Sage Donnelly 26/05/2018 | Posted in Creeking, Event Coverage, Events, Nirvana, rivers, Whitewater, Wrap Ups, WW Disciplines
I have had a stacked past few weeks of competing this April! After Making both Jr. and Senior Slalom Teams and winning Women’s Freestyle National Championships, the next weekend I have Tuck Fest at the US National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. I am lucky enough to have gone to this super fun festival for two years in a row now. My friends and I started off the competition on Thursday with a little fun and very scary raft cross. I ended up in the back guiding with my two really good friends Marcus and Kenny in the front as my motors. It had been years since I had rated and I was pretty nervous about going down the large, bouncy competition channel in a big rubber floating undercut (kidding guys, can you tell I’m not a rafter!), but before I even had a chance to chicken out and bail we had started. We were going against experienced raft guides and one of my favorite slalom coaches, Fergus, who also manages the whitewater part of the Center and plays dirty in races 😉 We somehow didn’t die in the first round even though I was screaming that we were going to the whole way down, and survived to the final round where we actually beat Fergus and his crew and grabbed first (rafting might not be so bad)! The next day, there weren’t any competitions until boater cross in the evening, but I opted out of kayaking for once and went to prom with my friend Marcus. I of course paddled all day before we left though and got ready in the locker rooms at the center. Being girly for the night was fun, but the next morning I was super excited to get back in my boat for some endurance racing in the Bakers Dozen.
The race involves 13 laps around the wilderness channel as fast as you can, with rafts, stand up paddle boarders, and recreational paddlers as obstacles.It was an intense race and I’m happy to report that I’ve become a lot stronger than last year! Adrienne and I were keeping pace off of each other, but after two bad hits from some rafts I was pretty far back and wasn’t able to quite catch up. I was super happy to take second to Adrienne though because she’s so jacked! I did some slalom training that evening and then rested up for the next day which had freestyle and slalom races! I took another first in Women’s against my hero Adrienne (pay back!) and then took first again in Women’s Kayak Slalom! I ended off the day with helping the dagger crew with a kids clinic, all the kids shredded and it was awesome to see our next generation stern squirting, surfing, and rock splatting until they dropped. After the clinic, I drove straight home and slept because I was pooped and had another week of hard training ahead of me!