$5,000 REP Whitewater Challenge Off to Rapid Start; 3 Down, 4 to Go

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Next stop Lyons. That’s the sentiment for those following the $5,000 REP Whitewater Challenge, a series of events held at river parks designed by Boulder, Colo.’s Recreation Engineering & Planning, now nearing its halfway point with three of its seven events completed. In the lead? No surprise…Dane Jackson.

“So far it’s going great,” says REP president Gary Lacy, whose company is also spearheading river park designs in Texas, Ohio and Michigan. “There’s been some great competition at each event. It’s a unique way to encourage paddlers to attend as many of these events and towns as possible.”

Competitors at events included in the series are awarded points for each top 10 finish. When the series winds up in Cascade, Idaho, July 7-8, points will be tallied, with cash purse and prizes from sponsors Bomber Gear and Boardworks Surf awarded to the top three men’s and women’s finishers in freestyle kayak, downriver kayak, and SUP surf categories.

The series kicked off with the Golden Games in Golden, Colo., where Max Karlsson, Grant Kashner and Mark Hartwig took the top three freestyle spots; and Alex Mauer, Claire Chappell and Jon Roberts rose to the top in the SUP division.

The next event, the CKS Paddlefest on the Arkansas River in Buena Vista, Colo., saw Dane Jackson, Mathieu Dumoulin and Dustin Urban win the men’s freestyle and Adriene Levknecht, Claire O’hara and Ruth Ebens the women’s. At the third stop on the circuit, the Paddling Life Open in Steamboat Springs, Colo., Jackson, Nick Troutman and Jordan Poffenberger won the men’s freestyle, with Courtney Kerin, Martina Wegman and Louise Jull winning the women’s; Spencer Lacy, Gary Lacy and Betsy Frik winning the downriver race, and Ken Houeve, Brian Arel and Bruce Triol placing top three in SUP.

As for standings, this puts Jackson in the driver’s seat with 24 points to Troutman’s 12 in men’s freestyle kayak, Mauer and Hoeve tied at 12 in SUP surf, and Kerin and Levknecht tied at 12 in women’s freestyle kayak. A complete list of standings is at www.b2inc.net/Photos/REPWWC_Standings.htm.

Remaining events in the series include:

· Lyons Outdoor Games (Lyons, CO): June 8-10, 2012

· FIBArk (Salida, Co): June 15-17, 2012

· Gunnison Whitewater Festival (Gunnison, CO): June 22-24, 2012

· Missoula Whitewater Festival (Missoula, MT): June 29-July 1, 2012

· Cascade Whitewater Festival (Cascade, ID): July 7-8, 2012

The point system breaks down as follows for freestyle, downriver and stand-up events: 1st – 12 points; 2nd – 10 points; 3rd – 8 points; 4th – 6 points; 5th – 4 points; 6th – 3 points; 7th – 2 points; 8th-10th – 1 point. All REP results and placings are based on organizers’ scoring systems and final official results. Competitors’ top five scores will be factored into the overall REP standings, with the final overall winners determined after the series’ final event in Cascade, ID, July 7-8.

As well as a cash purse, which awards $1,575 in the freestyle kayaking category, and $1,050 each in stand-up and downriver categories, the series offers more than $3,000 in prizes from apparel manufacturer Bomber Gear, including spray skirts, drytops, and paddling shorts and pants. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/REPWWChallenge.

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