Monday, August 18, 2008

Wausau Freestyle Championships 08

Wow!!! What an event!!! Bryan, Laura and I headed to Wausau for the clinic and the Freestyle Championships. This was the third year I've come to the Wausau Championships and it's exciting to see the progression that our Midwest paddlers have made going from great to fantastic. This year everyone was going big! Saturday was the preliminaries. I started the day for our group with the Women's division. This year we had nine women entered which is huge. I was thrilled to find I had made the finals. Checking the scores there was less than 8 points that divided us so the finals were anyones game. I had 17.6. Graeme and Bryan were up next in the expert class. They threw down hard and looked super, but with a very large class they scored out of the top five. John McConville scored an insane 353.2 points!! Since I wanted more time competing I asked to enter the Men's Masters and it was converted to just the Masters division for us over 40 people. I scored fourth with a score of 26. I was having fun with it! I really didn't cover much with my camera as I was competing and watching. I'll have to depend on the kindness of others for the full coverage. Sunday started with Team Rodeo which is the funnest event of them all. Bryan, Graeme and I teamed up. While waiting in the eddy I thought this is just like the Verm and we're tag teaming Donut. We started off jumping in and trying to execute points before being flushed. Bryan had a bit of bad luck getting flipped and pounded on the rocks and flushed past the point of no return. Graeme and I tried our hardest with Graeme throwing a loop and I was getting some respectable cartwheels and spins in. Paddling back up to the eddy the clock was winding down to the last couple of seconds....I knew I would have the final turn. Everyone was screaming LOOP! PLAN B!! I entered the hole missed the set up but got a left hand spin that set me up for the loop and I went for it. Ohhh...just not quite there...yet :) We ended up with I believe 86 points which was great for ninth place. After a few teams had made their runs, Colin, John, and Dave formed up Team Swimmers! After each Team finished their two minutes of comp they would launch themselves off the rocks into the hole and try to body surf it! Anna, Britta and Hailey joined them and then Dan the Rescue Swimmer got in on it and showed us how to do a loop with a boogie board. Hilarious fun!! Next up was the Boater Cross Race. This year they ran it from the top of Big Drop just to the top of the third from the last hole. They also ran in heats of 5. Both were excellent ideas. I didn't join but watched for a bit until it was time to go warm up for the finals. The Women's finals first run was more of just dividing out who was the least tired of us. With the exception of Rachel, we all were surviviors of the Freestyle clinic so we had had three great days of paddling/partying behind us. Lara, Rachel, and Melissa made it to the final three. They really showed their stuff in the last heat! Rachel taking the gold, Melissa the silver and Lara the bronze. Hailey and I tied for fourth place. There were many Canoe U 08 graduates paddling in the comp and also just recreational paddling. I must say I am soooo impressed with this group. Talent and enthusiasm and just great people to hang with! Next year they are going to be serious competitors for sure!! Team Papst. I love these guys! Mike and Melissa were hitting mad crazy airtime!! Fun to watch! Very inspiring! Jim looked fantastic taking second to John McConville! Matt was flashing his white Specialist getting airtime loops. Paul...WOW! Way to finish! Tom...WOW! Aaron!!!! WOW!!! Looking Great!! And Dave Lemke...what can you say.
Always consistant beautiful air, great announcer and fun to watch. Pugs did great fulfilling his goal for competing. Where was Rich? The Schroeter Family! What great people and every one an inspiration and joy to watch paddle! Missed Elsa this year! Craig E looked great through out the comp taking first in the Masters. Tommy was looking soooo great also. He's worked hard this year and it really shows! Scotty did great in his division just out of the final 5. Eric...incredible! Some of the Master paddlers were just wild fun to watch...Doug and Steve! WOW! The list goes on and everyone just keeps getting better. The classiest move of the weekend was done by Hailey who is an incredible C1 boater. She pulled the flowers she had in the side of her helmet and held them between her teeth and did a loop without loosing them! Super Sweet!! I also can't say enough about how great Julie and Cole and everyone else who volunteers are to put this on each year. Chad K works so hard and does a great job as judge each year. The Rescue Swimmers rule! All these people work SO very hard through out the weekend to provide us with a fun time! But by far the best thing of the weekend came at the last half hour. Bryan Z after having a bit of bad luck in the comp won the top prize of a Jackson kayak of his choice!! Whoo Hoooo!! I'll post soon about the clinics.
Whoops...I got the order of women finals wrong. I edited it...I apologise for that.

The video is the last move in the last couple of seconds of my finals run. Everyone was yelling LOOOOOOOP!

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