The 2012 ICF Freestyle World Cups are underway, drawing high-flying freestylers from more than 17 countries to the Southeast U.S., with is hosting all three events this season. With this weekend’s event wrapping up in Sparta, Tenn., on the Caney Fork at Rock Island – with Peter Czonka and Emily Jackson on top – the paddlers now pilgrimage to the Pigeon River for event #2 Aug. 28-30 before wrapping up the circuit on the new play feature on NOC’s Nantahala River Sept 7-9. Read on for full event coverage…
2012 ICF Canoe Freestyle World Cup Event Schedule
World Cup #1
River: Caney Fork, Sparta, TN
Dates: August 24-26
World Cup #2
River: Pigeon River, Hartford, TN
Dates: August 28-30
World Cup #3
River: Nantahala, Bryson City, NC (NOC)
Dates: September 7-9
Rock Island Wrap-up
There was no holding back as the air screws, space godzillas, phonix monkey’s and even tricky woos showed up in full force at Rock Island, and a familiar name in the cat bird’s seat after the first run. Dane Jackson stepped up to the throw down a first ride of 973, followed by Peter Csonka with a first ride score of 760. Eric Jackson showed his continual strength on his home wave with a 633 before flushing early. Some of the mainstays on today’s podiums missed the cut including Nick Troutman of Canada having two sub 600 rides and Stephen Wright with a top ride of 530, barely missing the finals.
The finals saw Dane, Czonka, Joaquim Fontane from Catalonia and newly crowned Canadian champ Adam Chappel and EJ lining up in the eddy to throw down. Again Dane hit his high score on his first ride a 755. Fontane finished just back with a high score of 728. But the ride of the day for the finals went to veteran Peter Csonka who recorded a final ride of 916. Still, he had to wait for Dane’s last ride, releasing an audible sigh as Dane flushed early for 471 point ride, giving Czonka the victory.
Emily Jackson is showing that her stint on the U.S. Slalom Team this summer hasn’t slowed down her freestyle one bit. The final day for women’s K1 competition included a morning semi final session and a finals in the afternoon, drawing the world’s top names mixed with some new ones. Jackson dropped a 278 onto the score sheets with her first of two rides. Nina Csonkova of Slovakia came out for the finals day and was able to loop and connect some of the more aggressive moves of the day. Adriene Levkenecht also pulled out all the stops with two identically scored rides of 105 keeping a close third.
When the dust settled Emily was in top spot, with Csonkova close behind and Levkenecht in third. The finals saw Emily equal her best 287 ride again with pressure from the other paddlers. Second spot was hotly contested as Csonkova and Levkenecht were within 25 points apart. But it was Emily taking the first World Cup stop victory with consistent and technically perfect rides.
1. Emily Jackson – 278
2. Nina Csonkova – 176
3. Adriene Levkenecht – 158
4. Courtney Kerin – 90
5. Erin Clancy – 90