This is my second year coming to the River Rock Festival and it was a good decision again! While much of Team JK is out at the Green River Freestyle Event, Courtney, Kristine, KC, and I are in Richmond, Virginia for a big outdoor festival called the “Dominion River Rock Festival”. This event is a mix of festival, concerts, fun vendors with contests, give aways, and competitions. There are running races, climbing events, dog jumping contests, biking races, kayaking boater cross races and freestyle, as well as SUP races. Concerts are a big part of the atmosphere with bands like Galactica from New Orleans playing last night. This event went through 330 kegs of beer, to put it in perspective! Since this has as many families as young adults, it was estimated that 35,000 people where here yesterday, and 20,000 on Friday. Sunday was a little less crowded, but still hopping!
Jackson Kayak is the sponsor of the kayaking event, and we are partnered with our local dealer, Appomattox River Company to provide staffing, kayaks, paddles, lifejackets, etc.. for the free demo as part of the events “interactive village”. We brought a bunch of kayaks and people were getting in them and paddling around yesterday all day long. Tons of kids and new people that had never paddled before were getting their first paddling experience.
On Saturday the Kayak Boatercross took place and it was hotly contested. The top 2 finishers of each heat got to go on to the next round. The first heat of women saw two swimmers out of the big hole move in the course. In my first round Bryan Kirk was leading me to the second big hole/gate and swung a little wide and I was able to make the pass just in time and he just missed the gate. In my second round I was competing against Aaron Mann who got to the first big move just behind me and I lead it down. We were way ahead of the third place person and coasted to save energy as it was a long course and 4 back to back runs. The finals for the men had 6 people in it! That is a lot of people to line up against each other for a narrow opening at the first turn. Aaron and I tangled up at the first turn and it was a moment of anyone could come out in the lead and it was going to be an issue as the rest of the finals heat was right on our tail. Aaron got a good push off of me and got the lead. I followed him to the bottom, not able to make the pass. It was a fun race! In the women’s class Haley Mills got an early lead on Courtney Kerin and then in the big hole Courtney got stuck and Haley pulled ahead. No swims in the finals as Courtney surfed her way out!
Results for all of the events for the top three are here: I am not sure where you find total results.
The Freestyle Competition had a bunch of spectators on the bridge, with Hobie announcing. It was freestyle through a rapid. My favorite move was the pogo flip over the dam on the way in. It was the perfect dam/hole for that and the hole sucked you right back in for your next moves. When you take out, you have to walk backstage past the band playing back to the put-in. They way this event keeps growing and improving, I imagine that Jon will organize the construction of a good hole here soon as well, making the James even more fun for play boating!
If you want a fun festival, with lots to do, come to the Dominion River Rock Festival next year!
See you on the river,
[nggallery id=379 blog=1]