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Yesterday I was able to be a part of probably one of, if not the gnarliest creek race EVER!

The Race was held on the Petit Bostonnais, which is an amazing creek, and has had two previous races in 2008/09. Though this year there was record high water. This changed the name of the game. Though with a lot of help from the town of La Tuque they were able to hold the water back to lower the level for us to race.

We all showed up the morning of the race to check out the course at its new water level (which was around a 1/3 of the level the day before). It started of with a quick sprint from the start line, right onto a double stage 30 footer. If you didn’t get your boof hard enough left you would get stuck in an eddy on the right before the second drop, which would kill your time. Next was a quick slack water piece right into an 8-foot drop that led straight into the long slide that was the finish of the course. Though I shouldn’t talk down the slide, being that gave the majority of the carnage, as well as took up at least 1/3 of the entire race, which was about 2 minutes 30 seconds total. The main difficulty for the slide was the fact that it was hard to move once you started, meaning if you were left you going left, and if you were right you were going right. I think pretty much everyone’s goal was to just stay upright and pointed downstream, which most people didn’t achieve.

My first practice run I realized how much of a whiteout the slide actually was, and how out of control you really were. I did a 540 spin and a flip as I rag dolled down the slide, only to get to the bottom and see Joel had just swam before.

This only started off our day of carnage while competing on the most epic Time Trail race ever. The start times went with the current standings, and being I was in first at the time I decided to go watch a couple runs before I went. What a bad idea that was, I watched 4 runs, with 3 being complete carnage. Starting with Devyn Scott running the slide spinning backwards flipping getting stuck in the hole at the bottom and working his way out. Then followed by Anton Immler coming down looking really good, getting a bit sideways and clipping a rock, which sent him completely aerial doing a huge pan-am onto his face. Then Tyler Cutis came down flipped half way down this long side, rolled up backwards flipped again and stayed upside for the next 100 feet finishing with a swim in the bottom hole.

I then walked up for my run, and by the time I got to the start line the swim count was up to 6. My game plan was to go for the win, so I figured I would paddle as hard as possible for the flat sections knowing that I wouldn’t need to paddle for the slide. This was a good plan in theory, but didn’t work out so great as I thought. I started pretty good, until the first double drop where I got pushed right and had to paddle hard to get out of the strong eddy pocket. I then knew I had to catch up on time so I paddled harder in the next pool, nailed the line for the 8-foot boof and started to drive left for the first pour-over ledge on the top of the 700-foot slide. Though while driving left I hit a rock flipped and did a quick roll leaving me backwards as I drop into the hole. I then work hard to get out knowing I am not going to swim. Though after getting out I was completely wasted of energy as I spun around for the intense part of the slide. I knew all I could do was to keep it straight, which I did. I was so fired up that I didn’t flip on the slide like in practice, that I pretty much forgot about the bottom hole until I dropped into it. Bummer. Now I was surfing a pretty big ledge hole completely out of energy. Though I was still not going to swim, I would just work my way out and I tried to get out river right but that didn’t work, so then I tried river left which started to get close, until I just had nothing left and fell over while trying to brace/surf. I knew I couldn’t get out because of my exhaustion so I decided to swim. I was sop tired I could barely find or grab my spray skirt. Once I did get out I instantly felt the cold-water rush against my body, which was confusing being I was wearing a dry suit, latter to realize I left the relief zipper open. Though the cold water was t he least of my worries being I was still out of breath, underwater and getting recycled in the hole while swimming. I got recycled twice while swimming and having no energy to panic I just curled up in a ball and waited. I flushed soon after and instantly was hit with two throw ropes that got me to shore. I crawled up and took a couple much needed breaths. It then sank in that I didn’t finish the race, and I needed to go back up for my second run.

I was definitely shaken up a bit, but I also knew I had to get back on the horse. I borrowed a boat for my second run being that mine was still pinned under water, and I took it easy just wanting to have a good, safe, clean run. Which I did, having probably my best run of the day with my only mistake being getting stuck in the right eddy on the double drop again, and getting stopped in the bottom hole again. Though this time I knew I wasn’t swimming no matter what it took, though having the energy to paddle out really helped.

At the awards we had a solid lineout for bottie beers with a total swim count for the day being 9 or more.

I do wish I could have had maybe a third run to try and ‘race’ it again, but in the end I was excited to have actually finished and to leave the day with no injuries, other than a bruised ego, which was fine with me. I was also super fired up for my little (not actually) brother-in-law Dane Jackson, who styled the course all day. Finishing in a close second while throwing in a ‘Brown Claw” in the hardest part of the slide. I think everyone was especially impressed with his boating in the race.

Dane, Joel, Gerd and I were all in Villains and although the creek wasn’t very nice to us, we were super stoked to be in the Villain for our race runs. The boat was fast, easy to move around, and with the Bulkhead system we knew our ankles were in safe hands!

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Here are the full results.



1st Place: Evan Garcia

2nd: Dane Jackson

3rd: Ben Marr

4th Place tie: Rush Sturges and Aniol Serrasolses

6th: Anton Immler

7th: Bryan Kirk

8th: Chris Gragtmans

9th: Jonny Meyers

10th: Keegan Grady

11th: Gerd Serrasolses

12th: Tyler Fox

13th: Casper Van Kalmthout

14th: James Bebbington

15th: Joel Kowalski

16th: Nick Troutman

17th: Devyn Scott

18th: Tino Specht

19th tie: Logan Grayling, Tyler Curtis, Joey Hitchins (DNF)

22nd: Mat Dumoulin (still sidelined with an injury)


1. Lou Urwin (NZL)

2. Marie-Pier Cote (CAN)… (DNF)