I must say as a “team manager”, dad, company owner, and competitor, the Teva Mountain Games provided me with so much to be happy about.
We just finished the Freestyle competition in downtown Vail, Colorado. Vail is a very famous ski town that is becoming famous for many outdoor sports with kayaking being a very big one.
With a crowd lined bank, bridges, and grand stands, the field was paired down over two days to a finals that consisted of 3 women and 5 men. In the women’s class Devon Barker (world surf boat champion) won the semi-finals with Ruth Gordon (2007 World Freestyle Champion) getting second, and Emily Jackson (2007 World Junior Freestyle Women’s Champion) getting third. In the finals, however, Emily, who has won the past two Teva Mountain Games in a row, came out strong. In her first ride she got a 59 point ride and that carried her threw the entire finals with no women able to beat it. Ruth Gordon came in second and Devon Barker in third for a Team JK sweep!
In the men’s class, there were five men and only three positions on the podium. The men were Stephen Wright, myself, Daniel Krummach (Germany), Eddie Smith (Scottland), and Dane Jackson (yes 13 year old Dane made the finals in the men’s pro class, sweet!)
The finals consists of three rides and only your best one counts. Everyone does a ride and the scores are announced after each ride so you know what you have to beat. After first rides the order was Stephen Wright, EJ, Eddie Smith, Dane Jackson, and Daniel Krummach. After second rides it was EJ, Stephen, Eddie Smith, Dane, and Daniel. On the third rides, Dane came out of the gate swinging with a big entry move, followed by three huge loops and space godzillas, and then tricky woos both ways, and a phonix monkey. Dane got a 102 point ride moving him ahead of Eddie Smith who had a 99. Stephen went and was unable to improve his first score and I ended up winning my third Teva Mountain Games in a row as did Emily. The crazy thing is that Dane got third, making him a force in freestyle kayaking, and not only in the junior classes anymore!
This was a Jackson Kayak sweep for both the men and the women! We are so lucky to have a great team of fun friendly people who can perform so well and great boats for us to paddle in, all while having a great time together.
Once again the Teva Mountain Games is a great event!