NAWF has something for everyone, and this year it started off with great weather (mid 70’s), and perfect waterlevels on the Locust Fork River and Short Creek. By the time I got done wrapping up work stuff at Rock Island, and loading the RV on Thursday night, I was too tired to drive the whole way, and ended up missing the “Huckfest” which is a freestyle event over a 12-15’ waterfall. Luckily Dane, Nick, Emily, Clay, Billy, Lauren, Sam, Boyd, and Carly were there to hold done the fort for JK. I went straight to King’s Bend Campground, the site of the Locust Fork Put-in, freestyle playhole, and this year’s boatercross. Kristine, KC, Rocksey, and Tilly, and I set up the booth, and I got a paddling session before everyone got back from the Huckfest. I couldn’t believe how many kayakers were already here on a Friday. Right now I am looking out of my RV window and there are hundreds of cars with racks and boats, not to mention tent city!
Jeremy Adkins and Gavin organized this year’s event, along with a bunch of volunteers. Jeremy was a 12 year old kid when I met him first on the Coosa River. He just got married, and seeing him organize this event was quite impressive as he has grown up to be an awesome young man. Both of them deserve a pat on the back for their work if you see them. They can really put on a great festival!
Events: The Huckfest was the first event and everyone told me they thought Dane had won with both his McNasty over the falls and his double kickflip. Apparently they were right as he came in first, followed by Nick with some cool McNasties and I am sure more (I wasn’t there). Charlie Mix was third, and is local here.
In the women’s class it was Sam Brunner, then Lauren Burress, and then Emily Jackson in that order.
This year’s Freestyle hole was tricky but fun. Just about every move was available, but not necessarily easy. The sweet spot was a little steep shallow looking pit, but was actually quite deep. Great judges and following the USFKA system made the competition fair and easy to follow.
I will post the full results when I get them published so I don’t make mistakes, but can tell you that Dane won juniors and C1, Billy Harris won men’s pro (followed by Nick, EJ, Clay, and then Bryan Kirk) “Team JK Rock Island” had a great day.
In the Women’s Emily won, Followed by Lauren Burress (13 years old), and then Carly Harris (Canada)
Each night the bands get the festivities started, along with free beer compliments of Terrapin beer of Athens Georgia. Food vendors brought lots of good stuff- like BBQ, burgers, dogs, carnival food, etc.
The dynamic Duo has been getting good paddling time here. Lots of people initially are scared to try the boat thinking it is going to be more difficult than their solo boat. Then, two people in their group tries it and suddenly they are having more fun than the rest of the group and it becomes the new fun thing. If you haven’t tried one yet, get on it!