This weekend I placed 8th out of 44 pro men at the Teva Games in Vail. It is now the third year that I have finished 8th in Vail. I guess it is my lucky number.
I arrived in Vail late Wednesday night after creeking in Crested Butte. I took advantage of the Homestake Creek Race and paddled Thursday afternoon without a line. I was paddling well and confident for the competition. Then EJ got back from the creek race and had a new 2010 Allstar for me! I didn’t want to switch boats the day before competing, but couldn’t resist at least trying it. And I’m glad I did! I will have a complete review coming soon, but simply put, it is amazing.
On Friday I wanted to practice without a line and then be rested for the competition so I put on the icy cold Gore Creek at 6:30am. That was a mistake. At 7:30 I was freezing cold and stop to thaw out and eat breakfast. It turns out that the EJ and Nick showed up at 8 which was still early enough to beat the line. Anyways, my dedication payed off and I had great rides which put me in 3rd place after prelims. I hit both phoenix monkeys, a mcnasty, both godzillas, and a loop in both rides which scored 820 and 870 points.
I was so excited that I made the same mistake again before semifinals on Saturday. This time I put on by 7:30am though. Later than 6:30, but still freezing cold and the line never came. Anyways, I was feeling confident and ready when the semifinals came. I watched everyone before me and knew that I only needed one ride over 810 points to make the cut to 5. My first ride started off great with both monkeys and a mcnasty. I had 45 seconds to do a loop and 2 space godzillas, but somehow I couldn’t put it together. Second ride, same story. I could hit my hard tricks, but fell apart on the easy stuff.
Later that day Steven Wright, NIck Troutman, Dustin Urban, Casper Von Kalmthout, and Andrew Holcombe (finishing 1-5 place respectively) put on an impressive show in the finals. The new Allstar went ridiculously huge and the crowd responded. It was the most exciting finals that I have witnessed. Check out video finals highlights at www.jacksonkayak.com, watch the whole thing at www.worldkayak.com, or check out www.tevamountaingames.com for prelim and finals results.