The spring season has been a crazy paddling season in the Seaway Valley. It all started to fall together after Sylvie and I got back from our US tour and a week of Team Training with the Canadian Freestyle Team at the site at NOC. As soon as we got home it was time to set up a season of events:
Our 1st event of the year was the Sewer Wave Throwdown.
Saturday April 13th 2013
Sewer Wave on the Ottawa River
Brandon Fasan, one of our team members put together a great day for us at Sewer Wave in Hull Quebec (Just across the river from Ottawa, Ontario)
16 boaters came out to brave the weather (t’was cold and rainy) and take advantage of the day.
Several members of the Canadian Freestyle team (Billy Harris, Brandon Fasan, Adam Chappell, Zachary and Emily Zwanenburg, Kaleen and Quinton Kennedy, and Sydney Nixon volunteered to give a short freestyle lesson to 8 newer paddlers. It was pretty cool.
The competition was held following the lesson (once everyone was good and cold) The format was fun too. The amateur paddlers competed first. The standings of each student competitor were counted as a multiplier to the instructor (Team member) who coached the student.
Then it was time for the team members to compete against each other.
Everyone had a really good time and we all excited to go back to a local restaurant for warm drinks and food.
Day 1 went off without a hitch. Thanks Brandon for putting this together for us.
Our next event was scheduled to take place in Quebec City. Unfortunately the organizers of “Vagues En Ville” on the Riviere St-Charles decided to not allow the freestyle event as they were unsure of the viability… well, we were at the festival, got a chance to see the potential sites for freestyle and have talked to the organizers. It should be good to go next year.
Our 3rd scheduled event of the year was the Coupe Du Quebec / CReW and WK hometown Throwdown,
Saturday May 4th 2013
Each year the site in Valleyfield hosts several Slalom event. We have partnered with the CEEVV (Centre d’Excellence en Eau Vives de Valleyfield slalom club in Valleyfield) and have the privilege of offering a Throwdown on the morning of each race weekend.
11 paddlers signed up to compete and it was a lot of fun.
The group was split into Advanced and beginner paddlers and it proved, as always, to be a bit hit.
The beginners took advantage of the advanced boaters to listen to tips and get a few good hints on improving their skills.
Manic, our local play spot has changed a bit over the winter. The feature is longer and the holes surge which makes it harder to stick your moves. The points demonstrated that well. I am guessing as we see the boaters back throughout our season of events that we will see the number crawl back up as they relearn the feature.
We again got to see some of our Junior National Team participate in the Throwdown as well as in the slalom race that followed.
In the end the standings were as follows:
Beginner and masters combined men’s and women:
1- Sylvie : 17 Points
2- Colin : 9 points
3- Zoe : 4 points
4- Martin : 4 points
Advanced boaters and Team members combined men’s and women’s:
1- Zachary : 344 Points
2- Aime-Jean : 214 points
3- Max : 76 points
4- Sam : 60 points
5- Emily: 19 Points
6- Cheryl : 13 points
7- Sydney : 9 points.
And now it is late May and I will make sure to post the events on the day of happening.
Next up: June 15. Hometown Throwdown #4!
See y’all then.
Photos to come still.
Each year I get the opportunity to work with a number of great companies that support WW kayaking through the WK Hometown Throwdowns. I have been working with Erin from Mtn. Khakis for a number of years now and her desire to help WK in our community growing initative has been nothing short of spectacular! This year she introduced me to another Mtn. Khakis employee who is out there on the river getting it done with his paddling community. Dom Clark and his friends started the “Dope Flow Boat Show” this past summer to document their boating fun. I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Dom, and here is what he had to say.
- Dom, what boating community do you call home? How long have you been involved in WW kayaking?
Indiana will always be my home, but the southeast is where it’s at for paddling. I started flatwater kayaking when I was 16 and quickly became fascinated with whitewater. I grew up in Indiana and my buddies and I would take our flatwater boats down any “gnar” that we could find. There is a 3 foot ledge on the Flatrock River (Class I), my hometown run, that is what really got me hungry for whitewater. I have been whitewater paddling for five years now.
- What aspect of WW boating is most appealing to you? (community, challenge, travel, exploration)
I love the challenge of running new rivers and seeing beautiful gorges that can only be accessed from the river. I also like the brotherhood that develops between you and your fellow boaters. To be honest, all aspects of WW boating are appealing to me, besides long portages!
- You work at Mtn. Khakis, who has been a fantastic partner of WK for 6 years now. Tell us a little something that we don’t know about your great company that pertains to boaters.
MK has been a sponsor of the hometown throwdowns for 7 years now and I am working to get MK more involved in the world of whitewater. As a side note, our Flannel-Lined Original Mountain Pants are awesome after a cold day of paddling!
- You and your paddling buddies have started a video project. Fill us in on what you are calling it and what you guys are looking to accomplish with the project.
John Higginbotham, Greg Nance and Logan Curry are the “founding fathers” of the “Dope Flow Boat Show.” it was created this summer to showcase our kayaking videos. Despite the name, DFBS does not have any negative connotations towards drugs or anything of an inappropriate nature. In a nutshell, Dope Flow Boat Show is a group that brings together badass kayakers. Our mission is to shed light on our sport through our videos and to bring new people into the world of whitewater. We always strive to set a good example for the youngins. We are going to make some informative/educational videos to explain some river running/creeking skills and some important safety precautions on the river. Although we do run stout whitewater, safety is always our number one priority. This is currently something that we are doing for fun, maybe it will turn into something bigger!
- Thanks for your time. Is there anything else that you want to share with the WK audience?
Get on the river and stay tuned for episode 3!
Here is episode #2
Later ; Colin
Kokatat has stepped up to the plate for their third season with the World Kayak HTTD series. Kokatat is known for their amazing quality dry gear. They are an awesome group of paddlers located in northern California who have a true passion for the sport. Look for some seekers headed to a throwdown event near you. There are some exciting announcements coming from Kokatat for our Championship event at NOC later this fall. Make sure to support this great company by checking out their gear at your local retailer.
Later ; Colin
IR is a fantastic family run and owned company that has been supporting the World Kayak HTTD series since the very first season. The 2012 season is no different. Amonge other things, IR is know for super dry skirts and the best customer service in the industry. I must say that my Dry Deck is one of my most favorite pieces of gear that I personally own. Make sure you visit their site at www.immersionresearch.com for a look at some great product as well as some great stories and laughs.
Later ; Colin
I am excited to announce that Stonyboater Paddle Wax has stepped up to the pate to sponsor the World Kayak Hometown Throwdown series for a second year. Last season a number of you got the opportunity to experience a kung fu grip on your paddle of choice, courtesy of Jason Rigby. Not only is Jason the owner of Stonyboater Paddle Wax, but he is also the Western PA World Kayak Ambassador. As the WK ambassador he is coming on strong this season. He is piloting our new Creek Race component to the event series. He even managed to get some great media coverage of his last event. Check it out here in his region http://regions.worldkayak.com/confluence-ohiopyle/. Make sure you check out the Stonyboater Paddle Wax website at www.stonyboater.com
Later ; Colin
Another crazy fun day on the riviere St-Charles in Valleyfield, Quebec went off without a hitch!
(First let me apologize for the lack of pics and video. We had a camera melt down. the result. 2 weeks of photos and media gone….)
Saturday morning was a warm friendly of day. Sylvie and hitched the CReW trailer, loaded he kids and trucked off to Valleyfield at 9 am to set up for registration. July is a funny month and you can never be sure if the event will be packed or sparse. We got lucky. The kids from the slalom club in Valleyfield came out and with a few of our regulars we had a good good.
15 people signed up for the boater-cross and 12 competed. Last month we started above the tubes for a 2 on 2 race but this time we opted for a larger group start.
I walked the kids through the course which included 3 must make upstream gates in tiny eddies. 3 heats fed to 2 which fed t o a final. We also ran a B group (all those who were bumped off in the first heats). Everyone got loads of rides.
The upstream gates are awesome as they force the racers to cross each other. A crafty paddler can use these moments to jump up as much os 3 places in the race.
Everyone raced fair and clean but there were a few very awesome rivalries (Max and Zachary) and some sweet collisions without injuries.
Sportsmanship was 100% and thanks to the good gate judges the only contested move was overturned by the consensus of the judges.
The finals of the A group ended as follows:
A1- Louis-Philippe Legare
A2- Zachary Zwanenburg
A3- Marc-Antoine Dubois
A4- Sam Lizotte
A5- Max Leboeuf
A6- Francois Lizotte
In the second group the final places ended as follows:
B2- Charles Demeule
B3- Yannick laviolette
B4- Jocelyn Quenneville
B5- Emily Zwanenburg
B6- colin Poirier
When the race was over every one stopped for lunch and we got geared up for a 1 PM freestyle event.
Something about afternoon, people come out of the woodwork
When we were ready to go the we had 16 people register and 14 competed What makes the afternoon event a hoot is the number of spectators hanging out to watch.
The judges had to keep up whith Francois BP as he threw down fast and furious He also showed up a helix which is a first at Manic
From the others we saw, entry moves, loops, space gods, cartwheels, split-wheels, back loops and more. From the shore we could hear the cheers from the friends and family who came out to watch. Soo nice to be encouraged:)
When it was over the scores looked like this:
Well done to everyone who stood up to manic.
Moments to remember:
Young Sam, albeit after the event, looped his Fun 1 1/2 for the first time and kept looping for the rest of the day! Who hoo!
Emily Zwanenburg, stopped during her race to make sure that Colin was OK after his swim in the second heat. Sportsmanship matters. Well done Emily.
When everyone joined up back at the trailer at the put in, we had fun with the awards and then the prizes from our sponsors.
Everyone walked away with something for their efforts.
Our format of the double header works well and our paddlers are happy with it. So now we slowly started thing about our next event of 2011. We decided that the next one should be when folks are just thinking about school and the end of the season so we are hosting the next double header on September 10. Same time and same place.
I hope we will see loads of people looking for that final event of the year.
Till then there is loads of paddling to do. July is not over and august will have its memories to build still.
Until next time,
Paddle hard and have fun,
(looking good in his Chaco Z2 Vibram Yampas )
PS: we are waiting on some pics from a friend and as soon as we get ‘em they will be posted.