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By Clay Wright

Gateway to Crested Butte, Gunnison CO is often overlooked as a
vacation destination in itself but Gary Lacy and the town have worked
hard to provide playboaters with a sweet wave with ample flows just
minutes from town – just a few miles from the Hartman Rock Mt. Bike
mesa-top trail system. It’s a fantastic combo! Bike in the
morning, paddle in the afternoon, and you can always bust up to
Crested Butte for the 5pm Oh Be Joyful run or over to M-wave or
Fluffy Muffin or Gunni Gorge for some variety.

This weekend was the Gunnison Whitewater Festival and the remaining
‘whitewater wanderers’ following rodeo tour descended on the town to
enjoy "W Cafe” breakfasts, Blue Iguana or Flying Burrito’s, and
Mocha’s wifi and confections – as well as the sweet whitewater all
around. Recent US Team Member Johnie Meyers held a fundraiser /
clinic on Friday – coaching all comers on the tricks to this
difficult wave. On the Freestyle competition side, the wave was a
hit! It’s fast and steep 4′ face that alternated from steep green
and bumpy to a frothy foam-pile. Getting big air tricks was easy.
Sticking them without catching an upstream edge or carving off the
shoulders was very hard! I was extra stoked to have the 2Ten All-
star under me – it just makes steep fast waves like this so much
easlier! Even on fast cutbacks the bow doesn’t pearl, it takes very
little momentum to launch the boat off the water into an airblunt,
and the rotational speed allowed me to get dead-vertical on a pass
that would normally result in a roundhouse. The rotational speed
on airscrews and helix’s was amazing – and though I struggled to land
straight enough to stay in the foam (and was conservative enough to
stick with tricks that stick for the event) , i was landing more
upright with less set-up time than ever before! Cannot wait to get
this little boat to a spot I’m more familiar with to really dial in
the improvements.

All competitors enjoyed planning routines – either conservative
like mine or more ‘balls-out’ big tricks and lots of flushing – which
resulted in a lot off variety for all to see. Other events included
a Hooligan-race much like that of FIBARK, a slalom, and a Boatercross/
slalom combo – and today there are a variety of races up on the
Taylor. Here are the Freestyle results as I recall them (missed

Men’s Pro-
1st: Bryan Kirk – project cx (clean blunt ,clean spins, and a helix)
2nd: Clay Wright – 2Ten All-star (all 4 air/blunts, spins, shovits,
airscrew to flush)
3rd: Eric Bissel – 07 All-star (Felix, air blunts and backstab)
4th Jordan Poffenberg – Biscuit C-1 ( blunts, blunt-nasty attempts)
5th Michael Palmer – GigiPod – (airscrew, clean blunt and helix
attempts with varied success each ride)

1.Natalie Kramer (1 huge air blunt)
2.Lauren Buress (lots of roundhouses and spins)

Jr Class:

1. Paul Palmer

For more results check

Photo of Clay Wright by Bryan Kirk