This weekend caps off the 65th Annual FIBARK Festival in Salida, CO. This event is known as the oldest whitewater festival in North America. It has always been a stop on the Jackson Team’s agenda due to its fun play features, good runs nearby and great food and shopping.
This year started with the Pine Creek Race which was a big water creek race with gates. You had to make certain gates during your run which apparently were quite difficult. Two of the gates were upstreams in a hard eddy. Many people made or lost all their time within the gates. From JK we had Alec, Dane, Hunter, Greg Parker, Courtney Kerin and Nick. Hunter Katich took first place, followed by Dave Fusilli and then Nick, Dane and Bryan Kirk. There wasn’t a womens class but Natalie Anderson and Courtney Kerin participated and out of the two Natalie took the gold.
Thursday afternoon was the cadet rodeo. Where the cadets braved the big water of the Salida Playpark. Each competitor surfed the hole and had great rides. Young Cardy Kellogg (only 9) got his first spin in competition so that was fun to see. Hayden, Dally, Kenny and Wiley battled it out otherwise and threw down some big rides. Hayden worked his back blunts and struggled to retain them in the feature, putting him in 4th. Dally and Kenny continually tied with big back blunts and spins both ways. Wiley was the first to go in a throw a huge air loop, skipping wave moves. That put him into second place and his parents said it was his 4th one ever!
It ended being Dally, Wiley, Kenny followed by Hayden and Cardy. Dally took the gold in the end with a great donkey flip that got big air!
Friday started feeling more festive with lots of boaters pulling in to catch the preliminaries for JR’s, Experts and Pros. The water levels were higher so some locals weren’t having much of an advantage. The men cut from 20 to 10 so it was a big day for the Pro Mens class.
Saturday was a day of full on action with Hooligan Races, Slalom Races, SUP Cross, Pro Semis, Pro Finals, Jr Finals and more! The Slalom race started things off at 9am and continued till 2pm. Several race clubs were in town participating so the amount of competitors was impressive. We had people in canoes, sup boards, kayaks, slalom boats and more! Nick did his second race run on an SUP and said it was a lot of fun.
The SUP Cross was great to watch and Ken Hoeve took forth on a SUPerCharger. Which was impressive with the amount of flat sections on the course. People were on the boards, off the boards and struggling to make some gates. So it was constant entertainment.
Hooligan Race went well with people on “everything that floats” or sinks for that matter and it cant be a boat, raft or any form of water contraption. Cardboard is not the best building material but that did not stop people from using it. There were people on bins and buckets and balloons and more. The goal is to get second overall that’s why it’s a hooligan race. Hanging across the river there were also three envelopes, strategically placed at the lip of the hole so people attempted to jump and catch the envelopes. It ended with lots of people eating it and crashing as their contraption would get surfed in the hole.
Mens semi’s at all the events this year seems to be super high energy and hard to move forward. The men cut from 10 to 5 but the second heat knows the score to beat to make it into the top five. This adds pressure on them as lately the first heat has been killing it on one of their two rides. We had Dustin Urban, Dane, Nick, Jason and Stephen in the second heat to go and they needed over a 800 point ride. The week before the mens semis needed over a 1,100 point ride. So semis has not been an easy cut for any of these men. Dane, Dustin, Stephen and Nick all came out and made the cut on their first ride, giving them the green light for mens finals. Craig Kleckner was sitting in 5th after the second heats first ride with an 840 something. Jason had several flushes on his first ride but managed to just bump Craig out by 20 points on his second ride.
Expert than JR Finals followed Men’s semis. The experts paddled well with big loops and some getting close to high scoring moves such as mcnasties. The Juniors knew all the hard moves and were competing between rounds of the Hooligan Race. The Junior women kicked it off with big loops and Rowan Stewart winning with mcnasty. The Junior men kept the order the same after first rides in finals. Hunter Katich killed it with over 900 point on his first ride. He paddled the 2014 Rockstar and showed us just how much air the boat could get, on just about every move. Following Hunter was Brandon Hepburn who got second with his pan ams both ways. Max Karlsson and Alec battled for 3rd with Max coming out on top, followed by JK’s Bennett Smith who struggled to retain the feature.
The Women’s started not 5 minutes later and I couldn’t wait for my turn. I love paddling the new boat, but also I loved that I was still in the water at 9 months pregnant. To me I had already won because I was still doing exactly what I wanted to be doing. My first ride I got 360 with loops and spaces. Haley Mills was behind me with a 320, then we had Natalie, Courtney and Erin struggling to get good scores on the board. Second rides came and all the girls upped it with me upping my score to 440 with back stabs and other moves. Courtney tied Haley and then won the tie breaker (second highest scoring ride). I ended up getting a victory lap and due to the excitement of having just won decided to just got for a bunch of random moves, getting a big loop, big straight back loop, mcnasty, and phonics monkey. It was fun to bust out some of my bigger moves again in a comp!
The men’s was one that you couldn’t peel your eyes away from. 5 friends battling it out, and each one scoring higher ride after ride. To give you an idea, 5th was 1270! Dustin Urban’s first ride came in at 1478 points leaving everyone thinking on how to get their scores up, Dane was the only one to break it after his first ride at 1508. Nick and Stephen had 900 point rides and Jason didn’t have his best of rides. Then second rides came along and Jason got a 1476 missing second by 2 points! Nick stepped it up to a 1310 and Stephen to a 1270. Each ride was so close that it came down to whether they scored every move or not. Or who got more bonuses with the amount of air they were getting.
Its not a finals I will forget anytime soon and I know Dane’s camera was filming so hopefully we can get the footage of it up soon!
Here is a complete list of the results: Big thanks to all the judges and volunteers who took all weekend to put on a great event!
Pro Men (All 2014 Rockstars!!!)
1. Dane Jackson 1508
2. Dustin Urban 1478
3. Jason Craig 1476
4. Nick Troutman 1310
5. Stephen Wright 1276
1. Emily Jackson 440- 2014 Rockstar
2. Courtney Kerin 328
3. Haley Mills 328 (tie broker)
4. Natalie Anderson 306
5. Erin Clancey 140
1. Hunter Katich 960
2. Brandon Hepburn 770
3. Max Karlsson 680
4. Alec Voorhees 590
5. Bennett Smith 530
1. Rowan Stewart
2. Sage Donnelly
3. Kady Kellogg
4. Anna Scherrer
- Dally Kellogg 175
- Wiley 145
- Kenny Kellogg 135
- Hayden Voorhees 135
- Cardy Kellogg 25