Sunday, April 19, 2009

Two 50 footers in Two Hours

My brother and I had been eying down Bridal Veil Falls (55ft.) and Money Drop on Rock Creek (58ft.) for quite some time, but it wasn't until this weekend that we finally fired up both drops. On Saturday Tate Taylor, my dad, my brother and I all piled in my dad's car to celebrate the warmest day of the year with an all out huckfest. Our first stop was Bridal Veil, and as soon as we decided the flow was good my brother and I started setting up safety and checking our lines. I was first off the stout and after a smooth line right down the middle, I punched through the soft hole at the bottom. As I resurfaced, I was able to look up at the drop in a state of euphoria and take in the feeling of a new personal record. My brother was also able to clean the drop with a smooth line, and paddle safely to the shore.

A short video of my run (filmed by spectator Larry Ellis)

Within an hour of having launched Bridal Veil we arrived at Money Drop only to hear the ecstatic yelling of boaters below. When I arrived at the lip I saw a couple paddlers in the pool below, and got to evaluate the lines of two more. My brother and I decided, that because this drop ------------------------------------------------------------------ had such a fast lead in Disconnecting from Money Drop ------------------- the key was to kiss the deck before even reaching the lip. After a quick evaluation we grabbed our boats and set up for our own runs. My brother was first to go and had a super clean line, airing out into the huge boils below. He was quick to roll up and give me "the go-ahead." As I flew off the lip in the perfect tuck I truly felt I was flying , until of course I smacked the bottom and felt my paddle snap in half. In the pool, I rolled up with my single bladed paddle and eddied out with my brother. We admired the 7 ft. boils for a while, then I C1ed my way through some class II rapids to the take out eddy. Overall it was an incredible day; I was glad my brother and I cleaned each drop, and again Tate Taylor came out with amazing photos.

Standing below my biggest drop-- Stoked

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Northwest Creeking Competition

This weekend was my first time at the Northwest Creeking Competition, and I don't think it could have gone any better. My brother, Tate Taylor, and I drove up the E. fork of the Lewis River and rolled into the Olsen's riverside property late Friday night to enjoy a night under the stars hanging in our hammocks. The next morning my brother and I woke up early so we'd have enough time to check out the course. The 2 mile class III-IV run was a lot of fun and had some entertaining drops, notably 15ft. Sunset Falls and Screaming Left. After getting a feel for the run we took a shuttle back to the put-in and watched the start of the race, right over Sunset Falls. When it came my turn to make the run I thought one last time about my lines down each rapid and remembered to set a steady pace. My line down Sunset Falls and nearly every other drop was smooth and, though I didn't see a time at the bottom, I felt I paced myself just about right for the 2 mile run. Later in the night after some delicious Olsen family burritos, the top three times for each division were announced. I was stoked when Luke Spencer announced my brother's second place and my own first place in the Junior division. The junior award was an awesome silver kayak necklace and Predator Helmet. The rest of Saturday night was fun with a campfire, music, and even more burritos. Then next day we all slept in a little later, and woke up to heavy rain. As most of the crowd dispersed we decided to stay for the Sunset Falls Huckfest. Around noon people gathered in all sorts of craft, from Sam Drevo's inflatable surfboard to 12ft. long boats of the past. Each competitor was given three attempts to impress the crowd with they're best trick over the drop. My first two lines were simple wavewheels over the left side, but on my last attempt I hit the the middle line and threw a donkey flip paddle toss and stuck it clean to take home first place overall. My brother also had some very sick lines, and took home second place using hand paddles with a reverse wavewheel. Sunday's first place prize was a beautiful Accent paddle. Thanks Next Adventure and all the sponsors who made the NWCC possible. Overall I had an amazing time this weekend, and look forward to more competitions to come.
-- For more on the NWCC read the front page article of Vancouver's 'The Columbian'--
Photos- Tate Taylor and Molly Elliott

Starting the 2 mile Downriver Race

Sunday's wining trick-- Donkey Flip Paddle Toss

E.F. Lewis Race 2009 from Sheer Madness Productions on Vimeo.