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As the Sickline race starts tomorrow, I took a few minutes to ask my fellow team JK paddlers what was so special about the race course. We’ve all been paddling hard for the last couple days. We did an endless number of laps down both the qualifier and the final courses, but somehow it’s never quite the same and it’s always challenging.

For Emily, the river itself is probably the most special thing about the Sickline and it’s provides perfect set ups to host a race : “it’s a beautiful creek run that comes of straight to some class V whitewater and which becomes easier along the way”. Not many other creek race venue can provide both a hard whitewater course and an easier class III section to race both qualifiers and finals on the same location.

But whether you’re on the qualifier or final course, never let your guard down ! “There is a difference running the rapid and racing the rapid”, and EJ can only agree with that : “No matter how many runs you do, you never feel like you can do it perfect every time”.

It’s true that you can’t hit it perfectly every time but it will take good runs to get to the final. After last spring’s flood the final course changed and it’s slightly easier now. But for Dane the easier the harder : “This year it’s a new course and it’s harder to make the difference with other people because the rapid is a little bit easier”. Although Nick really likes it, the lenght of the course doesn’t help you make a difference and go much faster than other paddlers. “It’s super short, under a minute, and it forces you to have a perfect line because there is no time to make up a mistake”.

By now you should have understand why is the Sickline such an exciting race. The race course is not super hard or super scary. There is no waterfall or super rowdy rapids like on the Little White or North Fork races. It’s not the rapid that makes the Sickline hard but it’s the fact that you don’t just need a good run but a perfect run to win ! And from what I’ve seen during the trainings, I can promise you that the race will be exciting !