There’s a new King and Queen of the North Fork Championships, Idaho’s prestigious Class V kayak race on the state’s crown jewel North Fork Payette.
For the men, local paddler Hayden Voorhees powered through the maelstrom of holes and waves fast enough to come out on top, just two seconds ahead of second-place finisher and three-time winner Dane Jackson at 1:28.1 to Jackson’s 1:30.1. Jackson had won the race three out of the last four years. Kaelin Friedenson took third just two-tenths of a second back at 1:30.3.
In the women’s division, Jennifer Chrimes knocked out a safe but smokin’ run of 2:13.8, knocking former winner Nouria Newman to 5th place at 2:56. Darby McAdams took second for the women at 2:40, followed by Sage Donnelly at 2:42.
The event, presented by Toyota, is perhaps the world’s marquee extreme kayaking race, this year testing nerves and mettle with high water waning by race day just in time to serve up a still-hefty 2,900 cfs coursing down one of the Class V kayaking world’s biggest badges of courage.
“Stoked to be back on the podium with the boys, but there’s a new king on top! Beyond hyped for @haydenvoorheeskayak,” said Dane Jackson in an IG post after the event, whose headcam footie garnered nearly 60,000 views in just three days.
“There is a challenge for organizing the event and competing in that same event,” Voorhees told his local Idaho News6 after the race. “I can’t even put into words what this means to me.” The Voorhees family took over organizing the race from James and Regan Byrd, who created the North Fork Championship ten years ago.
“It’s hard to believe it has been ten years and this all started as a dream to bring the best kayakers in the world to Banks, Idaho,” added MC Ryan Bailey.
On hand were such icons as Idaho Class V pioneer Rob Lesser and Scott Lindgren, who posted: “The TNCis hands down the most radical event out there. A big applause to the Voorhees family and everyone else who made this event happen. There were some unbelievable lines and a fair amount of carnage, with attendance at an all-time high. Huge congrats to Hayden for taking the crown and style award goes to @carsonlindsay…”nbsp;
Another shout out goes to kayakers from the Jackson Hole Kayak Club. “They were a dominant force,” says ringleader Aaron Pruzan of Rendezvous River Sports. “We had three alumni in the finals and Doyle boys, Owen and Wyatt, were 5th and 9th—all kids I’ve coached since they were little.”