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Reno River Fest

By Elaine Campbell

I left good ole VT on Wednesday and landed in Reno Wednesday night.  I didn’t fly with a boat or paddle and this awesome guy Jonas Milton who doesn’t know me let me borrow his Project X 48.  Pete Delosa helped with getting me the boat and returning it.  Stephen Wright and Ruth Gordon let me borrow paddles.  A guy let me borrow his really nice slalom boat.  NRS let me borrow a SUP and Pau Hana let me borrow a SUP paddle, oh and Pete Delosa let me borrow his wife Amy’s boat for the boater cross.  I was all over the place that weekend with other peoples gear. It was so awesome to see the generosity people gave me. Sharing means caring!

I didn’t have the best weekend of competing. It started with the ridiculous hot weather which I was not accustomed to, the 3 hour time change, having a cold and not sleeping well but it didn’t stop me from trying and trying I did.

The comp started on Saturday and Jeff was the announcer.  The women went first and there was 14 of us.  The comp was held in Hole number 5 which is a fun hole but shallow and I always struggle in shallow holes.  I hit the bottom and have a mini heart attack each time especially since the boat was not mine and I’m really good at hitting the bottom!  I was the only Wave Sport paddler that was in a Wave Sport boat.  Devon Barker-Hicks is a new Team Wave Sport member but didn’t get her boat yet.  I was able to make it into finals in 5th place, then Jessie Stone, Jessica Yurtinas, Courtney Kerin , and Sage Donnelly.  Yes, a 12 year old beat all of us two days in a row.  What can I say she’s at her home spot, super competitor, and really good kayaker, she’s been paddling as long as I have so there were no surprises.

The men went next and I was a judge and they all had really goods rides.  We had finals on the same day just at 6pm so after the men finished prelims and semis we had a little break.  I went back to my room and slept for about an hour. I was starting to feel really run down by that point.  I set my alarm for 5pm and was up and getting ready for finals.  I think I drank 20 gallons of water that day and still felt dehydrated.

I showed up for finals and wasn’t able to put anything together except in my 2nd ride which was a mcnasty, air loop, shanked tricks, rock crushing and some flushes.  That kept me in 5th place.  Jessie was in 4th, Courtney in 3rd and the two local girls placing next, 2nd Jessica Yurtinas, and Sage Donnelly first.  Then had to judge men’s finals and Jayson Craig a local destroyed the hole linking a mcnasty and two phonixs monkeys, a back phonix and some other tricks putting him in 1st place, then Nick Troutman in second with another great ride, and Stephen Wright in 3rd with the only blunt mcnastys both ways.  By the time we finished finals it was around 8pm.  We were supposed to go out for my annual 30th b-day party but dinner finished up by 10:30 I needed to sleep and everyone was spent so we called it a night.

Sunday came way to quick and the SUP race was first starting about 10am.  I needed a board and Jeff was able to get me one from NRS called the Tyrant, 9 feet inflatable.  It was about a 3 mile race and the first time I was on a board since last year.  I managed to only fall in once and fell on the board twice and came in second place. I kept up with Courtney on a Pau Hana Big EZ 11 feet hard board.  This race took it all out me.  I was cooked the rest of the day. I helped with judging slalom and then took 2 slalom runs that where mostly clean just slow.  Then forced myself into boater cross which I’m always way to excited for but had no energy for it and didn’t make it to the next round which was a blessing because I was hurting real bad by that point and stumbled back to my hotel room and slept till 4:30.  I made it to the awards at 5pm said goodbye to everyone and Jeff because he was leaving to go to San Fran on business.  I got a ride to the airport and took the red eye home.  That’s my trip to Reno!

I’m home recovering and starting to feel better. Today I’m going to start training again for Wild Water the Worlds are coming up so I need to be ready for it.

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Photo by: Stephanie Viselli

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Sup Podium 1st Courtney, 2nd me , 3rd Sage

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Eating messy Tacos!

Photo by: Noah Fraser

Till next time,

Elaine Campbell


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