Another Reno River festival is in the books, and it was an interesting one for sure. We started off the festivities in the Ninkasi Penthouse overlooking the WW park for judges meetings and a out of town boater party. Needless to say the beer was top notch and the parings of the different beers with good cheese was a nice high brow surprise for all us river bums. Saturday brought on the freestyle competition and some really funky weather.
The morning started off with a few clouds and nice sunshine, as well as some kick ass boating, then things took a turn for the worst and it started to snow as we were looking to wrap up the prelims. Thankfully we have a bit of a break and were able to head back up to the Ninkasi residence to get warm by the fire before finals. There were great rides by all the finalists that made judging a fun prospect. Team JK did super well by sweeping the ladies podium and Jason Craig took the top spot for the men’s comp as well.
Sunday brought temps in the low 70’s and 100% bluebird skies. The SUP races started off the day, followed by the slalom races, and then my personal favorite Boatercross.
I have managed to have two wins at the Reno River Festival Boatercross before and I have been on the hunt for the third. We had a strong field of racers and each round was a good contest to see who would advance on. The finals had a stacked heat and I honestly did not have a great start. It was the first round that I did not get the hole shot but was in second Just behind Dave Fusilli. I was doing my best to spin Dave out but he was not letting that happen and while all this was going on I noticed Alec Voorhees bow staring to pass me and then David Silk’s bow as well. Things were not going well at this point. We continued to bunch up on the way to the upstream gate and this was a loosing prospect for me at this point, so I took a gamble and paused long enough to get free of the chaos and the plan was to make sure I could turn tighter than everyone since they were fighting and I was not. In the end my gamble paid off and I was able to pop back into the top spot and sprint for the win. Thanks to World Kayak Ambassador Noah Fraser for organizing all the paddling events and I am looking forward to another Reno River Festival next year.
Article by: Colin Kemp (Team JK)