REP Whitewater Challenge Wraps Up; Dane Jackson, Courtney Kerin nab top spots in series sponsored by Recreation Engineering & Planning and Bomber Gear


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“It was the first time we put it together, but I think it went great,” says REP president Gary Lacy, whose company is spearheading even more river park designs in Texas, Ohio, Michigan, Alberta, Canada, and more. “It was a unique way to encourage paddlers to attend as many of these events and towns as possible, while drawing attention to the impact river parks have on local communities. Water levels were a bit of a factor, but there was some great competition at each event.”

With three first-place finishes and a second, Dane Jackson paddled away with top honors and the lion’s share of the purse with 46 points, followed by Nick Troutman in second with 38 and Eric Jackson in third with 37. Dane cemented his consistent performances and spot atop the podium with freestyle wins at CKS Paddlefest in Buena Vista, Colo., the Paddling Life Open in Steamboat Springs, Colo., and Montana Whitewater Championships in Missoula, Mont., as well as a second-place fishing at FIBArk on Salida, Colo.’s Arkansas River.

For the women, New Zealand’s Courtney Kerin took first with 38 points, highlighted by wins at the Paddling Life Open and Lyons Outdoors Games, a second-place showing at FIBArk, and a fifth-place showing at CKS Paddlefest. Haley Mills finished in second with 27 points and Emily Jackson, who missed a few events to try out for the Olympic slalom team, came in third with 24 points.

The series also featured categories for men’s and women’s downriver kayak racing and stand-up paddling (SUP) events where applicable, with category winners receiving prizes from Bomber Gear. Gary Lacy took top honors in the men’s downriver category with top finishes at the Paddling Life Open, Lyons Outdoors Games and FIBArk for 26 total points, followed by Jeremy Rodgers in second with 16 points and Andy Corra in third with 12. For the women, Katie Campbell notched the top spot with 12 points, followed by Nikki Gregg in second with 10 and Betsy Frick in third with 8. In SUP, Boardworks’ Mike Tavares took first with 36 points, with Charlie MacArthur in second with 22 and Ken Hoeve in third with 20. In women’s SUP events, Haley Mills commanded the top spot with 34 overall points, followed by Jenny MacArthur in second with 20 and Nikki Gregg in third with 18.

“All in all, for our inaugural year, it was received pretty well,” says Lacy. “It was great to open it up to different categories like SUP and downriver as well as freestyle kayaking. We look forward to hosting the series with partner events again next year.”

Competitors were awarded points for each top 10 finish, with cash purse and prizes from sponsors REP and Bomber Gear awarded to the top three men’s and women’s finishers in freestyle kayak, downriver kayak, and SUP surf categories. All REP results and placings are based on organizers’ scoring systems and final official results. Competitors’ top five scores were factored into the final overall REP standings.

In all, nearly $5,000 in cash and prizes was awarded in the freestyle kayak, SUP and downriver kayak disciplines, including spray skirts, drytops and paddling apparel from Bomber Gear.

The series kicked off with six events in Colorado – including the Golden Games, CKS Paddlefest, Paddling Life Open, Lyons Outdoors Games, FIBArk, and Gunnison Whitewater Festival – before moving onto the Montana Whitewater Championships and the Cascade Whitewater Festival. All participating events were held at river parks designed by industry-leading river park design firm Recreation Engineering & Planning. For more information and complete results, visit

About REP:
Since its founding in 1983, REP has created nearly 80 percent of all of in-stream whitewater parks in the United States with an aggregate value of more than $50 million. In its 27 years it has seen more than 30 projects through from inception to fruition, varying in size from an $8 million park on Calgary, Alberta’s Bow River and the $21 million National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, N.C., to projects in smaller communities like Steamboat Springs, Golden and Salida, Colo. Info: ;

About Bomber Gear
Bomber Gear was founded in Durango, Colo., in 1992 by expert kayaker Rick Franken because he needed better gear to push the limits while staying warm, dry and comfortable. The goal: design and manufacture task-specific paddling gear that worked for everyone. Today, Bomber Gear — a division of Confluence Watersports, whose brands include Wilderness Systems, Wave Sport, Perception, Dagger, Mad River Canoe, Harmony and Adventure Technology — is a premium, authentic paddlesports brand that continues to specialize in performance whitewater skirts and technical paddlesports apparel. Info: .


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