Monday, August 22, 2011

Midwest Freestyle Championships 2011

Jack Blomquist

This weekend was the 2011 Midwest Freestyle Championships! Sunshine and smiles was the theme for the weekend! Paddlers from all over the Midwest converged to throw down and party.
Jonathon Sisley

Brian Tupper

  Each year representatives of Jackson Kayak hold a freestyle clinic for beginner to advanced paddlers. The three top instructors, our own John McConville , World competitor Colin Kemp,  and Brian Tupper teach two days of nothing but freestyle.  The results from the clinics that are reflected in the competition are phenomenal! New kayaker, Nick Pritchard, learned to cartwheel just the day before competition in John McConville's class and nailed first place in the beginners class!
John McConville
Colin Kemp
   The competition in general has benefited greatly with the addition of these classes.  Giving substance to dreams of "going big".  This synergy has brought more and more paddlers each year to Wausau Whitewater to try their skill against some of the best!
Bryan Zlimen

  This year our own John McConville took first place in the men's expert division for the fourth time in a row! Colin Kemp, a world competitor, took a close second with our own Craig Esposito taking third!  It was no easy feat to be at the top of the expert division this year.  Each paddler in the expert division had it in them to place...they were all that good!
Craig Esposito and John McConville
Jake Ament

  The women's division was dominated by Melissa Grover who won first for the second year in a row.  Christa Gornjak taking a close second and Ashley Knutson taking third!  Ashley is also the director of Wausau Whitewater!  She competed in many classes all while keeping a huge event perfectly organized! Thank you Ashley for all you do at Wausau!  Full results can be found at Wausau Whitewater Park.
David Conrad

  The freestyle team event was a hoot again this year with a whole lot of creative paddling!  And lots of carnage!  The boater cross did not have a heat that didn't have boaters upside down and colliding!  The competition was a hot battle in both these division!
Ashley Knutson
Christa Gornjak
Melissa Grover

  Part of the magic of The Midwest Freestyle Championships is the community.  Tradition has found us every Saturday night in the parking lot of the VFW playing Four Square late into the wee hours.  Someone always rides the plane at the VFW in ever creative ways despite the chain link fence surrounding it.  It's always friendship and  and smiles when we all get together!
Kristoffer Kuhn
Komtanoo Pinpimai
  Behind the scenes the very backbone of Wausau is at work.  Our hard working team of volunteer rescue swimmers, led by Dan Conrad, are expert at swift water rescue.  Pulling paddlers and gear out of rapids preventing many injuries!  Many others generously donate their time to man the tables, scribe, erect the structures and keep events moving smoothly.  In a word all these volunteers are AWESOME!  Thank you so much for what you do!
Diana Kittelton
  Familiar faces returning each year contribute to the magic!  Chad Kehn returns every year to judge the competition.  Fair and precise in his judging, he lends a continuance of stability.  We are lucky to have Chad as our very own judge!  A big thanks to Chad!
  Mike Schroeder was in attendance to witness the joy his design brought to all the paddlers.  He has worked hard for years to create a world class whitewater park.  His design is creative, beautiful and innovative! We can only be blessed that he has dedicated his time and talent to the park.  Thank you Mike!!
Kevin Haro
Zack Porod
Ben Peters

  The end of the day on Sunday brings the tear down and then the drawing for door prizes! Top prize this year was a Jackson Star!!  Bob Menard won the drawing for the pretty red kayak!  Every paddler won something in the drawing!  Amazing!  A big THANK YOU! to all the sponsors who help put this on!
James Illiff

  The saddest part of the day is the goodbyes. The apex of the summer is the Midwest Championships and it's over.  Hugs and farewells.  Sweet memories embedded to relive in dreams and day dreams.
  I posted four volumes of photos on Facebook.  Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3, and The finals. Enjoy!


No comments: