Sage Donnelly 20/07/2017 | Posted in 2016 Rock Star Competition, Creeking, Event Coverage, Events, Karma, Playboating, rivers, Whitewater, Wrap Ups, WW Disciplines
After Freestyle Team Trails were over, we decided to spend another week in BV before heading up to one of my favorite events the GoPro Mountain Games! I had missed it for slalom races the year before so I was super excited to be back and get more creeking time on the race course, Homestake (a class 5 section near the Vail Valley that we race on every year!). We headed up Monday and got some laps in at super low water. We then spent the night up in the mountain and headed back down for some more laps the next day. The creek was higher and I had a bit of trouble on the last drop Leap of faith, but after looking at it with Alec Voorhees I fired up some more awesome laps! Sadly, as we were packing up to head down to the freestyle hole, I slipped off the van about 4 feet and landed on my wrist really hard. We then went to the ER and had an ex-ray which showed no breaks, with the diagnosis of a sprained wrist. I then went out to the freestyle hole to try it out! It was not a good session, I could barely loop… so we decided to head up to Homestake and try the wrists limits the next day there. It was a lot better the next day and on just forward strokes I felt confident enough to race. I was pretty nervous, but I was fully convinced to race after trying the new Jackson Kayak Nirvana. It sliced through everything even if I barely had a boof stroke! I then went to try it in the freestyle hole and although I was in a lot of pain, I still decided to compete. Thursday morning was race morning on homestake and after a first solid run and another fast run with a few little mess-ups I found myself sitting in 4th going into finals! I went hard on my last run being carful on all my left boofs and saving my energy a bit above leap of faith, I got to the bottom and could barely paddle after the finish line, but I was super happy with my run and it landed me in third! Behind two of my heroes Adrienne and Nuria!
Right after that it was freestyle prelims time so we loaded up and headed into Vail. The hole was super good this year and I had upgraded to a Rockstar medium so I could get massive air on my tricks! After two painful rides, I snuck into prelims in third. I then was able to judge all of the pro men throughout the competition (which was super fun and awesome, thanks Clay)! The next day, I was able to get a bit more than big loops and was able to throw mcnasties too! Sending into finals in third! After a super tight finals, with Adrienne and Emily tying for first with 400 with Em winning the tie breaker, I took third with a 391! I was super stoked! The next morning, we went into get an MRI because my wrist was still hurting and it showed a fracture. However, the doctor (a US ski team arm and shoulder specialist) said the fracture was small and stable so with a good tape job I was allowed to head out to Europe to slalom train and race!