"Extreme" competitions are nothing new to kayaking. What's unique about the new era of downriver racing is the heightened level of race difficulty, the recent technology advancements in boats and paddling gear, the fitness and ability level of the athletes participating, and the quality of media coverage.
There's a certain buzz that surrounds sporting events such as The North Fork Championship, The Green Race and most certainly The Whitewater Grand Prix.
Right now, down in a remote section of Chile, the worlds best kayakers are sitting in micro eddies with butterflies pounding in their stomaches, peering out over horizon lines that lead to enormously consequential drops. There's class V boating, and then there's "CLASS V BOATING!"
STAGE 1 FINAL RESULTS
1st Place: Mike Dawson (NZL) 4:22.89
2nd Place: Isaac Levinson (USA) 4:27.61
3rd Place: Dane Jackson (USA) 4:33.40
4th Place: Evan Garcia (USA) 4:34.41
5th Place: Michele Ramazza (ITL) 4:36.69
6th Place: Eric Deguil (FRA) 4:36.90
7th Place: Jakub Nemec (CZE) 4:37.27
8th Place: Todd Wells (USA) 4:40.40
9th Place: Marcos Gallegos (CHL) 4:46.26
10th Place: Ben Marr (CAN) 4:47.43
11th Place: Mikel Sarasola (ESP) 4:47.92
12th Place: Juan Antonio De Ugarte (PER) 4:49.00
13th Place: Galen Volckhausen (USA) 4:49.64
14th Place: Geoff Calhoun (USA) 4:49.98
15th Place: Jared Seiler (USA) 4:50.11
16th Place: Rush Sturges (USA) 4:51.49
17th Place: Dag Sandvik (NOR) 4:52.48
18th Place: Anton Immler (SWE) 4:53.32
19th Place: Joel Kowalski (CAN) 4:54.84
20th Place: Adrian Kiernan (AUS) 4:56.86
21st Place: Lorenzo Andrade Astorga (CHL) 4:56.87
22nd Place: Daniel Rondón (PER) 5:00.13
23rd Place: Momo Castillo (CHL) 5:07.30
24th Place: Rafa Ortiz (MEX) 5:19.22
25th Place: Fred Norquist (USA) 5:19.76
DAY ONE UPDATE:
Awesome day on the river today with all of the athletes performing incredibly well; because of especially complicated river/safety logistics on this first stage we were only able to give the athletes 1 of their 2 race runs. Tomorrow they will get their chance to improve their results.
Current standings after Race 1/2, best run counts:
1st Place: Eric Deguil (FRA) - Surprised everybody by actually competing today and who's performance is especially impressive considering he is competing with serious rib issues.
2nd Place: Dane Jackson (USA) - 19 year old phenom and not just a freestyle threat.
3rd Place: Isaac Levinson (USA) - Hugely talented racer who was disappointing with this result and will be looking to win the stage tomorrow.
4th Place: Ben Marr (CAN) All-around talent and increasingly one of the sports biggest icons.
5th Place: Evan Garcia (USA) - King of Style.
All 7 of the women rocked the course, despite a couple swims at the finish line (same course as the men), with Martina Wegman (NLD) taking the win and beating a solid number of men.
Swim count: 3 Pre-event WWGP Swims, 4 (5?) swims today. All safe and sound thanks to the excellent safety the athletes are providing for one another, not many other sports that have the competitors also acting as each others rescuers. No one better able to do it.
Official press release including athlete roster:http://www.pressking.com/press-releases/WHITEWATER-GRAND-PRIX-KAYAKING-CHAMPIONSHIP-KICKS-OFF-IN-THE-REMOTE-REGIONS-OF-CHILE-034563Whitewater Grand Prix Site:http://whitewatergrandprix.com/index.phpOnline Press Room:http://www.pressking.com/press-room/whitewater-grand-prixWhitewater Grand Prix Facebook Page:https://www.facebook.com/whitewatergrandprix