by Elaine Campbell
The Triple Crown was an amazing event. The event coordinators put together a flawless event. The event was a downriver race, slalom race, and freestyle. To win the Triple Crown you had to do all three. There where twenty five men and five women. Competitors came from all over to compete. Team Z represented!
The downriver race was awesome on the first day you went head to head with another racer. I had the opportunity to go head to head in the downriver race against Katrina who is a pro slalom competitor. She was in a wildwater boat. She smoked me in the downriver and of course in the slalom. I paddled my brother Mark's Speeder and had the hardest time controlling the boat. It turns like a sea kayak and a wildwater boat which is the opposite of what we do in whitewater boats. I never stopped paddling in the race I may have thought about it when my body was like please stop and I can't believe I didn't vomit at the end of the race. The race on Sunday wasn't a head to head which was a relief. I paddled Mark's slalom boat instead and scored a better time in the slalom boat than the Speeder.
Slalom was insane! I paddled Mark's slalom boat and it felt like I was in a squirt boat because my legs where flat. The course was hard at least for us non-slalom boaters. You could so tell who competed in slalom and who doesn't. The first day was rough I missed at least five gates in both my turns. Which is fifty second penalties. I thought I had a strategy that would avoid missing five gates but I was so wrong. I had a great time in slalom and I'm actually thinking about starting to get into slalom. The runs I did on Sunday where much better.
Freestyle was last on both days and by that point just holding my paddle was tiring. I was so tired by the time freestyle started that I blew it. The hole was a little flushy both days so you had to be so snappy to stick anything. I flushed both days which just killed me. That was disappointing but what can you do.
I really had the most amazing time at this event. There where five women who competed. Two of them are Canadian pro slalom athletes Katrina and Sarah. Katrina came in first in the Triple Crown. Sarah who went to Beijing to compete in the Olympics came in second. Jessie Stone came in third, Hannah Farrar came in fourth, and I came in fifth. It was great to compete against these women who are all elite in the sport of kayaking. I'm looking forward to this competition for next year. I plan on getting some time in a slalom boat and getting into downriver racing which will improve my paddling and increase my endurance.
I'm packing right now for a seven week road trip to Reno and then to CO. We leave on Thursday in the RV with the cat and dog. It's going to be a great time.