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Today is the day where all current World Champions, like myself, will be stripped of their titles, and those titles are now up for grabs. No everyone gets a shot at becoming the next world champion. Only those who made their countries teams and could compete in the event to begin with had the original shot. Then there were preliminary rounds to cut the fields down. In men’s kayak it was a cut from 76 to 20. Then there were quarter finals where the men cut from 20 to 10 yesterday. Now there are all classes with only 10 or 5 people left. The junior women cut to 5 yesterday and they are ready for finals this afternoon. The junior men cut to 10 and they have their semi-finals this morning to cut to the 5 juniors who have a shot at the title. The senior women cut to 10 yesterday and they also have a semi-final round this morning to cut to 5. The senior men have their semi-finals this morning, with 10 men going in, 5 men going home and 5 men get a shot at the title this afternoon. The C1’s have their prelims and semi-finals this morning since there are only two heats of them. The OC1’s have their finals this afternoon already.

Last night was the big “losers party” affectionately named by world’s competitors many years ago. Each night after competition the number of party goers gets bigger as more people are eliminated. Ben Stookesberry did a premier of “Hotel Charlie: River of Doubt” and the new 2007 Jackson Kayak Promo video at the bar of Wilderness Tours during the middle of the party. I wasn’t there, but instead I was asleep in bed trying to keep my energy up for a big day today. I feel bad for Jay Kincaid,Moe Kelleher, Rush Sturges, and Anthony Yapp who got eliminated yesterday in the cut from 20 to 10. I feel very proud of Nick Troutman who has won rounds 1 and 2 in this competition and Billy Harris who has finished 2nd in both rounds 1 and 2 behind Nick. The new Jackson Kayak Star series, being paddled by Team JK is winning the Men’s, Women’s, Junior Men’s, and Junior Women’s classes so far. Can the trend continue? Will we choke in semi-finals and finals? Will we rise up and broaden the gap between us and the rest of the world in these rounds today? I want to see everybody do well and while I am particularly interested in the Jackson Kayak Team paddlers because they are part of a family that we assembled, have coached, and are a big part of our lives. I am also interested in the USA Team because we are a team who is competing for the medals at the world championships here and want to continue our domination of the sport. In the Men’s and Women’s classes so far it is Canada that is in the lead in the early rounds, with Dane and Emily in the lead in the junior classes.

It is the calm before the storm where tensions will run higher as the end of the tunnel is in sight and everyone is sprinting towards it hoping to make it to the end ahead of at least 5 others so they can play once again in the finals. Breakfast, coffee, chatting, thinking, planning, hoping, trying to stay calm are all parts of the last morning of the World Championships. My gear is frozen out on the line, but the sun is coming up and melting the morning ice. I will attempt to dry it before I have to put it on by bringing it in the RV. Dane is running around trying to find a long sleeve shirt as he can’t find a single jacket to wear and Kristine is already at the event setting up. Dad isn’t any better at finding a lost jacket than Dane is. Emily is trying to sleep since she hasn’t been able to compete, train, and kick her illness at the same time. Nick just woke up and is feeling confident, like only an 18 year old who is dominating their first world championships can feel. He is not cocky, just having fun. We have been training partners for two years now and I can tell you that his biggest battle will be that unknown factor or sudden “what if” that can come from a single early flush. I hope his first ride this morning is a good one, so he can keep his confidence without feeling the pressure of a do or die ride going into finals. I finished in 8th place in quarter-finals, a terrible finish for me, with rides that I am a little embarrassed by, but enough to keep playing. I expect that the water will be a little lower this morning, making the wave a little trashier, and the feel quite a bit different. I am going to use that to my benefit. I will take a good first ride this morning too, thank you. I am not afraid of the pressure of a do or die ride, but why put myself in that position? Get in, do it right the first time.

My routine was: Pan Am both ways, Clean Backstab both ways, Back Pan Am both ways, Helix, blunt McNasty, airscrew

Now My routine is:
Helix both ways, clean blunt both ways, Back Pan am right, Blunt/McNasty left, airscrew left, both flip turns. This new routine replaces 16 point moves( that I was getting scored as blunts or 8 points each) with 22 point moves that are hard to not do for full credit. My scores were much lower than I expected, not because of the quantity of moves I was doing, but that the judges put my moves in a notch lower category because they were marginal in verticality (my pan ams weren’t past vertical enough) Nick’s highest single ride score so far was a 93, and I also got a 93 on my prelims ride. My new routine should go over 120 points if I thrown my moves with authority and keep my pace going for 45 seconds.

Dane needs to get ready soon, so I am going to prepare my stuff to go watch him. I am already getting nervous to watch him. He is SO good on a big wave that I shouldn’t be nervous in the cut from 10 to 5, but I am. I want him to get to paddle in a finals here, and I know he could win the whole thing, but only time will tell (about 6 hours)
Ruth Gordon is such an incredible big wave boater that I can’t imagine her not making the top 5. Her score was a 68 and 3rd place was a 27 in prelims. She needs to treat it seriously though, of course.

Emily waits until this afternoon for finals- she is in the big game already!
EJ has one more BIG hurdle to jump before being in the big game. I have made this jump successfully 6 out of 7 times over the past 14 years, good odds. I am trained up and ready.

7:30 PM- After the competition:
Emily won the junior women’s class! I am a proud papa! Dane got 3rd in the Junior men’s class, a very proud papa, and I won the men’s class- a proud wave surfing dude!

It was a crazy day, but beautiful, sunny, 75,000 cfs of water making the buseater a monster of a wave! I have to go to awards right now, so I’ll fill you in later!

Jackson Kayak paddlers won 4 out of 5 of the classes and 7 medals! Ruth Gordon won the women’s class, YEaa haaa! Dan burke won the C1 class in his All-Star!!!!