Select Page

June 20, 2006

By Dan Rubado. Learn more about Dan.

Hi guys,
Well… the Wenatchee River Festival went down this Saturday. It might not have been the Lyon Fest, but it was a good time and it attracted a huge number of boaters from all over the NW. The Wenatchee started out at a great level on Friday when I arrived in the small fruit packing town of Cashmere, WA, best known for its world-famous candy company ‘Applets and Cotlets,’ which I personally find somewhat repulsive, but don’t tell them. Cashmere isAfter picking up a parking pass, I hit the river to test out ‘Rodeo hole,’ where the event was going to be held the next day. It was good, but definitely starting to drop as I worked on blunts and back stabs and started to dial in a couple flashbacks. The hole directly above rodeo hole, dubbed ‘upper rodeo hole,’ which has a super-narrow eddy right against the wall, was sweet for huge loops, space godzillas, ends, back-loops, and the like. It was pretty chaotic, which made some of the more technical moves really hard, but an excellent hole overall. After a good session I headed down to sample the Trinity wave before it dropped out too low. Unfortunately, it was already getting too low, but still gave up some nice aerial moves… although I don’t have any pictures to prove it.

The next morning I got up and wandered down to registration right about when the down river race was starting. Oh well, I didn’t bring my creeker anyhow. I slapped down my entry fee and headed back up to the hole to practice. The river had dropped a lot overnight, so Upper rodeo hole was the only thing going. Some of the local guys from Leavenworth were tearing it up already when I jumped into my gear. It wasn’t too warm out, but I decided to rock the shorty anyhow… to impress the crowd. It was a sweet competition hole, in my opinion. It was challenging with a thin, boily eddy, but it gave up some awesome loops once you learned how to work it. It didn’t take long for people to start showing up and filling up the rocks on the side of the river. Once I was good and worn out from looping all over the place the judges started to get the event started. So I strapped on my bib and waited my turn to slide down the rock into the eddy. In the first round everyone got the standard two 45 second rides. I was able to nail my loops and ends, but was struggling to hit my back-loop.

Then it was cut to the top six. Dave Garringer went into finals in first. I followed close behind in second. The finals round was full of clean ends, flying air loops, but the judges were looking for smooth, fluid style on top of all the tricks. The final placing was:
1. Dan Rubado (Team JK!)
2. Josh Bechtel (Pyranha)
3. Dave Garringer
4. Taylor Robertson
5. Steve Bailey
6. Darren Albright

That’s it! The Wenatchee River Fest was sweet… very laid back, relaxing, and enjoyable. I only wish that the main Rodeo hole had been stomping at a nice juicy level, but the feature we ended up with was great for the competition. You all should come next year and enjoy the big wave action that the Wenatchee has to offer during the spring snowmelt season. Here are some pictures of the event provided to me by Brian Behle of Leavenworth Mountain Sports. Thanks Brian!

See you all out on the river!

-Dan Rubado


Click to view larger image

Anonymous Jackson paddler at rodeo hole

Click to view larger image

Dan – holding on to that clean end

Click to view larger image

Dan – obviously setting up for something huge in the upper hole

Click to view larger image

Leavenworth paddler in the upper hole

Click to view larger image

Mummi – Icelandic Jackson paddler surfing rodeo hole