Every year in June, French and international paddlers gather in a little town Entressen in the south of France, about 30min from the ocean. What is so special about this little town the unknowing would ask? Well, it’s the home of one of the best freestyle holes around the world. The home of Makinito. 

Every year paddlers from all over Europe make sure to note this event in their agenda, this year the competition field was even more varied, with paddlers from the United States, Japan, etc. Due to the fact is was very close to the worlds in Sort some newbies came to experience what all the fuss was about. Unfortunately, some of the regular British and Spanish paddlers couldn’t make it due to their training schedule in Sort. 

The Makinito contest has everything: amazing food, amazing atmosphere, amazing weather, amazing location and an amazing feature! The hole is built in a drainage ditch that runs through the farmers’ fields, over the years the locals have adapted and perfected the feature to the amazing hole it is right now. It’s slow, friendly, retentive and very predictable. This makes it the ideal place for all out high scoring rides. 

The water comes straight from the nearby mountains, which is a great refreshment during the sunny days leading up to the event. The only hazard when paddling here is avoiding the other paddlers who are floating down in an attempt to cool down in-between sessions. 

World-class paddlers like: Tom Dolle, Sebastien Devred, Hunter Katich, Bennet Smith, Abby Holcombe, Marlene Devillez, etc. were going up against the talented locals like: Alan Stievenard, Tom Dolle and Olivier Kremer. It promised to be an exciting competition with high scoring rides. 

Tom Dolle took home the gold medal in senior men, breaking that magical 2000-point barrier (French scoring system), closely followed by Seb Devred and Hunter Katich. In the women category frenchy Marlene Devillez took home the win followed by Hitomi Takaku and Kady Kellog.

In the junior men Kaelin Friederson was unstoppable and left behind the local frenchies Alan Stievenard and Thibaut Amalbert

In junior women Abby Holcombe showed the rest of the field how it’s done with a couple of sick mc nasty’s in her final runs. 

Yet another amazing Makinito Contest in the books, huge thanks to Olivier Kremer and the local paddle club for putting all the work in and organizing another amazing competition in Entressen! 

Lots of thanks to Peter Holcombe and Tom Dierick for the pictures! 

Lane De Meulenaere