Sage Donnelly 17/07/2017 | Posted in 2016 Rock Star Competition, Event Coverage, Events, Playboating, Whitewater, Wrap Ups, WW Disciplines
Keeping the busy year going, I just finished up with one of my favorite events Paddle Fest in beautiful Buena Vista, CO. The weekend is always super busy because not only do I get to compete and help judge freestyle, but I also get to help people get outfitted and demo all go our awesome Jackson boats. It is the best place to find the perfect boat for you because after a small donation you can demo any boat at the booths (including other companies)! We also help local outfitters store CKS with their boats because they have a huge annual sale! Sadly, this year I barely made it up to the booth or store at all, but I was doing one of my favorite things! Judging! Everyone who helps out with the competitions is volunteering and it’s such a fun thing to do. You learn so much more about freestyle as a sport and it’s really cool to be able to watch everyones rides (from a slightly different perspective) and be up there with all of my fellow team mates and role models.
When I wasn’t in the judges booth I was either helping at the Jackson tent, training, or helping out with clinics. This year I was able to fit in a one on one paddle with a little 9 year old local. It was her first time out for the season and I was also able to convince her to try a sidekick after she found out she didn’t fit in her Fun 1anymore! She killed it and had so much fun, it was super cool to see how much more comfortable she was towards the end of our paddle!
I did two competitions at Paddle Fest, Pro women’s freestyle and the Numbers race. I was very happy with my prelims runs in freestyle that landed me in second place right behind Emily Jackson, but after some unfortunate flushes and a couple rides where I rushed my moves (making them not land properly) I ended up in fourth after finals. Taking away an important lesson to slow down all my tricks to make sure I actually score them! The numbers race was super fun (and cold)! I entered the women’s longboat division and took a super close second! Ending paddle fest with a lot of fun and good lessons.
The fun didn’t end at Paddle Fest though, Tuesday- Wednesday we had Freestyle Team Trials. There were a ton of new faces out in Colorado getting ready to try to make team to go to San Juan, Argentina to represent the USA at freestyle World Championship. l already had a pass onto the team, but there was no way I was missing a comp in one of my favorite holes! The top hole at BV! I gave myself minimal training there though and with a solid prelims I was happy going into finals. However, the water changed drastically and I didn’t adapt super well, still taking the Jrs. win, but getting nowhere near my goal score and ride for the comp. I then got to cheer on all the other girls, my two teammates where selected- Olivia McGinnis taking second and Katie Fankhouser grabbing the third spot! Huge congrats to everyone who made team and big shout out to everyone else who competed it was amazing to see everyone giving it their all.