Saturday, June 25, 2016

Fibark River Festival 2016 - Every single trick in the book

We have just finished another amazing weekend of freestyle here in Colorado at the Fibark River Festival.

Claire O throwing a Donkey Flip
An amazing festival and celebration of everything awesome about life by the river. Thousands of people came to watch, cheer and join in the action. A combination of music, fairground and competition it was my first Fibark event and well and truly lived up to expectations. The river was high so the feature was a little more challenging than at its prime levels but still was an awesome mix of wave and hole allowing every trick to be done. The event followed a jam format which meant paddlers got lots of rides to keep ticking tricks of the score sheet. This meant paddlers didn't need to repeat tricks and instead got to work there way from the easiest to the hardest tricks which meant an incredible display of freestyle for the crowds.

Clay Wright throwing down in front of a massive crowd
In the women's the standard was amazing with everyone throwing loops, spaces, helixs, blunts and Mcnastys. Kady Kellogg stepped up to the seniors with some great rides finishing just behind Brooke Hess who threw an awesome space to loop combo. I got the rare opportunity to break from my usual safe competition routine and test out some of my newer more challenging tricks throwing out some cleans blunts, and air screws and even attempting lunars, tricky wus and blunt Mcnastys in my ride as well as a epic shudder rudder and paddle twirl. 

Claire O throws a clean blunt
Katie works her way across the hole in the Cadets class

The Junior women finalists

In the men's is was insane the top guys literally completing the score sheet. After Jordan Poffenburg landed a Jedi Flip!!! The big questions was whats next... he showed us in the next ride as he opened with a clean lunar attempt into a Jar Flip try. Insane. But it was the frenchies who stole the show a battle between Tom Dolle in the juniors and Matthieu Duomolin in the men's. Throwing non stop sequences of trick after trick. Both smashing the 2,000 point mark in both prelims and there respective finals. In the end Mathieu walked away with the high score and the big money from the weekend with a score of well over 2,400 points!!! 

Mathieu starts his ride with a massive entry move
Amidst the showcase from the pros, was novice comps, expert comps, slalom races, SUP board races, down river sprint races, an insane 'hooligan' race a home built raft competition by locals and the USA 2016 raft team national team selection event. It really was non stop action on the river.

The Elephant flipping into the hole during the Hooligan race

Some of my main highlights had to be making all the gates in the slalom, landing some clean blunts and an air screw. Seeing an inflatable dolphin, shark and unicorn floating past racing a inflatable doll dressed as Donald Trump who proceeded to get enaialated in the hole. All whilst being cheered on by an epic loud big crowd.

The event finished with a live music festival
Now with the carnage over, and having burnt the last of my energy in the amazing BV top hole, I'm back on on the road with Clay and Flow. Next stop Kellys White Water Park to introduce and teach kids kayaking at the Kellys Academy in Casade, Idaho.

Thank you Sarah Ruhlen, Nathan Madlock and the Fibark Festival Facebook page for the amazing photos