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Whitewater Kayak Racin’!

It has been a while since I have done an update. A lot of new stories to be told but not in chronological order. Of most recent, I have just returned to my new temporary home-base of Buena Vista, Colorado from an epic set of steep creek and big water river Races! Here are some short blurbs and a few photos from those events:

Teva Mountain Games Bud Light Lime Steep Creek Race

I choose to race my Jackson Villain because of the lower flows and my unfamiliarity with the run. Most other people paddling Jackson Kayaks chose the Jackson Zen. This new boat is super fast! Luckily I was able to try out the Zen in a later race noted below. Before the Steep Creek Homestake Race, I was able to get in three practice runs the morning of race day. The section of Homestake Creek in which the race is held is very technical, but not particularly long or extremely difficult. Basically the fastest lines were completed by the people who hit the fewest rocks and stayed on the fastest lines. Much fun was had andĀ  the carnage only consisted of a few minor pins in the entire event!

Teva Mountain Games Steep Creek Race

Photo: Max Ovett

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little White Salmon Race

After a 20 hour drive from Vail, CO with 3 drivers: Jakub, Mira, and myself, we arrived at the Little White Salmon in the next day after the Teva Steep Creek Race and immediately started rallying for a shuttle. We managed to get 2 laps in the afternoon we arrived and 3 laps in the day before the race. The format for the race is a partner race of teams that consists of two people. This format is necessary because of the remoteness, the length of the race, and the many dangers that lurk on the Little White Salmon. Due to the terrible news of a fellow kayaker, friend, and great person who passed away on the Little White Salmon since the race, I do not want to post any media from this race at this time. During the race, everything went smoothly and all paddlers finished safely other than my partner who lost a tooth on the entrance to the most technical rapid on the race course but managed to pull through to the finish line. After the race, we hung out around Hood River for two days and charged a few big waterfalls… More to come on that in the next post!

NFC- North Fork Championship

The North Fork of the Payette between Banks and McCall, Idaho at higher water is a different type of river than what I am accustomed to dealing with in most of my paddling. Huge pushy currents, big waves, and scary holes, oh my! I was finally able to get my hands on a Jackson Zen 75 the morningĀ  of the race. Luckily, the race did not start until 5pm so I was able to test her out. Immediately, I found that the boat was very fast and sliced with currents very well. During the downriver race, I was able to post the 3rd fastest time behind two longer boats which qualified me for the Slalom Race on Jacob’s Ladder. The race down Jacob’s Ladder was next level. After making your way down part of Jacob’s Ladder, you are required to catch the eddy behind a large rock with a boiling eddy then do the “man’s surf” through a hole I would not typically not surf in… especially where the hole is located. After that there are very difficult moves downstream and 3 more gates. I was just happy to compete in this race with such great paddlers from all over the world. In the end I had a shoulder injury scare that ended up being about a weeks worth of soreness.

Jackson Zen

Photo: John Webster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For now, I am back in Colorado living the Mountain Lifestyle. Unfortunately most of the local creeks and rivers are now running low due to a low snowpack this previous winter. On a positive not though, we were able to complete some classics earlier this season… this is another post coming soon as well. For now I am knocking out some fourteeners on my days off, doing a little creekboating, playboating in the Buena Vista playpark, and starting back with my normal attainment routine to stay in shape for this fall. Until next time, paddle safe and keep charging!

See you on the river!

Zach