Last weekend we attended a freestyle competition at the Nantahala Outdoor Center in North Carolina. It turned out to be a great event with many different competitions and demonstrations other than just the main attraction: the freestyle competition. Among the other events were a stand-up paddle board race and an attainment race. There was also a great speech by Chris Gragtmans, a true ambassador of the sport of kayaking. This speech was targeted mostly to competitors and people that are just being introduced to the sport of whitewater kayaking. It was perfect for getting everyone pumped up to compete the following day, especially the junior women.
The competition flowed smoothly both days for the junior women’s class. There were only four girls competing so therefore there was only one heat. Three out of the four girls competing in junior women’s were our very own girls. The fourth girl, who placed first, is planning to attend New River Academy next year. It is needless to say that we were all really supportive of each other. Instead of just having our first round as finals on Saturday, we got to compete Sunday as well for a finals round. This was lucky for us because the first day was almost a practice round and we got to work on our rides to preform them again on Sunday.
The competition was not too serious for the NRA girls. We had the best time that we could possibly have. We made a playlist for the DJ to play during our rides. Everyone including our teachers were dancing and laughing at our awesome playlist. While dancing and laughing we still all made a point to cheer really loudly for each other while we were doing our rides. It was not all fun and games. All of the girls got down to business and threw down tricks that maybe we didn’t even know we had. Alex Muck threw her first loop ever in the second day of competition. Hayley Stuart threw a lot of nice cartwheel ends and her recently learned entry move. I threw some loops and spins and tried my first space godzilla. I was extremely excited about trying one even if it didn’t score. Rowan Stuart won with her huge loops and space godzillas. Congrats to everyone who competed! I had a great time and I can’t wait to compete with these girls again.
Tags: Alternative Education, boarding school, Chile, education, experiential education, fayetteville, Gap Year, go huge, high school, Kayak School, Kayaking, new river academy, Playboating, rivers, Sara-Jane Daub, West Virginia, whitewater