Select Page

Another Reno River Festival is in the books. A big thanks goes out to team JK’s own Ruth Gordon for organizing the event! Well done Ruth. It was great to have Jason Craig back in action at the festival again after his super speedy recovery from his accident 18 months ago. Jason paddled strong in just about every event there was at the festival. He managed to throw and stick a Jedi flip in competition! Jason and I also had a few great battles in the boater cross heats! The Rockstar took all the podium spots in the freestyle except for one, and that was an all star! Coming into this year’s boater cross I was really hoping to repeat my win from last year and I felt strong until we found out that we were adding an 8 ball component to the race. While I was in support of this any play you may have goes out the window the second you put two strong boaters in the water that are out for blood. Hobie and Toby Ebens, Ruth’s husband and WK ambassador, were the 8 balls. The problem with knowing the 8 balls is that they want to beat you up even more. The boater cross was the event with the highest number of participants in it for the kayaking events over the weekend so we had 7 men’s heats, 1 JR’s heat, and one really big(7 boaters) heat of women to start. I managed to get a great start in my first heat and was the first target for the 8 balls. Hobie’s bow left a bit of a shiner on my eyebrow but I managed to finish that round in first place. In the next round Jason Craig and I had a solid battle around the upstream rock gate and once again I manage to end up first in the path of the 8 balls, but was able to get away with minimal damage. This time we had more 8 balls in the water that we did not know about until we were in the thick of it. Once again I managed to finish first. Next we got to catch our breath for a minute while we watched the ladies get after it. There were some solid performances and some super aggression by the Kiwi contingent! In the final heat it was Jason Craig, Rusty Sage, myself, and one other boater that I cannot remember his name. Sorry. Jason got out ahead of me by just a little bit. My bow was on his stern all the way into the upstream rock, but as we came into that Rusty got inside of me. Luckily I managed to keep him on the rock so that he could only take strokes on my boat. I pulled ahead and was back on Jason’s stern. Being in front he took a solid hit from Hobie and I was able to pull a fast upstream gate and get in the lead, but Rusty was hammering on my stern now in the surf across the hole. As I exited that I got a bow to the knee from Toby. I had to fight past him and was left with a final sprint to the finish. Once again my trusty Villain took care of me throughout the race. I am super excited to have been able to repeat my win and I cannot wait to fight for it again next year!