In September at the World Cups I was told about the 2013 Kelly's white water park event, a big white water festival that would be hosted at the end of the US freestyle tour. 1 year on and I am out here in Idaho having just competed in the first annual Payette River Games event.
The Payette River Games is the brain child of Mark and Kristina Pickard. Mark funded and built the Kelly's Whitewater Park to celebrate the life of his daughter, Kristina's sister, who was tragically killed in a car crash in 1997. The park which was built to celebrate her spirit and love of the river and the great outdoors has revolutionised the small idaho town of cascade and now draws hundreds of paddlers each year.
Hosts of the US Freestyle Kayak Nationals in 2012 they decided to increase the event size this year and make it a multi sport event. So this weekend saw hundreds of athletes, from golfers to volleyballers, kayakers to stand up paddlers, climbers to lumber jacks and fitness fanatics, travel to Idaho to compete in a whole array of events.
enjoying the sun. ph.Phillip Robert
Over the course of the weekend I competed in 3 events (freestyle, sprint and boater cross) completing my own boating triathlon. The sprint and boater cross was quite a shock to the system as training for freestyle I rarely paddle forward anymore. So the 1.5 mile flat water sprint really tested me physically and mentally as I raced against some very experienced sprint competitors. In the boater cross I had great fun battling competitors young and old to try and be the first across the finish line and progress through each round.
read the full round up onClaire O's blog...