This was my first time to the Reno River Festival and it was a great way to kick off the season. The park offers three distinctly different, but all great, playspots. The competition was held in the third feature of the North channel. Water was high due to the warm weather (summer is finally here for me!) so it was a wave hole. Despite being flushy, it did allow big tricks such as blunt to mcnasties and phoenix monkeys. Unfortunately it was my first few days boating this year, and I wasn't quick enough to pull these through consistently.
The feature was considered unattainable, so each competitor had 4 rides, best 2 count during prelims. I scored an okay first ride and a great second ride. With 2 decent rides I tried to step it up, but flushed and received 0 points on my last 2 rides. After watching the rest of the competition I thought I would be on the bubble. My combined score wasn’t the best, but many great paddlers struggled as well.
After the last heat of men, they announced who would move onto the semifinals. I had just made the cut sitting in 10th place and had 2 more rides, best counts, to try to advance to the top 5 for finals. I flushed early on my first ride and hit a loop and spacegodzillas before flushing on a phoenix during my second ride. That was enough to move up to 7th, but not enough to make finals.
The finals was a great show to watch. In the women’s class, Emily and Ruth battled it out switching leads a few times. In the end, Ruth ended up on top. Congratulation to Erin Clancey (3), Haley Mills (4), and Devon Barker (5) with solid performances as well.
The mens class was also highly contested as EJ scored in the 1400s. Stephen then stepped up with 1530 which would be enough to win. Congratulations to Dustin Urban (3), Clay Wright (4), and Craig Kleckner (5) as well.
When I wasn't practicing in Number 3, I played downstream in Number 5 and in the South channel playspot. Number 5 was a powerful hole that gave huge loops! The South channel spot was a small slow paced hole where it was possible to do nearly everything.
Aside from the freestyle the event had a lot to offer. There was slalom, boatercross, SUP races, the Run Amuck running race, and free music throughout the event. If you have been the Reno River Festival, you should check it out next year!