sé María Prendes Arena, an experienced canoeist despite suffering from polio, came up with the idea of starting an Adapted Sella River Descent. With the help of the Escuela Asturiana de Piragüismo (Asturian School of Canoeing), in 1994, seven individuals (Maki, Parada, Alejandro, César, Chema, Richar and Alberto) worked together to make this idea possible.
The first Adapted Sella River Descent took place on the Sunday before the International Sella River Descent.
Firefighters from Asturias, several civil protection groups (Llanes, Piloña, Ribadesella, Gijón and Mieres) and members of the Escuela Asturiana de Piragüismo (Asturian School of Canoeing) are responsible for the event security. FEDEMA volunteers and the Federación de Piragüismo del Principado de Asturias (Canoeing Federation of Asturias) function as judges and timekeepers for the competitive section.
The number of participants in the Adapted Sella River Decent increased the following year when the registered entrants doubled.
The Descent takes place along a non-competitive 11km stretch of the river between Arriondas and Llordón, following which they regroup and enjoy a picnic. The competition is about 5km and begins at the footbridge of La Uña and finishes under the Feve bridge in Llovio. For the past few years, hundreds of people with disabilities, a security operation of nearly 60 members of the emergency services, more than 40 volunteers and almost 500 participants have been involved.
For safety reasons, a disabled person taking part must be accompanied by a non-disabled individual or a selected individual chosen by the organisation if requested. The option of two disabled individuals to canoe together is possible if they are capable of doing so.
Over the past 22 events (20 because the competition was cancelled due to river conditions in 2009), 6 athletes have become absolute champions of the race. Jonás García, with 8 wins (2006-2008, 2010-2013 and 2015), is the “King of the Adapted Sella River Descent”. Followed by José María Prendes (1996-1998), Marco Antonio Ruiz (2002-2004) and José Andrés Blanco (1999, 2000 and 2005). Manuel Teería (2001) and Ernesto Fernández (2014) have one win each. Jonás García holds competition record, when he completed the race in 2013, in a time of 22:58,260 with Rodrigo Hortal.
To access information about this event click on the following link: