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April 24, 2006

Wow, what a weekend in California on the South Fork of the American River! On Saturday the freestyle competition was held at “Trouble Maker” since the river was at 6,000 cfs and Chili Bar was flushed out. The site was a fast, medium sized, nearly green wave, with a small eddy that was “Trouble” if you flushed and didn’t bust a move into it. Emily won the women’s class, and Dane won the “men’s expert class”, since all of the juniors decided to be “men” instead of boys at this event. In the Men’s Pro class, the Star series took 5 of the top 6 positions!

Stephen Wright 1st (All-Star)
EJ 2nd (All-Star)
Jay Kincaid 3rd (Super Star)
Dave Garringer 4th (Project)
Dan Rubado 5th (Super Star)
Eddie Hake 6th (Super Star)

On Sunday the second event of the “Sierra Cup Slalom Series” took place. Keith organized this event with lots of volunteer help in a high water year. It is tough setting gates at Henderson Park at 6,000 cfs, but they did it. The course consisted of 18 gates and lots of water. It was a fairly short course with only 5 upstream gates. Emily, Dane, Keith, and I all raced the Ricochet (Keith borrowed Emily’s for his first run and mine for his second run). It is so awesome to show up to a slalom race and have a boat for myself and for my kids on the roof of the RV! The three of us were on the water early practicing and I can tell that the kids are loving slalom too. More than racing, I am looking forward to paddling in gates somewhere and teaching them how to put their boats exactly where they want to in order to be fast and clean.

The results: (by memory, sorry I don’t have the complete list!)

Men’s Expert:

EJ 1st- Ricochet
Keith 2nd- Ricochet
Dane Jackson- 5th Ricochet

Women’s Expert
Emily Jackson- 1st Ricochet
I am not sure what the order was after that

It was really cool to have two weekends in a row with a mix of slalom racing and either freestyle or extreme racing. The next slalom paddling will be in Reno where they have gates set up. Hopefully Charles Albright will be there too to paddle with and Jessie, the local junior girl racer.

I woke up this morning thinking that we were going to the Jelly Belly factory, but luckily checked my inbox to see when I needed to be in Seattle to film a TV show that was scheduled a few weeks ago. Tomorrow! So now we have an 820 mile drive today to get to Seattle in time to film with “Screaming Flea Productions”. We are on I-5 north coming out of Sacramento, CA at 10am and will be in Seattle by 10am tomorrow.

There is so much water out west! This is a great season to be a kayaker!

🙂 EJ