15 of the worlds best whitewater kayakers were pre selected to compete, they were household names I had heard of through magazines and videos, idolized, and aspired towards. 5 women were among the selected of which Tanya Faux from Australia, an inspiration for me, was one. She would take me out for early morning sessions before work as a raft guide for my parents at OWL Rafting, and after work for a ‘TFaux Special’ run, that included way more than just running.
There was room for more applicants to submit an entry which would then be jury selected by the athletes that were pre selected. I had just raced my first extreme race, the Green Race and spent more time in a playboat on the Ottawa River, so I decided to apply. My main focus was still slalom, but I wanted to give it a shot.
I remember showing up at the Rouge River for the Stage 2 Boater Cross, feeling quite intimidated by the other competitors and the volume of water. I had been selected as the first alternate, and since someone couldn’t make it, I was allowed to compete. Having just come home from slalom training in Australia, with a race the following weekend in Charlotte, NC, I was only able to compete in this one event. I didn’t quite become part of the family, but the atmosphere surrounding the athletes and on the river was addictive, that I had a desire for more.
|Racing down the Rouge River, Quebec|
When the time came around to apply to the 2013 Whitewater Grand Prix in Chile I felt ready. I had just finished a stout season of kayaking in the Pacific Northwest, spring extreme racing; Teva Mountain Games, Little White Salmon Race, North Fork of the Payette Race, Red Bull Divide & Conquer Race, 2nd place at the Green Race, and I had a trip to Chile planned with two kiwi girls that shared the same dream. We all were selected to compete, and left Canada November 6th to have a month to prepare. Definitely the best month of kayaking of my short career (so far!).
Here are some highlights of my month in Patagonia:
|Chilling at the takeout of the Upper Fuy (great campsite)|
|Celebrating in the bottom pool of Salto Nilahue|
The next morning the drop was too tempting, so we saddled up for another lap! I was feeling great and decided to run the entrance rapid- super stout/awesome!
|Rolling over the lip- Salto Nilahue|
|Fidel Moreno hucking Salto del Indio on the Gol Gol|
|Lu Urwin on El Feo, Rio Gol Gol|
Next stop ARGENTINA!! After realizing that they are NOT drive through borders, and that you have to officially leave Chile, and enter Argentina, we made it to Bariloche for some late night Fernet con Coka with Matias Nunez.
|Brenan drop on the Rio Blanco|
|Scouting Terminator Rapid|
Back in Pucon, there was still one thing on my list: Middle Palguin. The water was a little higher than before, but still low enough that Stout 10 looked better. It felt so good to fire it off!!! Clean line of the 70ft, popped up upright!
|Stout Ten into Medio Palguin|
Keep an eye out this winter for a TiTS DEEP MOVIE featuring Green Race, Chile, and MORE!
Liquidlogic Kayaks, Immersion Research, Shred Ready, Lendal, Astral, TEVA I couldn't have done it without you!!