By Eric Jackson
The World Championships on Garberator next year is becoming something that is a reality now… The Canadians have hosted their Team Trials on the wave, and the teams are almost completely selected for next year’s event! It is also the Canada Cup, so anyone can compete, which is why the Jackson Family and so many others are here competing. It is also a great opportunity to scout out talent, see who can do what, and plan for training for next year’s worlds. Each class did their best rides and there are a lot of wonderful kayakers on team Canada in the women’s, junior’s, Oc1, C1, and Junior Women’s classes. However, the class that stands out in Canada is the Men’s K1 class. This river has a long history of developing top end freestyle wave surfing paddlers, and especially in the mens’ class. We didn’t see Ruth Gordon here this year, unfortunately. Let me list out the competitors who tried out for the Team- Billy Harris, Pat Camblin, Ben Marr, Nick Troutman, Joel Kowalski, Thomas Farun, Calob Grady, Adam Chappel, Joey Hitches, Devin Scott… So far all of them are still in the game for today’s semi-finals except for Billy, Joey, and Ben. 8 top men going for 5 spots left. This is a strong team with depth that will be amazing for the world’s next year. I doubt there is a team in the world stronger for a wave competition than the Canadian Men’s team… The USA team isn’t selected yet, and is likely to be the only other team with a depth of field like the Canadians.
The top rider of the day for prelims was Nick Troutman throwing over 2,000 points combined (2 rides counted). Dane Jackson, however, set the bar at 2,700 points and was paddling in his own league along with Nick. Devin Scott and Joel Kowalski both were paddling amazingly well with close to 1,800 and 1760 point scores.
The most common opening moves were air-screws both ways, followed up with a variety of high scoring moves, depending on the person. Stephen and I were the only people throwing McNastys yesterday, but he stuck his and I flushed on mine. Pan Am, Back Pan Am, Helix, Flip Turns, Clean Blunts, Clean Backstabs, etc.. were thrown pass after pass. A good wave means high scores.
Judging was done by athletes as well as scribing. Scoring done by Sharky and my wife, Kristine to keep things organized. One of the hardest things in an event like this is assuring that everything is accurate, fair, and done by the rules. Kristine has scored more events than anyone in the history of freestyle kayaking and is likely the best person to have in the judges booth to handle the score sheets, make sure that the addition is done right by the scribes, and make sure each round is formatted properly etc.. It isn’t complicated, but it isn’t easy to do without getting lost and behind schedule, or having a mistake that can change the results.
Today at 11am are the finals for all classes except Men’s kayak which has a semi-finals. I paddled poorly yesterday so I get to watch instead of compete today, something that happens from time to time. I will be trained up specifically for USA team trials for next spring (Glenwood Springs) and then for the world championships one year from today, so that it will be very hard for me to paddle below par. I can’t tell you how fired up I am that the World Championships are back on a wave after 6 years! Thun, Switzerland- 2009 was the last World Championships on a Wave- Nick won, I was second. The one before was Buseater, where I won, Peter Czonka was 2nd, and Nick was third. We had 2 worlds in Holes since then- Plattling, and NOC. I love competing in holes, but after two worlds in a row in holes, I am SO happy it is back on a wave! Garberator is one of the best waves to have a worlds on and it is happening! Who will be there for Canada? All but three of the 8 boys who are in semi-finals will make it. I obviously have my fingers crossed for Nick who is both my son-in-law and my training buddy for the year (along with Dane, Emily, Stephen, Clay, etc..).
Good Luck everyone! I am looking forward to seeing if Dane can keep his dominance through the finals. He will be the hardest person in the world to beat for the Worlds next year. He is already on Team USA because he is the current World Champion and gets an automatic invite.
Emily Jackson and Claire Ohara are going to battle for the win today in the finals. Claire won prelims and Emily was second…. They have a long term rivalry that will be fun to watch for next year’s worlds and today will be a preview!
Another big winner for this event was the 2014 Rock Star. It took 1st/2nd in both Men’s and Women’s Classes. A pirated carbon copy of the 2010 All-Star and Super Star got paddled also by a number of Canadians as they were made locally. It is called the “Black Sheep” but was molded directly off of the All-Star and they added some additional foot bumps to make it look a little different. Between those two models it covers the top 5 spots and 9 of the top 10 men’s spots. Pat Camblin used the 2013 All-Star and was paddling quite well. I have never seen him paddle a JK boat before. It was cool to see.
Here are results: