So August 24th was the fourth paddling of the WorldKayak Pro-Am for First Descents and is it was the biggest and baddest yet!!! The event raised $3,795 for First Descents, a great organization committed to curing young adults of the emotional effects of cancer and empowering them to regain control of their lives by experiencing whitewater kayaking and other challenging adventure sports in a safe, fun and supportive environment. This year saw a change of venue to NOC and we couldn’t be happier or more excited working with all the great folks at NOC; there is just something about being in the gorge at the Nantahala and hanging at the NOC. The event was held at NOC and we threw down at the NOC Wave the same feature that is being used for the Freestyle Worlds at NOC, Sept. 2nd – 8th . This meant that we had the best Pro paddlers in the world at the NOC already! Amateurs got a change to paddle with the best of the best from the USA, Canada and the UK.
Registration started right at 10am with our little army of volunteers getting everything set-up lightning fast. By 11am we had everyone registered and the Teams set! This is one of my favorite parts of the day, watching folks meet their Pros and getting psyched to spend the day paddling! The Jackson Team and Team Pyranha (yes the Demshitz crew!) came out huge to support the event along with members from Team Dagger, Team Wavesport and Team Liquid Logic, it was great to see everybody out. This year we also had international Pro’s from across the pond and the great North. Watching the kids and for that matter the adults too get to meet and realize that they would be paddling with all the top freestylers’ from all those awesome videos that pop-up from all over the world was great.
We were really lucky this year to have Jez Jezz from Team Australia come to be our official photograph and videographer. He made an amazing video recap of the event and took a ton of great pics.
We started the event off with the Ladies. Each of our competitors got there Pro to themselves for the event which was awesome, we continue to get overwhelming support from the Pro’s for the event, we need more amateurs! The Ladies took to the NOC hole and went off with the Pros throwing all the big moves including the window shade and doing some face surfs. Watching the amateurs going for loops, cartwheels and even a phonix while being cheered on by everyone was awesome.
The Overall standings:
1st place Adrienne Levknecht and Ariana
2nd place Haley Mills and Greta
3rd place Kat Levitt and Sierra
4th place Emily Jackson and Kat
5th place Rowan Stuart and Katherine
Next up were the Boys. It was great to see a preview of the rides to come at Worlds as the men throw down some huge rides and went for their biggest tricks and huge air. Dane Jackson went huge on everything getting insane air; Pringle threw some super smooth combos that we simply scored as 10, 10, 10, 10. Bren threw his patented Back Loop to Front loop combo which was sick and Jason showed that he is the Jedi Flip master! MP got into the NOC hole and never stopped for his entire ride, non-stop moves! Dave and EJ put on a cart wheeling show, going old school. All the Pros brought their best and had a great time doing paddle throws mid loop and going for a face surf!
1st place James “Pringle” Bebbington, Issac and Kenya
2nd place Dave Levitt and Carter
3rd place Mike Patterson, Jeff and Nathan
4th place Nick Troutman, Michael and Brendan
5th place Dane Jackson, Wes and Jack
6th place Bren Orton and Justin
7th place Jason Craig, Devon and Noah
8th place Pete DeLosa, Andrew and Jake
9th place Dave Fusilli, Jeremy and Sean
10th place Eric Jackson, Philip and Scott
11th place Brandon Hepburn, Ethan and Jonathan
12th place Snowy, Justin and Harris
Time for thanks as always we have so many amazing people that help make this event so great! Thanks to NOC for hosting us and helping to promote our wonderful event. Thanks to New Star Marketing for providing all of the T-shirts. Thank you to Highland Brewing for creating and providing an amazing beer that helped us to raise even more money for this amazing cause. It was great hang out after the event and enjoy some great Highland beer for the cause of course! Thank you to our Silent Auction Donors Jackson Kayak, Pryhana Kayak, Go Pro, Kokatat, Shred Ready, Shelton Vineyards, and H20 Dreams. Also thanks to the continued support from our World Kayak Sponsors GoPro, Chaco, Jackson Kayak, Rapid Transit, Kokatat, Astral, Ninkasi Brewing, Shred Ready, Stonyboater Paddle Wax, Smith Optics, Mountain Khakis. Huge Thanks to Team Canada for scribing, timekeeping, and just helping with whatever they were asked, they made the whole event run super smooth! Thanks to Team Sondey, Casey and Kevin for doing all the math and getting the scores tabulated so quickly. Thanks to Mitch for helping judge all the great rides. Thanks to our two great volunteers who ran the Silent Auction, Carol and KK. Thanks to Skippy Films for providing amazing photos and creating a video that captures the day.
Nantahala Outdoor Center: http://www.noc.com/
New Star Marketing : http://newstarnc.com/
Highland Brewing: http://www.highlandbrewing.com/
Jackson Kayak: http://jacksonkayak.com/
Go Pro: http://gopro.com/
Rapid Transit: http://rapidtransitvideo.com/main/
Ninkasi Brewing: http://www.ninkasibrewing.com/
Shred Ready: http://www.shredready.com/
Stoneyboater Paddle Wax: http://www.stonyboater.com/
Smith Optics: http://www.smithoptics.com/
Mountain Khakis: http://www.mountainkhakis.com/
Pryhana Kayak: http://www.pyranha.com/
Shelton Vineyards: http://www.sheltonvineyards.com/
H20 Dreams: http://www.whitewaterdreams.com/