8 Ball Podium- Me, Rowan & Martina Photo credit: Erik Boomer & River Roots
Boater Cross Podium- Rebecca Gibbens, Martina, me, Claire Photo credit: Erik Boomer & River Roots
SUP Podium! Winner took home $10,000! Photo credit: Erik Boomer & River Roots
Rounding the bouy- Photo Credit: Ryan Lucas
Boater Cross Photo Credit: Ryan Lucas
SUP Race, Photo Credit: Ryan Lucas
Crushing the SUP heat! Photo Credit: Ryan LucasPhoto Credit: Ryan Lucas
Boater Cross, Photo Credit: Ryan Lucas
Secesh River- Crux rapid (Magical Mile) Photo Credit: Ryan Lucas
After the North Fork Championships we headed to the Secesh River. This is a class 4 run with continuos boulder garden sections of whitewater. We had a sweet crew with Ryan, Nicole, Claudia, Clay, Martina, Will and Sam. Unfortunately when we got to the put in it was freezing cold and pogees were essential! The run started off slow and as the gradient increased the rapids became faster and faster. The crux section of the river was the magical mile and this was a really fun section with some good moves. All up the run took around 6hours and we finished at the confluence for the South Salmon. Half the crew kept going while Ryan, Martina, Will and I took out.
After a chill week in Cascade with a couple of trips down to paddle the North Fork people started rolling into town for the Payette River Games. The Payette River Games is held at Kelly’s Whitewater Park in Cascade Idaho. This event was super well organised and had an awesome turnout with world class athletes. The best SUP and Kayak athletes were invited to the event and the field of racers was to a high standard. The heat for the woman's kayak had the best competition that I have been up against all year with ex US American Olympic medalist Rebecca Gibbens, Martina Wegman, Adrienne Levkenect, Brenna Kelly, Jen Chrimes etc.
I entered in all of the kayak events (except the freestyle) and I also entered the SUP events. Each day of competing was pretty full on with multiple races! I just took one race at a time and tried to just perform as well as I could without thinking too much about the results. The first event was the 10min downriver sprint in which I finished just behind Nicole and Martina in 4th, I took it pretty easy as I wanted to conserve energy for the SUP sprint event which was next. I was stoked to finish the SUP sprint in 4th place securing a spot in the top 5 overall SUP competition. Next was the 8 ball which is always a bit of a gamble. I focused on my own run and tried not to think about the 8 ballers and it worked as I finished out on top in 1st! After the 8 ball was the Boater cross event and after a heated semi-final I managed to pull through into the final 5. In the finals I finished in 3rd after Rebecca Gibbens and Martina Wegman. I was quite happy with this result as there was a lot of competition in the field. Finally the final for the SUP Cross came and I definitely did not realise just how exhausted I was going into the race until around halfway through when I fell off my board and struggled to get my paddle back. I finished in 5th and although I was a bit disappointed with my performance in my final I was stoked to take 5th place among the many hardcore SUP ladies!
The support for this event was pretty incredible. The athletes were treated to three meals a day, hot tubs, music, free accommodation and a prize pool of $50,000! The work that the volunteers and local community put in was amazing and we were made to feel like Kings! I was really stoked as an added bonus to take home some prize money to help me fund some more of my kayaking trips! I will definitely be back next year!
For more info about the event and more results checkout: http://www.payetterivergames.com