After last year’s drought cancelled the Homestake Creek Race at the GoPro Mountain Games and moved it to Down Chutes on the Eagle River, competitors made up for it this go-around, charging harder then ever down the rock-strewn course. And no one charged harder than Dane Jackson, who took the top spot for the men, or Adrienne Levknecht, who won the event for the women.
Testing the mettle — and maneuverability —of the sport’s best, many turning right around this week to head to the North Fork Championships in Idaho, a challenging, 100 cfs course saw pins, swims and more as racers fought to stay on line on the narrow, manky quarter-mile stretch of Class V rapids. And thanks to snowmelt, the course they raced on was a bit higher than the one they practiced on the day before.
“This was the perfect level,” Levknecht, who won for the first time since 2011, told GoPro reporter Shauna Farnell. “Not too bony, not too pushy.”
Following Levknecht was Darby McAdams and France’s Marlene Devillez, who took third despite swimming in her third and final run.
Levknechtadmits the course is one of the toughest on the extreme race circuit. “This is 12 years here and it doesn’t get any easier,” she says. “Your chances of messing up are still the same. You have to roll with the punches and deal with one thing after another.”
Jackson, who also won in 2017, agrees to the course’s mankiness. “A lot of people avoid rivers like this because it tries to break your boat and there are so many places to get stuck on rocks. “But that’s what makes it so much fun. You’re either bouncing off rocks or avoiding them. It’s the definition of manky.”
Jackson adds that he did 14 practice laps, but “it still doesn’t really prepare you for if the water’s higher.”
Adds racer Peter Farmelo: “At any water level, there’s going to be people having weird lines, people going upside down, people swimming. This is Class V steep creek. There’s a chance for something to happen any time.”
1 Dane Jackson 1:43.54
2 Gerd Serrasolses 1:44.75
3 Jaime Lanaster 1:46.17
1 Adrienne Levknecht 2:01.48
2 Darby McAdams 2:20.12
3 Marlene Devillez 4:00