Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-06-2010   #1
Paddling Since: 96
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,373
Class 5 Freestyle at the Teva Mountain Games

Drove over to Vail to watch the semis and the finals of the Freestyle comp yesterday. Its always a fun comp to watch but yesterday was epic. The creek came up big during the prelims on Friday and turned the feature into a big flushy hole. The surprise of that round was Steven Wright not making the cut from 45 to 15. 16 year old phenom Jason Craig was in first.

Semis at 11 yesterday saw more very high water with the judging area starting to get flooded and the feature a difficult place to throw for 60 seconds without flushing. Big moves were required to advance but it was a battle for everyone. The finals 5 were some of the most technically sound boaters there. Advancing were BV's Dustin Urban, Casper Von ? from the Netherlands, Andrew Holcombe, Bryan Kirk and Jason Craig was in the lead after this round as well. World Champ Nick Troutman missed the cut finishing in 6th. All 5 finalists have had podium finishes at the Worlds and/or the World Cup.

Finals were at about 5 but by then the creek had turned into a river in flood. Gore Creek is a small tight Colorado trib running through Vail. 5, 6, maybe 700 cfs would be a typical runoff level. At the start of finals it was running at about 1500. It was dark brown with the surface full of wood and the feature was a huge chompy surging hole that none of the competitors had ever seen let alone practiced in. The judging area was flooded so they moved to the upstream bridge. Wood spotters were used to warn paddlers of the larger logs and stumps that were moving downstream. This wasn't just an annual high water event, this was flood stage. Paddlers were given one practice ride but that started the epic before anyone even got in the hole. Bryan Kirk was first to attempt to enter but as he ducked under the bridge on the way in his paddle caught on the bridge and was ripped from his hands. His practice ride consisted of face surfing the hole, hands rolling twice and disappearing downstream. A couple of his fellow competitors chased him downstream and rescued him. His adventure included hitting his second hands roll as he was swept into some trees and just avoiding a broach pin. When he showed up back at the hole his cheek was bleeding from some nasty scratches from his close encounter with the Colorado woods, while in his freaking boat.

I don't think anyone managed a full 60 seconds in the hole. It was cool to watch these great boaters figure out what could be done, find the edge and push it while competing. Big tricks were there but they were also catching an edge and flushing even as they set up and not just after the attempt. The judging area was now a pourover off the player's left shoulder and several times paddlers were caught in it and struggled to escape upright. The amount of wood coming down stream was intense. Brush, logs, whole trees were part of the comp. At one point an 18" stump with its whole 15' wide root system came through. Scary.

The finals format was best ride of 3 so it encouraged paddlers to go as big as possible. First round was mostly about figuring out the character of the beast, 3 decent tricks was a good ride. Dustin put up a 590 point ride to start the second round. It included 2 flushes with super quick recoveries and a visit to the pourover for a few precious seconds. It also included a huge clean Loop, Mcnastys both ways, an Air Wheel and I think a Blunt with a few Cartwheels etc. That was the score everyone took aim at and finally they were down to the last ride. In second was the Euro guy Casper with 350 points. It was fun to finally see him paddle after seeing his name at the top of a bunch of comp results. But, the last paddler was the future of Freestyle, Jason Craig. At 16, he's the Jr. World Champ with 2 more years of jr. eligibility. He's competing with the men this year. He's a great young guy. 6 years ago, at the Reno comp, Dustin taught him how to roll at a paddle with the pros event. How sweet to sit with his family and watch the 2 of them high 5 and cheer for each other. Jason threw down but flushed as well and "only" managed a 500 point ride. Second place and a huge smile were his. Dustin won the event for the 4th time.

Afterwards, the talk was of the unique and epic nature of the event. Seasoned pros, who are also world class creekers, spoke of how they would normally walk off a run with that much wood moving. Very cool event, glad I got to see it.

Phil U. is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Topic Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Teva Mountain Games Tman Whitewater Kayaking 0 04-20-2006 12:14 AM
2006 Teva Mountain Games thrillsekr Whitewater Kayaking 9 03-28-2006 12:21 PM
Teva Mountain Games nkellum Whitewater Kayaking 4 07-02-2005 06:06 PM
Teva Mountain Games airbag Whitewater Kayaking 1 01-12-2005 12:11 AM
Teva Mountain Games are around the corner. joelheath Whitewater Kayaking 2 05-18-2004 11:18 AM

» Classified Ads
Jackson Karma (Medium)

posted by Paddling Life

Brand Spankin' New 2016 Jackson Karma Creek kayak!

*!* Pyranha S6 200 with...

posted by MaxwellSilverKayak

Pyranha S6 200 playboat for sale. Great for larger...

AT Geronimo Glass Paddle...

posted by MaxInTexas

AT Geronimo straight shaft paddle with 30 degree offset. ...

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:00 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.