My brother Eli and I both made the trip out to Salida, Colorado once again this year to participate in the FibArk Festival on the Arkansas River. This year, who-ever-the-people-are-that-decide-things decided to make the competition here freestyle nationals and the qualifiers for the world cup.
Anyway, Since I turned 19 this January, I had to compete in the Pro class. Eli is 17 and competed in the Junior class.
The competition was a little tough because the water was so high. With all the extra snow Colorado has had this year, the extra flow made the Salida hole a little bit flushy. All the same, more water is never a bad thing. In prelims my first ride was sweet but my second one was a bust. Oh well, I hit a paddle twirl loop after the buzzer. I ended up in 12th at nationals. (I was 14th over all but there were two Canadians in the top 10).
Eli did well in prelims and advanced to semi finals where he secured his place as the 8th best junior freestyle kayaker in the nation.
Despite the best efforts of the freestyle competitors, the Hooligan race (people floating down the river in whatever they can find) still took the spotlight as the most fun event of the festival. My favorite float was a guy riding through the hole on a floating exercise bike. The part where he ran into the bridge was especially sweet...
Anyway, here is a short video and some pictures of the event. All pictures by Karen Van Dusen. There is also a little bit of footage from the Pueblo hitewater park. The park is sweet at all levels and I would encourage anyone who finds themselves in the area to check it out.
Eli in the Hole
Eli had some nice spray on that loop.
Thats it for now. Eli and I will be paddling around the NW for a while.