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My Year in Review, Southeast, Colorado, WY and World Cup.

What an amazing summer it has been. I can’t believe I packed so much into it. For me this summer included trips to the South East, West Virginia, Colorado and the World Cup Event.

I was very fortunate to take a group up to West Virginia and I am always stoked about this place. I mean, how cool is it to have such world class river as the Gauley and the New side by side that provides all levels of paddling. This trip saw us take on the New River with a bunch of super keen young paddlers. I have to say that I will never get bored of this fantastic stretch of whitewater, however taking young new paddlers to this river makes it just that much more exciting. Seeing the river through their eyes must be awe-inspiring, one of the largest rivers that these kids had ever been on.

Moving onto Colorado, I have to say that I have never been out to this part of the world and I am not totally sure why but it did not disappoint. The Numbers, Royal Gorge, Pine Creek, Browns Canyon, there is just so much to this area and the play is becoming world class. BV and Salida are just quintessential paddling towns that made us feel very welcome. I was fortunate to paddle with Dustin Urban and Darin Mquoid out there and I could not ask for any better paddlers. Watching Dustin freestyle is like watching a dance on water, so effortless and so spectacular and a local that knows so much about the area. Darin is who I consider to be the best whitewater photographer in the world and his pictures really speak for themselves. Both of these guys helped us take our group of eager kids on sections of whitewater that these kids would not have thought possible. On the final day, we were extremely fortunate to take our advanced group on the North Fork of South Platte at Baileys which is one amazing run especially considering we were guiding down 13-16 year olds. Zach Fraysier and Dustin Urban did a great job of guiding the group down and most were able to have a dry head day. We came off this river hooting and hollering, cheering everyone for getting though what was most of these kids biggest and toughest runs ever. One very spectacular day indeed!!

Then it was back to the Southeast and onto the World Cup of Freestyle Kayaking. The comp took in Rock Island, the Pigeon River and finished up on the Nantahala river. I was so stoked to see such competitive and strong competition being played out.

A highlight for me has been firstly the mostamazing feature I have been on, the hole at the pigeon river. This river feature was built by hand by moving rocks one at a time to create a wall and a feature that is super deep, allowing for some of the most amazing arial moves around.

Personally I guess I could have placed better with my highest result being a 4th place, however I have to admit I wasmy own worst enemy. The Nantahala semi finals I thought I had a great run so with 5 seconds left on the time clock I waived it off thinking I had cemented my place in the finals. A short time later I was very surprised to find I missed out on making the finals by three measly points. This is a good reminder to me and all out there, never ever give up, those last few seconds could make the difference.

I did have a great time being part of this event, and announcing the three events really was enjoyable too.

So I have to say I had one outstanding summer. Thanks to my sponsors Jackson Kayak, Kokatat, Snap Dragon, Mountain Khaki, and those that made this one summer I will never, ever, forget.