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July 24, 2005

I just wanted to add my two cents worth to Stephen’s

Congratulations Stephen!


Results from the Garberator Rodeo at the Riverpalooza,
Ontario, Canada

  1. Stephen Wright Jackson Kayak All-Star
  2. Steve Fisher- Riot
  3. Guillaume (Quebec-ian C-1er who threw the nasty-est

Story by Stephen Wright:

I took my weekend off from coaching the Keeners to
compete this weekend. The second annual Riverpalooza festival was a blast.
With events and activities including a Moonlight Garberator Freestyle
Comp, a Garvins extreme Boater X, Mountain Bike Demos, Mud Wrestling,
Breakdancing Demos, and lots of live music, this was a fun weekend for
all! Here’s how it worked for the freestyle event: we were divided into
heats of 6, with 25 minute rounds. It was a Jam Session format, so we
could take as many rides as we had time for. We were judged on three things:
Our single biggest move (most visually impressive), our single best ride
with 3 different moves, and entry moves–each of these three was equally
weighted in the scoring. There were lots of IMPRESSIVE rides as everyone
went-off under the flood-lights and to the delight of more than 150 spectators.
Garb was at the perfect level for big air. I threw helixes, clean air
blunts, pan-ams, McNasty’s, Air Screws, air backstabs, and a few entry
kickflips. Here’s the top 3 results:

1 Stephen Wright (woohoo!)
2 Steve Fisher
3 Guillaume (Quebec-ian C-1er who threw the nasty-est silly flips IN THE

Next was a boater X down Garvins, a steep cascading
burly drop on the Ottawa. I was excited to try out my new Rocker and psyched
that it did everything I wanted in making my lines. There were two options
for lines yesterday: Dragon’s Tongue, a long cascade into a 4′ drop into
a boily mess of an eddy/hole, which then fed down to the right of a large
undercut island, or the Este Chute–the next chute left from Dragon’s
Tongue…It’s a steep 15′ cascade with a wicked curler coming off the
river right wall and pushing most of the water (and paddlers) hard left
to the left of the island. I had heard that Este was the fastest line
last year, so I spent all my time practicing there. It took several tries,
but I finally figured-out how to keep my Rocker on top of the curler by
driving onto it 1/2 way down the drop, which kept me in the faster water
at the bottom. Here’s the format: 3 heats of 6 racers started in the flatwater
above the drop and finished by hitting a boat floating below the bottom
island. Racers could take either line.

The first heat worried me, as the two racers who chose
the Dragon’s Tongue line easilly beat everyone who dropped Este. It was
time to change my strategy. It looked like the runnout below either drop
was what gave Dragon’s line the advantage–the water was just moving a
lot faster to the right of the island. I checked-out the Este runnout
and decided that if I could stay on top of the curler, I could drive right
of the island in the fastest-moving water below either drop. In prelims,
I made my line, passed a few DT racers and ended-up more or less tied
for second in my heat with Dave N. Finals had 7 racers head-to-head. It
was SICK!!! I made my line perfectly, but Dragon’s Tongue turned-out to
be faster over-all and I couldn’t quite claw my way to the front of the
pack from behind. Here’s the final results:

1 Steve Fisher
2 Brad Sutton
3 Dale Monkman
4 Dave N
5 Stephen Wright

I don’t have any shots from the event, but here are
a few of me from this week at Garb, and a shot of keener Rafiel Ortez
on Este. Enjoy!

Live from the Ottawa,
Stephen Wright

PS check-out the daily-updated Keener website



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Stephen Clean Blunt2

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Stephen Clean Blunt

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Raf on Este