Tuesday, April 25, 2006

American Festival

Yo, props to Jacob for his big win at the Reno Collegiate! Sweet dude. Yeah, I didn't fair quite as well at the American, but managed to throw some mini air blunts and back stabs on the micro green wave where the event was held. The top three were locked in with Stephen Wright, Kincaid, and EJ and I battled it out with Dave Garringer for fourth place, but he ended up defeating me, so I took fifth.

So, on Sunday, Stephen and I decided to go run Golden Gate on the South American. I borrowed Stephen's Super Hero, which is fast and handles well in the big stuff. There was only one hitch in our plan... neither of us had run it before, so we didn't know how to get there (or how to get down it for that matter). Anyhow, we eventually found a boater with a guidebook and got the directions. We got a late start, but figured we would try to make good time and scout efficiently. After the shuttle was set we got on the river to see a VERY healthy flow which happened to be rising with the rain. Basically, a long, difficult, semi-epic ensued, resulting in my first swim in eight years! To keep it short, we were reading and running the first couple miles... I found my way into a rather large hole, didn't have enough speed to punch it, got worked violently for a while, breathed in some water, then got worked a little more before I decided to bail out instead of trying another roll. Stephen rescued my stuff (thanks dude). It was a little disheartening since we were only a mile or two into our 10 mile class V+ journey and all of the biggest rapids lay downstream.

We ended up meeting up with a crew from World Class at the first portage and paddled the rest of the day with them. Well, we snuck and portaged the rest of the run with them. So, the water was pretty high, and in my humble, playboater opinion the rapids were really large and steep and some of them downright frightening. Anyhow, at some point, once the daylight started running out, the World Class guys decided it would be faster to just start portaging every major horizon line instead of trying to scout and then go back and run it. Probably a good policy. There were tons of rapids in there, and it would be nice to go back at slightly lower flows with an early start and run some of the bigger stuff. After the final portage around the very mean looking F111, darkness was on its way. We finished out the last couple miles of IV+ at a pretty quick pace racing to get out before dark. We reached the takeout right as things were getting pretty gray and dim. It was dark by the time the boats were on the car. Whew!

The story ends with a hilarious quarter mile hike down a rutted dirt road, that my car couldn't manage, in complete pitch darkness to retrieve Stephen's truck at the putin. 20 minutes of stumbling over rocks and feeling out the edge of the road got us to the truck and finally put an end to a day that seemed unwilling to end.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Collegiate Nationals Freestyle pics

Okay. So after a nice, leisurely hung-over day of sitting on a plane sandwiched between a window and two beached manatees for 7 hours (why, God, WHY did they have to be on both my flights? and for the love of everything that is considered holy in this world, WHY did they have to say "Hey, let's sit next to our buddy again!" on the second flight? F@#$!!!) I made it back to Chapel Hill.
Flying really is a pain in the ass, you know?
Right. I decided to sort through the hundreds of pics from the weekend and post some of the better ones for you eye candy/ kayak porn viewing pleasure.

So here ya go!

Reno airport baggage claim, welcoming the 1000+ competitors for the weekend.

Competition scene during the first round of men's prelims.

Jon Meyers (finshed 2nd) setting up a McNasty.

Diane Gaydos, women's champ, getting a nostril full going for another big loop.

Lane Jacobs looping in front of the boom camera.

Jacob Selander looping in semi-finals. Big loops and Space Godzillas were par for this hole, which loved to give them up.

Jacob Selander and Diane Gaydos, men's and women's collegiate freestyle champions of 2006.


Saturday, April 22, 2006

Collegiate Freestyle Champions Crowned!

Whew... an intense day of competitions has finally come to a close. We started out with beautiful sunny Nevada weather, and later on it came close to rivalling the Oregon Cup for raininess and cold...
Water levels were slightly higher than they'd been the last couple days, causing the hole to be slightly flushier and harder to stick the big moves consistently. Very few competitors were able to stay in the hole for the full 60 second ride, patience and technique paid off.

First up was the men's prelims- 3 heats of 5 each, 2 60-second rides, both counting to see which 6 would advance to the semis. The field of 15 was cut to Max Bechdel, Lane Jacobs, Jesse Shimrock, John Meyer, Tyler Muntz and Jacob Selander (hey, that's me!).

But before the men's semis, the women had their chance to throw down. Since there was only a field of 8, the prelims were considered the semifinals, and the top three advanced to the medal knock-out round. Diane Gaydos, Lizzie English and Erin Griffith all threw big rides in prelims and advanced.
Lizzie and Diane hit big loops in the finals and Erin had a bunch of solid cartwheels, and in the end Diane and Lizzie advanced. The final rides were sick, but it was Diane's consistency and variety that got her the winning score from the judges.

Next up were the men. The heat of six was quickly cut down to three after a flurry of intense rides bursting with energy, big moves and lots of variety. Selander, Shimrock and Meyer came out with the top three scores and moved on, with only a 0.2 difference in scores between 3rd and 4th place.
On with the finals. Each competitor was given a 60 second ride, the top 2 scores advance and are given another 60 second ride and a champion crowned.
Jacob went first in the heat of 3, and proceeded to throw down the highest scoring ride of the day, out of any competitor in any class. The bar had been set for Shimrock and Meyer, who both threw down impressive rides. But someone had to go. Jesse was eliminated, taking the 3rd place spot on the podium. John was up first, and threw a big ride with a lot of variety but unfortunately flushed halfway through and lost some time paddling back up into the hole. I was up next, and after watching John flush (I was suprised, he had been throwing some of the sickest rides of the comp consistently) I knew all I had to do was stay in the feature for 60 seconds and save some high-risk moves for the end.
I played the first part of my ride pretty conservatively, and when the clock hit 30 seconds, I knew it was time to throw. I managed another 15-20 seconds before flushing, and then it was up to the judges to decide.

Here's the final:
Women's Collegiate Freestyle:
1. Diane Gaydos
2. Lizzie English
3. Erin Griffith

Men's Collegiate Freestyle:
1. Jacob Selander
2. John Meyer
3. Jesse Shimrock

Pictures coming tomorrow. Big props to Amanda Marusich for taking some shots!
And even bigger props to the panel of judges that worked hard all day- Rusty Sage, Macy Burnham and Jessie Rice

Now, it's off to party!

--Selander out!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Collegiate Nationals day 1

So today was the first day of competition in the Collegiate Nationals kayaking events- the highly competitive and sometimes violent boater-cross.
Champions were crowned, folks were bloodied, good times were had by all.

The women were first to go, the final heat saw Amanda Marusich (Stanford), Lizzie (UNR), Shana (Garrett college), and Katie (U of Montana), (sorry, i don't remember last names for everyone). Right from the start, Amanda sprinted out to a commanding lead, and eventually taking first followed close by Kaite. Lizzie came in 3rd.

Amanda taking the lead in women's boater-X

Up next was the men's, the final heat matched Jesse Shimrock (Garrett College, recently out of retirement), Andrew Peterman (Stanford), Andy Maser and Lane Jacobs (U Oregon). It was a fierce heat, Shimrock's paddle had some contact with Maser's face, multiple boat on boat/ paddle contact, but at the end Lane Jacobs ended up crossing the finish line first. Peterman came second, then Maser in 3rd.

Jacobs and Peterman

Now, it's off to the music fest! Tons of live bands plaing in Reno tonight and tomorrow for the competition, good times!
Just have to make sure to be plenty rested for the freestyle comp tomorrow!

Selander out!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Do we go kayaking or to the casino?

Collegiate Nationals 2k6:

So I get into the airport around 10 and i'm immediately met by some redneck dude driving a blue volvo. Thanks, Burnham!

The reno park is pretty sweet. one channel for slalom/ boater-x, the other freestyle with pretty sweet features. The main hole, #3, is situated smack-dab in the middle of downtown, you can surf and look up at the casino skyline at the same time. There's also a VERY convieniently located pub adjacent to the hole on river left, if you're so inclined after paddling.
The feature is sweet, name a hole move, think it up and do it! the comp should be sweet, people will have to go super-big if they want to advance.
Big props to CSTV for throwing down for this event, there's ads for it all over town, almost more hyped than the 2k3 world freestyle championships in Graz!

well, it's 5:15, i'm at Macy's house, and I think it's time to head back to the park for another session!
more updates to come tomorrow.... there's a coffee shop next to the ww park that has wireless... sweet.

Selander out!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

American Fest

Yo dudes.
I decided to avoid the whole carrying the boat on the plane with me to Cali and pay lots of money for that wonderful privelage thang and decided to ship it down there ahead of me. That's right... ship it. So I duct taped up my boat bag again (wavesport sucks!) and sent it on its way to Sacramento where we will be joyously reunited when I fly down.

I could have competed in that silly college rodeo with Jacob over in Reno, but I thought I would compete in the real rodeo on the American where all the cool people are going to be.

Yeah, so next stop Cali!

It's on!

The Sweet Bunion Crew now has a blog. We're with the times, man. Look out.
And as the school year comes to a close (kind of...) we realize that the world wants to go kayaking vicariously. And that's where we come in. We go kayaking and cause some minor trouble, and the world wishes that they could join in. But we don't. I mean, really. Our cars are only so big. We'd love to take all of you along, but we just don't have enough room and nearly enough ramen to support everyone.

Rock on.

Here's the crew:

Dan "God of Spencer's" Rubado


Jacob "C-Monster" Selander


"Famous" Leif Anderson


Dave Stentiford

Yo Dave- I need a photo!

Peace out.
--SBP crew

Off to Reno!

The Collegiate Nationals start friday! First ever ww boater-X and freestyle comp open to ONLY college students. Fortuantely, grad students count. oh yeah.

Time to call the airport and make sure I can check a kayak!
airline- "how big is it?"
jacob- "less than 6' long"
airline- "sorry, we don't accept sea kayaks."
j- "whitewater kayak. 6' long, 40 lbs."
air- "let me check with my manager"
j- "ok"
air- "sorry, he said no. it has to be less than 80" l x w x h"
j- "look at your website. it says vaulting poles are allowed. i do believe those are a tad over 80"."
air- "huh. i've never vaulted."

Yeah, long story short the kayak is flying with me.
Good times, Jay Kincaid has already threatened me with bodily harm upon my arrival.

Right on! Next update from Reno!