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Today is the Day 2 of the Teva Mountain Games. Yesterday was the “Homestake Creek Race” where a 2 minute race down 480 feet of gradient at 10,000 feet of elevation created a great race venue. Check out this link for coverage… (click on event coverage).
Today was the Prelims for the Freestyle Kayak Event, which is in a cool natural stadium on Gore Creek. The field was narrowed down to 15 men and 5 women today as the new “playhole” was used for the first time in competition. Vail put in 6 control gates mounted to the bottom of the river to control the shape of the hole at any water level. It is unreal as you can create a variety of great features at only 400 cfs!
It was amazing just how many people were watching on a Friday afternoon. Vail turns into an outdoor meca with rock climbing, a stage with great concerts, mountain biking contests and demonstrations, all within a few square blocks in the center of this cool mountain town.
We started today at 1pm and I got to watch the competition from the river’s edge as well as from the balcony of the Sitzmark Lodge overlooking Gore Creek and more importantly the competition spot. There were paddlers from Australia, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, USA, Italy, and more. The judges for this event are Matt Solomon, Jeremy Lauks, and Clay Wright, a great crew of experienced paddlers and judges.
The results from today’s event were:
Women’s Pro moving on to the Semi-Finals
1. Emily Jackson- USA -125
2. Ruth Gordon- Canada- 105
3. Tanya Faux- Australia
4. Jessie Stone- USA
5. Niki Kelley- New Zealand
Men’s Pro moving on to the Semi-finals
1. Eric Jackson- USA- 329
2. Dustin Urban- USA- 218
3. Bryan Kirk- USA- 213
4. Andrew Holcomb- USA- 203
5. Stephen Wright- USA- 202
6. Nick Troutman- Canada- 188
7. Jason Craig- USA- 174
8. Kelsey Thompson- Canada- 174
9. Jonathan Shales- 163
10. Dane Jackson- USA- 156
11. Ben Guska-USA- 148
12. Jud Kaiser- USA- 138
13. Jon Meyers- USA- 131
14. Greg Parker- USA- 126
15. Tino Spect- USA- 107
The event wrapped up and there are still paddlers in the hole paddling under the lights training for tomorrow. The cut from 15 to 5 paddlers tomorrow is a big one and the scores will be high!
Some combos were thrown and tons of the hard moves, as well as some HUGE loops and other aerial moves. The new hole is really fun to compete in and watch!
The finals will start at 4:30 pm tomorrow night and the winners will be crowned by 5:30! It will be exciting, as it is anything can happen day, once again!
See you on the water,

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