Wednesday’s Steep Creek Championship in Colorado saw some equally steep competition but, in what has increasingly become as no surprise, Dane Jackson won the the Tincup Steep Creek Championship title.
The Class V quarter mile section of the Homestake Creek in Eagle County serves as a rowdy racecourse with half a dozen drops filled with sharp boulders all too happy to pin and tear kayakers.The race is part of the GoPro Mountain Games, going on for 20 years now, which began on June 7 and runs through the 12th.
The creek championship is only one of many events, bringing thousands of athletes and many more spectators to Vail, Colorado. Events also include three nights of GoPro Mountains of Music headliner concerts (in-person and livestreamed) from the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, and a daily ‘SportsCenter-style’ live broadcast produced by Outside TV, which will open the livestream concert each evening.
This isn’t Jackson’s first time winning this event and this year he won with a time of 1:57. Jackson places first so often in events that it’s hard for him to keep track of them. By his count he’s won the Steep Creek Championship four times.
“It’s one of my favorite events but it sucks to have missed it last year,” Jackson said during an interview Thursday. “We got enough water to run it so not too low and not too high. So it was a great level.”
Jackson said that Homestake Creek itself isn’t a very appealing run but for a race he said it works well.
“On its own it’s a very manky, technical run but for the race it’s a nice length and there’s so many technical moves and if you hit one rock it could snowball into pinning or missing your line and there’s almost no time to recover,” Jackson said. “It’s a really nice contrast from a lot of the other races. Most aren’t as technical so it’s nice to have that compared to normal runs.”
Close in second place was Valentin Gutierrez with a finish time at 1:59. Gutierrez is a 25-year-old Argentinian kayaker.
Full Results Below
- Dane Jackson – 1:57
- Valentin Gutierrez – 1:59
- Riley Frank – 2:03
- Alberto Diez – 2:04
- Nick Troutman – 2:05
- Matt Anger – 2:10
- Jacob McConnel – 2:12
- Corey Sheehan – 2:13
- Spencer Huff – 2:14
And on Thursday, Jackson participated and won first place in the Gore IV Kayak Challenge, a 4-mile run on a Class IV section of the lower Gore Creek.
“It takes about 24 minutes. It’s not a hard race course in terms of rapids but you’re going nonstop and it beats you for sure,” Jackson said, adding that this was the first year he came in first place for this event. “I was surprised because I got fourth last year,” he said. “I’ve never been able to get the time I need. I thought for sure one of those guys would be ahead so i was stoked to find out I won.”
He said that he likes to come to the GoPro Mountain Games annually because of the quality and variety of events available.
“It’s such a good week of events,” he said. “It’s not just one day and you’re done so we can do a lot of different things.There’s freestyle, creeking, downriver, they have it all.”
He also noted that the Games provide good exposure for whitewater—and practice fr the upcoming North Fork Championships on Idaho’s notorious North Fork of the Payette River.
“We can have solid crowds watching kayaking, which we don’t get the chance to do very often,” Jackson said.”We don’t always get that opportunity to compete in front of crowds so it’s a great chance to show off our sport to all kinds of people.”