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2012…. Just when I thought life couldn’t get any better than 2011, I proved myself wrong! 2012 was yet another year of World travel, competitions, incredible people, growing up and exploring rivers.


The year started off in NZ, living at home on my family’s farm in Papakaio. I missioned over to west coast and threw my hand at creeking. I hadn’t done much creeking before so I was mega excited to just step out onto some of NZ’s most classic runs that people travel from all over the world for. I even got my first heli-kayak run on the Perth River!

From here I went home to work on the farm and earn some money so I could get back to the USA and my American family!
Before I left there were a few more competitions though, including the NZ extreme race series on the Kaituna, Wairoa and Citroen runs. Citroen also being the National Champs, where I placed second securing myself an overall ranking of second in the series.


My next chapter begins in Christchurch airport, my Mum and Dad dropped me off and the Journey began. About 5 flights later and I saw Kristine Jackson! Kristine, Lorraine and KC all came to pick me up and bring me back to Tennessee!
After about a minute KC remembered me and we played games like tug of war the whole way back.

Back home in Rock Island, it was great to be back and see everyone again. It was also the first time I had ever been there at high water and so Clay took me out to do laps down the falls and run Sieve City.

2012 also meant my first year of competing in the Women’s division, which I was mega hyped for! Now I was competing at the top of the game against the best ladies in the world!
First event was the NOC Shootout, where I was stoked to be standing on the podium beneath Emily Jackson and Hayley Mills.
After this was the T’ville Triple Crown where I entered everything I could C1 and K1, with some good results on day one…(3rd Women’s Wildwater, 2nd C1 Wildwater, 3rd Women’s Slalom, 3rd C1 Slalom, 2nd Women’s Slalom, 2nd C1 Freestyle).

Not long after this I had to say goodbye to Nick and Dane as they went off to Cali for some creeking, and goodbye to Emily as she ventured off to Europe chasing her Olympic dream in Slalom. So now paddling was just EJ and I. We hung round the Potomac, his old home run and we ran the falls and play boated at the chute each day!
Next event was the Dominion Riverrock Festival in Richmond, Virginia. Here we kept busy with lots of demos on the canal and some fun racing and freestyle on SUP’s and Kayaks. I got 2nd in the Boater-cross, 2nd in the SUP-cross and 2nd in the Freestyle.
Now we headed out east in the Big New RV for the Colorado tour! First event was the BV Pro Rodeo where I placed 5th in the pro women’s and 2nd in C1 women. Followed up by the Steamboat Paddlelife pro, which almost had more Kiwi’s than Americans competing, as a big crew appeared on their way to the Teva Mt Games. I placed 1st in the Freestyle and 5th in the creek race, which gave me a second overall.
Next was a big one, Teva Mountain Games, I have heard a lot about this event over the years and always wanted to make it to one! The steep creek race was extra low water this year and athletes were being pinned all over the place in training. But watching I really wanted to take part, so I sussed out my lines and did a few practice laps. I didn’t make finals but had a tonne of fun and was stoked to make it down cleanly! I also finished 5th in the Downriver Sprint and podiumed in the Freestyle after Claire O’hara and Hayley Mills.
Then we moved on to Lyons Colorado for the Lyons Outdoor Games. The creek race in this one was even mankier, but I was keen as to get out there. I won the women’s division and also took the women’s win in the freestyle.
Then we went to Salida for the Fibark festival. Here I finished 2nd in the freestyle, 3rd in C1 (in a medium rockstar, that was entertainment for everyone, but it held me well with the Custom Jackson C1 outfitting!) and 2nd in the slalom. An awesome all-round festival in a really fun small town with great ice-cream!
On the way to the next event in Montana we stopped by The Crazy Mountains to add a tick to EJ’s Bucket List, with a few descents of Big Timber Creek. It was beautiful up there. We hiked straight up the mountain past snow then made some fast descents back down. This creek is definitely one I will remember not only because of the pain it caused me near the end but for the pure endorphinated fun we had!
Now off to Missoula and back to freestyle, the Montana whitewater Championships (the finals event of the US pro tour). Water levels were inconsistent, but at times the wave was epic. I had my worst finish here, not quite making finals and finishing 6th. But thanks to my previous results at the other events, I finished up the US pro tour in second place.

Cascade, Idaho is up next for the US Freestyle Nationals at Kelly’s Whitewater Park. I took this time to train and entertain with some commentating before heading off on a road trip with Clay and Steven to the Ottawa for a few weeks. Along the way Clay and I stopped at the World’s largest indoor bike park in Ontario and pushed our limits at some new skills.

A few weeks on the incredible Ottawa River, hanging out with Keeners and helping with EJ’s clinics, I got to meet a tonne of cool people and remembered just why I love the Ottawa soo much! Warm water and weather. But sadly I couldn’t stay long. Before I knew it Dane and I were packed and London bound for the 2012 Olympic Games!

More about that here… …but it was an Epic time and I was stoked to be a part of it!
Back to the US and it was World Cup time. The first event was in Rock Island, TN, where we faced a water level none of us had seen before. In training I loved it. Envision competing against the top women in the world right next to a beautiful misting waterfall. Life doesn’t get much better than that! When competition came, I managed to make semis and then finals, finishing up 4th in my first World Cup in the Women’s division. Stoked!
World Cup #2 was held at the Pigeon River. This was probably my favourite feature of the 2012 World Cup Series. Here I made semis but didn’t quite make the cut for finals, leaving me in 6th.
World Cup #3 moved us to the Nantahala Outdoor Center, NC. This is where World Champs will be held next year. It is a great venue but even when the air is warm the water is crisp! I struggled with this feature and finished 8th. Leaving me in 6th position overall, for the 2012 World Cup Series.
Yay! Now we can relax, the main competitions are over now, off to Gauley fest for some great Freestyle river running and chilling out! Then off on a Road trip with Emily finishing at GAF. This was a trip not to be forgotten!

Now back to Rock Island, TN for the dealers Summit and Rock Island surfing till I had to return to NZ. I was incredibly sad to leave, but grateful for the family and friends I have been with all year! Thank you to everyone I have been able to share this year with, I can’t wait to see you all again in 2013!
Back to NZ now, I was straight off to the central south Island for the Tekapo Throw down. Welcomed back with snowstorms and glacial melt, I still had an incredible time. And to top it all off I won the slalom and freestyle. I also returned to a couple new trophies for being named North Otagos ‘Sportswoman of the Year’ and Otago’s ‘Junior Sportswoman of the Year’ for my Kayaking!

Right before Christmas, I road tripped up to the Kaituna for the last event of the year. Wow I love the Kaituna! I finished 4th in the Time trial, 4th in Boater-cross and won the freestyle. Awesome times all round. Then I boosted home, just arriving back on the afternoon of Christmas Eve.

And finally to finish off 2012, I spent the last day on a new run for me. The Lower Shotover, a super fun, chill, class 4 run that finishes going through a tunnel in the hill and just as you exit the tunnel you find yourself dropping down the last rapid!

Thank you 2012! But bring on 2013!