Reno River Fest
by Blair Winans
I have been in Reno for over a week training for the competition. When I got here the water level on the Truckee River was pretty low which meant hitting the bottom a lot. The level came up during the week but was still at a low level but was high enough to not hit bottom nearly as much.
The city was great and every day there were spectators watching you since the play spots are right in downtown Reno. The festival was so much fun and the event organizers did an amazing job with this event and were super nice. The competition started on Friday with boaters who were not invited. There were junior men, men, and only 2 women (Erin Clancy and me). We competed in the event and knew we would move on the next day to paddle against the likes of Tanya Faux, Ruth Gordon, Emily Jackson, and Devon Barker and only hundreds of people watching. There was no pressure on Friday and I had great rides and Erin also had great rides. I came in First in the women’s open and Erin second. Saturday was a totally different day. There was over a thousand people watching the event which was the biggest event I have ever competed in which was pretty intimidating. Emily ripped it up coming in first, Tanya came in second, and Ruth third. Unfortunately I still haven’t been able to overcome my nerves in a competition and came in sixth place which is disappointing but it is what it is. Once I overcome my nerves I know I will be able to compete at the highest level for now I just have to get over the mind game. I am going home tomorrow night and have nine days to prepare mentally and physically for the CO circuit and then we hit the road for like a thirty hour drive to Steamboat Springs.