Stephen Wright is the National Champion Again!


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While Tiger Woods forced a playoff at California’s Torey Pines golf course Sunday in golf’s national championship, the US Open, Stephen Wright made sure kayaking’s national championships would need no such shootout Sunday at FIBARK in Salida, Colo.

Wright edged out Eric Jackson by three points to help celebrate FIBARK’s 60th Anniversary in fine style as well as his third straight National Title.

“It feels really good,” Wright says. “The Colorado tour was awesome. There was big water everywhere and even more great paddlers this year. Dustin Urban stepped up huge and became a major player.”

The National Championship also played out as the US Team Trials. Eric Jackson (who had a bye anyway as defending world champ), Urban, Clay Wright and Jed Selby rounded out the US Team for this year’s World Cup in Europe. Canada’s Nick Troutman finished third in the event but obviously didn’t qualify for the US Team. Next year’s team trials will be held at the Glenwood Wave in Glenwood, Colorado.

On the women’s side, Emily Jackson took top honors, followed by Nicole Mansfield, Adriene Levknecht and Jessie Stone. “FIBArk was our last big competition in Colorado this season (so) it was nice to go out with a bang,” Jackson told Salida’s Mountain Mail.

In the 26-mile downriver race, Geoff Calhoun continued his sweltering summer in Colorado winning his second FIBARK event (he last won the in 2005). “With the higher water it was a lot more enjoyable this year,” he says. Whitewater park-builder Gary Lacy finished second.


Now onto the carnage.

Sometimes it’s nice to see the top dogs get worked. That was certainly the case at the event’s Boatercross on Pine Creek, which, thanks to epic flows, saw more swims out of the Pine Creek hole than ever–eight, by one onlooker’s account.

“It was my first swim in 14 years,” says former U.S. Slalom Team member Jason Beakes. “Luckily, I was able to get out of the river in the last possible eddy before having a real bad swim.”

The problem: the churning waters forced everyone into a massive, nearly unavoidable hole at the bottom. Elbow to elbow with fellow competitors, someone went in on nearly every heat. And once they went in, it was very hard to get out.

Rick Frankin was one of the lucky ones to escape, pulling off a huge unintentional loop before getting recircualted and finally let go. Others weren;t so fortunate. Beakes got absolutely maytagged, as did Pyranha’s Jared Seiler. Then, downriver event winner Geoff Calhoun was rumored to have talked trash prior to his heat after Beakes took his swim, only to swim himself minutes later. “That was poetic justice,” says Beakes.

When the thrashing was completed, eight kayakers had bailed out of their boats, with countless pieces of gear strewn downstream.

“No way I wanted to race it,” says normal entrant Corey Volt of Dagger, who was content to safety boat for the event. “There was just too many people at once, and that hole was way too juicy.”

Boatercoss Top 3
1st: Tommy Yon
2nd: Evan Ross
3rd: Dave Fucilli
1st Eleanor Perry
2nd Adreine Levknecht

National Champion Results
C-1 (only 3 competitors)
1. Dane Jackson, 49
2. Jordan Poffenberger, 18
3. Tyler Hinton, 3

Junior Women
Lauren Burress, 3 (no other competitors)

Junior Men
1. Dane Jackson, 122
2. Jason Craig, 102
3. Jonathan Shailes, 95

Pro Women
1. Emily Jackson, 54
2. Nicole Mansfield, 22
3. Adreine Levknecht 19
4. Jessie Stone, 18
5. Eleanor Perry, 15

Pro Men US Nationals
1. Stephen Wright, 133
2. Eric Jackson, 130
3. Dustin Urban 78
4. Clay Wright, 71
5. Jed Selby

26-mile Downriver Race Results

Junior C1 Men

1. Tyler Hinton
2. Craig Adams

Open C1 Men
1. Tom Gray

Junior K1 Men
1. Spencer Lacy
2. Mason Lacy
3. Griffith Griff
4. Ben Peters

Master K1 Men
1. Gary Lacy
2. Tim Lawson
3. Bobby Lewis

Open K1 Men
1. Geoff Calhoun
2. Nic Borst
3. Mike Harvey
4. Jeremy Rodgers

Junior C1 Women
1. Laura Adams
Open C1 Women
1. Micki Reeves

Open OC2 Men
1. Greg Jankowski

Junior K1 Men Recreation Boat
1. Cully Brown
2. Luke Farney
3. Andrew Farm
4. Henry Haymen

Master K1 Men Recreation Boat
1. Kent Davidson
2. Mike Farm
3. Jim Nichols
4. Lynn Koester

For more results click here.

Staff Post
Staff Post
Paddlers writing about all things paddling.


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