Mother Nature lent a hand and dropped over an inch of rain on the Stonycreek Watershed, bringing the river up from a dismal 3.1 feet on the gauge and what would have been a rock banging fest and provided over 1400cfs bringing the Whitewater Playpark on the Stonycreek River to a great playboating level. With our new format for the 2012 season we had both a freestyle event and a playboater cross race through the playpark. 9 competitors came out to play in the rain, with only seven competing in both freestyle and boatercross, and 9 participants in the mass start race.
The playboating competition started out with the K1 Mens Intermediate Class where spins in every direction were part of every routine. These guys showed some great energy giving it all they had for two 60 second rides with the combined total counting towards the final standings. In this class it was some cartwheels and the occasional loop that led to the podium. With some cartwheels in both directions and silky smoothness in the hole Zach Georgevich came away with his first of what I assume will be many playboating victories. The rest of the guys gave good chase though with strong showings by newcomer Bill Warble and Justin Slagle. Greg Lipps event sponsor and owner of Soulful Bones chipped in to come away with 4th place and young Kirk Meixner brought up the back of the pack in his first ever kayak competition.
For the advanced class we only had two guys but the rivalry made for an epic duel. Local paddlers Erik Johnson and Eli Loiben made it rain points in the hole with a flurry of ends, and splitwheels in both directions. Eli Loiben had the sweet spot dialed nailing multiple full air loops on each of his runs. In this contest it was the hometown hero Erik Johnson who styled some sic linked moves to take first. At one point he split in both directions with seven complete cartwheels and then moved into an effortless Felix.
Now to finish off an excellent day all seven participants in the rodeo joined by the two judges ( myself-Jason Rigby , and Ian Smith of SUPAdventures ) lined up at the top of the whitewater park for a mass start obstacle filled course through the playpark. 8 Kayakers and Ian Smith on the SUP got a rolling start in the slack water above the course with the gun fired by local Benscreek Member Gary Johnson. The course entailed paddlers entering the playpark in the mainflow and going river right of the pour over hole at the top of the park catching the eddy behind the pour over and then ferrying out and above the pour over to charge for river right. Once boaters passed through the marked boulders on the river right of the park they then ferried across the river and went below and then circled above a boulder in the large eddy. After this last maneuver the mob had a sprint to the finish line a large boulder sitting in the river left eddy immediately after paddlers negotiated the playpark’s main feature. Showing no lack of energy from his masterful freestyle performance local boater Erik Johnson brought home the gold by narrowly beating out Ian Smith on the SUP. Race organizer Jason Rigby got edged out of third overall by Intermediate Class winner Zach Gerogevich who took third.
Event Standings -
Freestyle : Intermediate Class Advanced Class
1. Zach Georgevich : Score 235 1. Erik Johnson : Score 530
2. Justin Slagle : Score 142 2. Eli Loiben : Score 428
3. Bill Warble : Score 138
4. Greg Lipps : Score 115
5. Kirk Meixner : Score 67
Playboater X : Overall / Playboats
1. Erik Johnson
2. Ian Smith ( SUP )
3. Zach Georgevich / 2nd
4. Jason Rigby / 3rd
5. Bill Warble / 4th
6. Eli Loiben / 5th
7. Kirk Meixner / 6th
8. Greg Lipps / 7th
9. Justin Slagle / 8th
Next event is Saturday March 31 Same Time and Place : Registration starts around 12 event starts around 1-130.
Move pics and official posting of standings coming soon.