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By Jessie Stone

This past weekend at Tariffville gorge on the Farmington river in Connecticut was the first ever T’Ville Triple Crown. What an awesome event! It combined Wildwater racing, Slalom and Freestyle into one competition. You had the option to compete in any single discipline, but if you wanted to take home the big bucks, $1,000 USD, you had to compete in all three. It was great to see paddlers from all different disciplines brought together to share the fun. I have never done an event like it before ( I got in a slalom boat on Friday for the first time!) and it was a big success.

The organizers, Jamie McEwan and Andy Kuhlberg, clearly put a lot of time and thought into the logistics and all aspects of the competition and it really showed. A very dedicated army of volunteers, without which this event could not have happened, assisted them. Everything went super smoothly. Somehow, the organizers also managed to order up perfect hot weather too, which was really a treat after all the 40-degree days we had been having. On Saturday and Sunday, the temperatures hit 90.

People were very psyched to see EJ back in New England and this time with new edition KC. EJ and Dane definitely gave everyone a good show. Some fine young slalom racers gave EJ a run for his money in Slalom and they were chasing him in wildwater, but when freestyle came around, EJ showed his mastery. EJ won the Triple Crown by 1 point!

Jimmy Blakeney came down from Massachusetts to judge freestyle and it was great to see him after a long time. The crowd and the other paddlers were psyched to watch all the action. Great local paddlers like Ted DeVoe, Scott Barnes, and Devin McEwan showed up and paddled really well, and a bunch of out of towners came from Virginia, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Canada. It was wonderful to see the event have so much draw.

On the women’s side, the two top Canadian Slalom paddlers, Sarah Boden and Katrina van Wyck made the trip down and showed the rest of us a thing or two about racing the wildwater boats as well as slalom. They were great to see on the water. Elaine Campbell and Hannah Farrar turned out as well and both made good showings in freestyle as well as the other events. All in all, it was really fun and a good test of fitness to do all three events both days. I can tell you that I slept really well on Sunday night after it was all over.

Lucky for us, this event looks like it will be a yearly thing so put it on your calendar for next year.