The running joke is, “It’s chilly!” responded by, “No, it’s not Chile, we’re in West Virginia!” Oh the simple pleasures of life, bad humor, and migrating through the hemispheres and seasons to our final quarter of the 2011/2012 school year.
After returning to our base in Fayetteville, West Virginia, getting to run the bread and butter of the New River, and having some team members jet up to a race on the Top Yough (with a fourth place tie by Eric Bartl and Galen Volkhausen), we are heading down South to Georgia and North Carolina.
First, we hit up Tallulah Fest on the Tallulah River, an absolutely beautiful run that has very rare releases. Tallulah is famous for its stunning scenery, good rapids, and famous rapid “Oceana,” which is a long rapid with a huge plume of water spraying up in the middle bottom known as “the thing.”
Next, we will start focusing on the NOC Shootout, a freestyle competition on the Nantahala River in North Carolina. This quarter, the New River Academy students have the privilege of having Criag Klekner, professional kayaker and member of Team Pyranha, as their Coach. Craig is a master of freestyle and will lead training at Eternity Hole and at the new NOC feature as soon as it is finished. The Shootout is a great chance for the team to compete and also to get to watch and cheer on some of the best in the whitewater world.
After the Shootout, we will be heading to the Green River in North Carolina, a much anticipated fourth quarter destination. The New River Academy team will be staying at Camp Wayfarer, a summer camp with a huge covered basketball court, climbing wall, etc. that just so happens to be right next to the put in to the Green River Narrows. The Green is a great river for the entire team, as it has different level sections for building skills.
While in the area, the school has partnered with Bliss-Stick US, Liki Faire, and Terravida Threads to host a Night of Outdoor Film, which will include the Asheville premiere of the world recognized Patagonia Rising: A frontier story of water and power as well as two of the students’ films at Asheville Brewing and Pizza Company at 9 pm on April 26th. All of the money raised at the event will go to causes that protect some of Chile’s most threatened rivers! New River will also have a couple of students participating in the race Jerry’s Baddle, which is a combined kayak race down the Green, and bike race up the heinous uphill at the take-out, which should be awesome.
After enjoying Greening, the team will make its way back up to West Virginia, stopping for a couple of days at our homebase in Fayetteville, and then moving up to the spring gems of Northern West Virginia, including the Cheat and the Big Sandy. The students will race in Cheat Fest, which will give them a great experience in longer distance down river racing.
It is going to be quite the quarter and will of course finale in Graduation Weekend at our West Virginia base. We are all looking forward to seeing the families of our students for a weekend of rafting, kayaking, and a beautiful ceremony on the stunning overlook of the New River Gorge, but are certainly sad, but very proud of our seniors and entire team, what they have accomplished this year and what they will accomplish down the road!