Amazing ‘GlaGla’ Race in the French Alps

Two-hundred paddlers took on the GlaGla Challenge — paddling in the Alps in the middle of winter, on a lake at 6°C (42°F)! The GlaGla race, now in its third year, celebrates both the extremes of French winter and the beautiful scenery of the Alpine lakes. The term ‘GlaGla’ actually refers to the sound your teeth make when they’re chattering in the cold (if your teeth speak French, that is).

Held on Lac d’Annecy (Lake Annecy), GlaGla competitors were spared the snow this year. It still looked like a very chilly morning out on the course, though with scenery like this, I don’t think anyone was complaining. This could be another one for your bucket list…


Paddlers were not disappointed — beautiful mountains covered with snow, an emerald green lake, and the sky suddenly cleared up just before the long and short distance races were launched. For the morning races, all competitors started at the same time, the most battle-hardened were there for the 13km course, while others simply enjoyed a 5km loop. Some competed in fancy dresses, others in tandem and we even saw a family of five on a giant board! For the technical race in the afternoon, the weather was perfect — sun, a glassy lake and warm temperatures for the season.

A day that will remain engraved in all our memories with unusual images, a beautiful final sprint in the long distance race between three champions meeting for the first time.

On the finish line, Martino Rogai, a young Italian from Florence claimed the overall win in front of Peter Weidert from (Germany) and Vincent Verhoeven (France).


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Photos: ©photo/BLUE1310 

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