I first started attending the Big Fork whitewater festival back in the mid 90s. A couple of the highlights from previous trips include winning the Lower Slalom at age 11 and placing in the top 10 in the upper slalom at age 14. So when Johnny Meyers told me it was on for May 25th and 26th, I was very interested. It was tough since I had originally planned on hitting up the Little White Race on the same weekend, but the talk of a $2000 cash prize and only a 5 hour drive versus 12 had me heading to Big Fork for the first time in 15 years.
It was great to be back on the Wild Mile and a good flow, the prize money was based on your total time for 3 different events. The slalom, 16 gates through some pushy class 4, the downriver race, 6 minutes of class 4, mostly big waves and the Giant Slalom which was 7 gates spaced through the entire downriver course and took around 7 minutes.
I paddled real well all weekend and managed to win the Slalom and Giant Slalom and I was only 5 seconds back of the winner in the downriver race. The winner paddled a Corsica while I was in the slightly slower Remix. Even though I didn’t win the downriver race my times from the other two events where good enough to give me the overall win and the $2000.
It was a real good prep race coming into the North Fork Championships, I’m writing this in Banks at the takeout of the North Fork in between runs.
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