WWGP fundraising on the home front - Mountain Buzz

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Old 11-12-2012   #1
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WWGP fundraising on the home front

So, last time anyone mentioned the Whitewater Grand Prix and money, a huge poopstorm ensued. Hopefully we can generate at least a tiny fraction of that amount of traffic for our blog here.

We have a short article up that Natalie wrote about her thoughts about the Grand Prix and hardcore paddling. She talks about the difference between difficulty and danger, and how this relates to the Grand Prix. I found it really fun to read. Check it out:

Leif and Natalie: Going to the Grand Prix

Oh and did I mention we need your money? As you may or may not know, my wife Natalie is one of the 5 or 6 women invited to the grand prix. Despite the rumors (or perhaps because of them), there is not a lot of funding for this event. She doesn't have to pay an entry fee, but we do have to transport ourselves down there and pay a lump sum for transportation and some rudimentary lodging. I estimate that the whole cost of the trip, for the two of us, will be around $5000. If you follow the link to our blog, you can donate money to help us pay for the trip.

Clearly, there is no moral obligation to help us out here. We are not going to Chile to help the poor, save the environment, or promote world peace. However, if you like the WWGP videos, or if you like our videos (Leif Anderson on Vimeo), or if you're a friend of ours, consider kicking us a couple bucks. We would certainly appreciate it. And unlike the WWGP money, I know exactly where this money would be going. Certainly not to fund a three week long party. (Those that know me well will know how funny that just was.) We're not looking for huge donations, since we only need to raise a relatively small amount. Tank-of-gas-sized donations would knock my socks off, but even morning-latte-sized donations help us out quite a bit. Heck, even going to the blog and watching our video helps, because it generates more hits for our blog and videos, which helps us convince sponsors to help us out. But, seriously, money helps more.

Check out the article, consider giving us money, and, just to promote some controversy, pro or con: Caspermike is a really nice guy.

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Old 11-12-2012   #2
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Nice article. Kick ass out there Natalie. Way to represent Colorado.
Kyle McCutchen
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Old 11-12-2012   #3
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Good article. Good luck, Natalie!
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Old 11-12-2012   #4
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Hey L & N, way to go guys and rip em up Natalie. I hope you guys raise some of the funds if not all.
To air is human, to get big air divine.
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Old 11-12-2012   #5
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have fun out there, and thank you both for everything you have done. I know for sure you are both a huge value to us here on the front range, and we wish you guys well.

jen is donating for us both, we hope it helps.

and, caspermike is a great guy! always fun to be around.
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Old 11-12-2012   #6
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Thanks for posting, I have been thinking about this a lot. I am sorry that the WWGP is moving towards the vert realm. I have bumped the thread about Peter Thompsons accident as counterpoint. Showing all around versatility in a kayak and the fun side of the sport would be more germane for me. Although I might pay to see great paddlers swim out of huge (play?!) holes like happened last year.

Also thanks for the article. I know the best paddlers can play the heck out of class V and for them (you) it is still not that close to the edge. A lot is happening and there are a lot of variables.

I used to think that drop and plop took more gonads than skill but I am getting more respect for the skills involved. Another concern I have is the competition aspect. Kayaking has been a close knit community but the most snooty and cliquish part has been the slalom studness. Who gives a shit, even if they are the best paddlers. Is it now to be who has done the biggest shit? Always has been! Am I jealous? Oh, yea! Rock on!

A lot of the really great boaters I have know have had a modest humble side. WW can be unforgiving. Be safe. Chile is awesome, and the boating is too. Have fun.

Thanks for letting me share. Leroy.
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Old 11-12-2012   #7
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A lot of car accidents happen when people get distracted while driving due to it being so mundane. Driving and whitewater share a similarity in that people don’t seem to appreciate the power involved. The large force available can quickly turn a mistake into a tragedy.

There have been studies that show adding safety features to cars does not always result in a reduction in accidents and injuries. When people feel safer they often take greater risks.
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Old 11-12-2012   #8
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your crazy. can't believe their lettin bitches into the WWGP.

Sorry, couldn't help myself.

First and foremost, Natalie, congratulations on the effective use of the adverb "funnily". I first heard this used to great effect by Hillary Clinton, and anything associated with Hillary Clinton gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside.

I can't say that I have had many non-boating friends call me crazy. Maybe that's because I don't run anything big enough, but more likely it's because they think that I row a canoe around a lake, oh yeah, and I don't have any non-boating friends, or any friends at all really.

I actually think kayakers are the ones who could benefit most from the distinction between difficulty and danger. I hear way too often about needing to just nut (or clit) up to run something rather than, "I need to practice, study, focus, more". I remember being in a group once and expressing a desire to get on some more challenging water, and having a guy accuse me of needing my adrenaline fix. My internal reaction (annoyed) resulted in an internal dialog very similar to what you (Natalie) expressed in this article. Said guy shortly after flipped in some class III/IV bullshit, hit his head, got a reasonably bad concussion and had to be escorted off the run, while I hadn't put a scratch on my helmet in years.

The adrenaline junkie is the one consistently boating over their head, not the one running the hardest water, and the lack of injuries from some people running impossibly big stuff seems to bear that out. Although, sometimes I wonder if it's the law of probabilities and how many people lay silently in the killing fields in their wake.

And while, I largely agree with the premise, I will also say that boating presents a level of nervous energy and presence of physical danger that is not often felt in other areas of my life. While I try to be smart and run things within my limits, being able to assess the level of danger in whitewater is notoriously difficult, and being forced to deal with unknown variables is often present.

Anyway, it's an interesting topic.

Most importantly, it's awesome to see Natalie representing Colorado in the WWGP. Best of luck!
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Old 11-12-2012   #9
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Young males as a group have proven to be poor judges of risk in regards to their personal safety. Adding the need to compete would seem to only emphasize their bad decision making.

It’s trite to say, but there is a history of excellent kayakers dying on very difficult runs thought to be within their abilities.

If someone were into the skill aspect of paddling without need for fear, I cannot see why they wouldn’t focus on slalom. I’ve met very good slalom paddlers and they have been far from “snooty” towards me. I would say the best are perfectionists.
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Old 11-12-2012   #10
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Leroy, excellent point about Peter. I saw a post from Sean Allen describing the extraction, which sounded very sad. My understanding was that there was a log across the left channel, just under the surface. Everyone had been boofing over it, and didn't even know it was there. Peter missed his line, which is normally not too big of a deal on that drop, and he just vanished.

I would say that this is one of the risk factors that is beyond the paddler's control, like Natalie was describing in the article. However, look at how shocked the paddling community was about that death. Accidents like this do happen, which certainly makes a case for kayaking being a sport for thrill-seeking adrenaline junkies, but they are rarer than they might seem.
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