This content is not available in your region

Europe's biggest underground lake hosts stand up paddle board race

Access to the comments Comments
By Reuters
Europe's biggest underground lake hosts stand up paddle board race
Europe's biggest underground lake hosts stand up paddle board race   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2022

ST-LEONARD, Switzerland – Competition at stand up paddle board events is fierce given the sport’s rising popularity, but competing on Europe’s biggest underground lake adds another level of difficulty.

Some 60 athletes took part in Saturday’s BAT Race at St-Leonard in Switzerland as part of the seven-stage Alpine Lakes Tour.

Paddlers compete on the 300 metres (984 ft) long underground lake on a course illuminated by lights, making it a special leg of the tour for athletes.

“Even if it is lit, it is dark and doing a sport like that we soon realize that we lack oxygen, we struggle to breath. But mainly it is for fun,” said organiser Benoit Mouren.

“To realise that you are paddling underground. This is the only race in the world like that, and people like that originality.”

Competitor Didier Maximilien said: “On the sea we have an open sky, here we are in the cave. But it is a magnificent. The setting is wonderful. It is magical.”