We have had two days of competition already here in Lyons, Colorado. This is one great town. Friendly people, incredible park system, great resources, and a very cool event. This year will be remembered not only for the competition but also for its high water and rainy weather. We have the “circus” in town, all camping at the Meadow’s Park, where this year’s Freestyle, boatercross, and slalom competitions are happening. You look across the field and see Vans, trucks, a few RVs, cars, and a “tent city”. Not to mention gear hanging out in the rain, EVERYWHERE. I doubt there have been many people putting on dry gear in the last two days. Thursday was 85 degrees and sunny. Everyone getting a tan until dinner time when it must have dropped an inch of rain in an hour, which started the rain trend and colder weather. Saturday was raining all day and 55 degrees and today is raining hard and 55 degrees. The river is flowing huge, bigger than any of the locals have seen it. We are competing in a hole near the top of the whitewater park that nobody has ever played in before. It is a very good hole too. In prelims, Stephen Wright was first, I was second, Nick was third. In Women’s Emily won, followed by Haley Mills and then Elaine Campbell. Lauren Burress won the junior women’s class, followed by Taylor Cote, and then Tracy D’arboloff. In the Junior men’s class it was Dane Jackson, Quinton, and then Nico (I don’t know last names, sorry).
The creek race was moved upstream due to high water and was a one run race. Tao won, followed by Brad from New Zealand, and then Dave Fusilli, and then Clay and Bryan Kirk tied, Nick was 6th, and Dane was 7th.
We did a boatercross, 8 ball relay as well. My team was Nick, Emily, and Brad. Emily went first but sank her boat with her skirt blowing off so we were in last. brad went next and was in way last place also coming in with a sunken boat. He said that he got an 8 ballers skirt off in the process. Nick went next and made up some ground by catching up to most of the racers. I was last and got my pushups off and running but the counter didn’t see my first two so i had to do extras. I caught up to Quinton on the run, and then passed my way to second place, with Scott Shipley being the one in the eddy just finishing getting his skirt on his slalom boat. I ran my boat into the water and dove onto it and started paddling it to the rapids with no skirt. I was in the new Regal sit-in- rec boat. I pulled out just before Scott putting our team in the lead. Scott kept trying to pass me and I we battled hard. He almost eddied me out, but I held a long stern draw followed by an effective chest pull to get back out in the lead. I got lost and went over a big hole and not only got slowed by it, but filled up with water. Scott took a wide line and passed me without any interference. I watched him pull away as I kept sinking more and more on each drop until I had to sit in front of the seat to prevent a back ender. I made it into the eddy and ran to the finish line with our team in second place. Fun race. Dane had a swimmer on his team that slowed things down.
We are about to do our semi-finals for Freestyle in 30 minutes. We’ll see how that goes.