Team NRS paddler Devon Barker recently returned from a strong team showing at the Reno River Festival in Reno, Nevada. Here’s her recap!
The Reno River Festival (RRF) this year was a blast. NRS had Elaine Campbell, Jud Keiser, Stephen Wright, Alec and Hayden Voorhees, and myself representing at the 10th annual river festival. Going to Reno, NV to kayak always holds a special twist when it comes to the crowd who comes out to cheer on the paddlers. I was warming up before the freestyle event this year, when I began to hear a saxophone. I kept looking around for who was playing the music but it wasn’t until just before I went downstream to hole five that I saw a man along the shore, in the shade of a tree playing the sax. He gave a smile and a high five to me as I floated by.
The RRF kicked off with the freestyle prelims followed by three concerts. Training was great under the sunny skies, but I did not quite hit my moves perfectly so I did not advance. Luckily, Stephen, Alec and Jud did. Jud had two incredible prelims rides. He did his moves flawlessly! Elaine had a perfect McNasty on her warm up ride, but not in prelims, but was able to just make it into the top five for women’s finals. There is no junior class, so Alec and Hayden had to compete the men. Hayden had great rides but did not advance. Alec showed his stuff and made the cut with Jud and Stephen to semi-finals. The finals took place in the evening with Stephen, in his Murky Waters Star, catching a ton of air to land him in 3rd place. Sage Donnelly and Jason Craig took the top spots with amazing rides.
The next day brought slalom, SUP, and boater cross races. The heats were stacked and the competition was fierce. For full results, visit www.renoriverfestival.com. This year the RRF added zip-lining over the river. It was a huge hit and fun to watch as the spectators took part in all the fun, flying over the river as we watched from the eddies below. They had two zip lines going at the same time. You can see them in the photo below.
It was a quick trip to Reno and back to Idaho, as I had to teach school Monday morning. This week, my students will be participating in my Dare to Kayak program where they get to learn to kayak! More Dare to Kayak news and pictures coming soon.