The weather was grim but that didn’t dampen the spirits of over 50 competitors and their families. Saturday morning commenced with heavy down pour and chilling winds. This just brought people closer together as they watched under tents and tarps huddled closely together. The judging system was a new computer system that was developed for the World Championships which will be held at the Nantahala Outdoor Center in 2013. That wasn’t the only new exciting thing, the feature, had just been finished on the Wednesday prior to the event and although it was an epic feature providing scores well over the thousands, it still has minor modifications to go!
Everyone was on a fair playing ground as there was no local advantage. All locals jumped out for the chance to paddle on their new home spot and the Men’s Expert class was one of the largest classes we had seen during the day.
In the pro classes, Dad kicked the day off for the pros with huge score over a thousand points, only to have Dane, his son and my brother, top it with two huge scores! Fellow JK Team Members, Nick Troutman and Clay Wright also came in top five on day one with thousand point rides as well!
In the pro women I had two consistent but not great rides ranging around the 500-550 point area. Enough to put me in first by over double but not enough to get me into the Men’s semis but 10 points!
The Store- Nantahala Outdoor Center had a great sale with lots of exciting product on the floor. Many people seemed excited with the Sperry Product they had available and I was excited to share my experiences with them. All day I was running around in them form working the floor to paddling I was comfortable and my feet were kept warm! It is difficult to find a bootie that allows your feet to breathe and get enough arch support to carry you through the day. My Women’s Son-R Feedbacks did a great job and made it all the way to the evening when the bands started playing!
I went to sleep early knowing that finals were the next day and that it would most likely be a long afternoon once again.
Sunday came with lower temperatures but more sun shine! Three groups of paddlers had to do a semi final round due the large amount of competitors, I announced the entire time for all three, the JR Men, Expert Men and Pro Men. All paddling incredibly well and showing that the cold wasn’t affecting their rides!
Once finals started each class from the Open Classes, C-1 Classes, Oc-1 Classes, Expert Classes, Junior Classes and Pro Classes, had three rides and their best one counted. I was most impressed with the Juniors. The Junior Men racked up HUGE scores and the Jr Women completed moves that they had only ever done once before. That’s right one Junior Women Alexandra Muck who was placed in fourth moving into finals completed her second ever loop in the Final Round putting her into second, besting all the Jr Women who were coaching her only moments before.
Dane pulled off the moves necessary to win the C-1 Class with stiff competition as the top three C-1 Paddlers in the nation were competing. We were very happy for him as in prelims he was well behind and kept getting higher scores in every round.
Pro Finals came around in the late afternoon and Dane and Nick having competed in C-1, Oc-1 and now Pro Mens looked a bit tired. That didn’t show as they pulled out the highest scores of the entire competition, with a tight finish of Dane in the lead by ten points, a 1,440 point ride, besting Nick’s 1,430 point ride. Dad finished in 3rd with a hugs score of 1,286 points. Dad’s score was at the time being the highest in the event causing Dane and Nick to feel the pressure of paddling well….
In the women’s I had a rough first ride, trying to move fast but didn’t score very much. On my second ride I upped it by beyond double scoring a great score of 780 points. Getting more air and performing better than I have in awhile! It felt great. I followed it up with another good ride of 730, doing several hard tricks such as a tricky woo, mcnasty, and phonics monkey. Each one of those moves scoring over 150 points!
As much fun as we were all having we were excited to call the event over and head over to awards. Awards was fun with prizes from paddles, to money, to local pottery. I got a great cup from a local potter and cant wait to bring it home with the rest of my event mugs!
Big thanks to all who support me through these events, and a hugs shout out to Sperry Top Siders for creating such great product that I feel I can truly stand behind! If you haven’t checked them out be sure to do so! Great for gripping any type of surface and comfortable to wear through long days such as these, I cant say a bad thing about my Sperry’s!
Happy Paddling to All!