutaFest, says the purpose of the festival is to promote the conservation of the Futaleufu River and other rivers in Patagonia while at the same time help create a sustainable economic path for the local community.

Says Sasser: “This year´s event was a true test. The festival drew interest from around the globe, had spectacular conditions on and off the water and an excellent public turnout. The Espolon river competitions open for all to join in along with the outdoor trade market on the shores of the Laguna Espejo couldn´t have been better with abundant local attendance.”
 
 

 

 Kayaker in Sector Azul, Futaleufu River (Patagon Journal)
 
 

Espolon River, just outside of the town of Futaleufu in the Palena province (Patagon Journal)
 
 

The start of the open river race with the local community on the Espolon River (Patagon Journal)
 
 

Many rafters and kayakers camped out the campsite Cara de Indio during FutaFest. Here, they are awaiting the final day of competition on Sunday morning. (Patagon Journal)

 

The public looks on at the finish line of the rafting and kayaking competition. (Patagon Journal)
 
 

Kayak rodeo on the Futaleufu River (Patagon Journal)
 
 

Rafting the big water of the Futaleufu River! (Patagon Journal)

 

Competitors close in on the last stretch of the FutaFest Downriver Race (Patagon Journal)

 

 

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