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2018 was a pretty exciting year for me as a kayaker, and having had so many great things happen this year makes me really look forward to what’s coming up next. I wanted to share my top five moments of 2018 to reflect on what really made this year great; I’d love to hear yours!

1.) Became an ambassador for World Kayak
I had known about World Kayak as an organization for quite some time, but had never taken the step to get fully involved. When Janet Cowie from Zoar Outdoor in Charlemont, MA reached out and said that WK director Colin Kemp was looking to fill the New England Ambassador position, I quickly accepted the position. I had previously had lots of ideas on events to host in my area, and becoming a World Kayak ambassador gave me the platform and the support that I needed to begin that journey.

2.) Hosted three successful Hometown Throwdowns
As part of being a World Kayak ambassador, I hosted three hometown throwdowns at my local spot, Tariffville Gorge on the Farmington River. These three throwdowns, spread out through the summer and fall, drew about twenty competitors each time, with an equal amount of spectators on shore cheering on the action. It was really inspiring to get so much support from my paddling community and see everyone have a good a time. I’m excited to host tons of fun events in 2019.
3.) Co-organized my first slalom race
In April 2018, I co-organized a slalom race on the Farmington River in Farmington, CT called the Punch Brook slalom race. This race is a part of the New England Slalom Series and it was my first time designing the gate layout for a slalom course.

4.) Balanced a full college course load, two jobs, and kayaking!
It’s super hard to not make kayaking a priority all of the time, but I was able to successfully balance all of my current “must-dos” with the thing I love to do most, and to me, that feels like a huge accomplishment! I learned a lot about time management and how important it is to structure in time to allow for some play.
5.) New boat!
The launch of the Rockstar 4.0 was a really exciting part of 2018 for me. Having a new boat to play with and figure out is always really fun, and the 4.0 has introduced some new challenges as well as some huge improvements to my freestyle kayaking. I’ve also really enjoyed being able to introduce others to the boat and educate them about some of the new features. I’m looking forward to what’s to come and excited to take the 4.0 to the 2019 team trials at Rock Island!

Thanks to everyone who made this awesome year possible!