Thursday, June 11, 2009

WCKA Athletes at Teva Mountain Games

School might be out of session, but World Class continues to bring young kayakers to the best rivers and competitions the summer offers. For the month of June, Colorado happens to be one of these hotspots with a different competition every weekend all throughout the state. Our students originally from this part of the country will rave to you about the variety in paddling this state offers. From the big waves in Glenwood Springs to the creeks in Crested Butte, no matter where a kayaker travels here, there is whitewater to paddle.

A classic event for the Colorado tour is the Teva Mountain Games held in Vail June 4th-7th. This event has it all and draws in some of the world’s most talented athletes in multiple extreme sports. The kayaking events always end up being the most attended and most exciting of the games.

Kicking off the weekend, the Homestake Extreme Creek Race sets the bar high for anyone who thinks they can maneuver through class IV/V whitewater the fastest. World Class' Sebastian Scholl competed in the race alongside the fastest and smooth athletes in the world, powering down the creek with a powerful finesse.  Head Coach Jesse Shimrock made it to the finals in this event, also representing WCKA with style.  

Sebastian daftly maneuvering Homestake's technical and steep rapids 

WCKA alum, Adrienne Levknecht, flying off one of Homestake's many drops

Back in the town of Vail Freestyle competitions continued throughout the weekend with current and former students throwing down hard. This wave is one of the best venues for a large competition. Two bridges, up and downstream of the wave, allow for 360 degrees of viewing pleasure for the massive crowds draw to this event.

Current student Michael Palmer competed in his new Guiguiprodd carbon fiber boat. This lightweight boat, along with some serious freestyle moves, allowed him to hold his own among the world’s most talented kayakers with a 12th place in the qualifiers.

Michael hitting a massive loop for the crowd's pleasure

Michael in his lightweight boat, smiling at his high scoring run on the wave

Griff Griffith, another student signed on for this fall’s Peru semester, also threw down with the best in the competition giving the pro’s a run for their money. In addition to competing in the freestyle competition, Griff placed an incredible 11th place in the downriver sprint, just seconds behind pro athletes Tommy Hilleke and Geoff Calhoun.

Griff getting reading to head out on Vail's wave

Griff hitting all the right moves

Many other junior athletes competed over the weekend showing the world that the next generation will be pushing the limits! I'm really looking forward to traveling around the world this these guys and all the other incredible young athletes already signed up for the fall semester.

Check back in for updates on Team Trials, the upcoming FiBark festival in Salida and WCKA's summer sessions!

by Susan Hollingsworth