What’s up everybody? So time is drawing near for the last event of our World Kayak and Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association Rock Island Open. This event is our Freestyle Cup, and is an event I’m sure everyone’s super excited about!As you may already know, Our first event, Freestyle, starts at 1030am (CST). Paddlers should meet at the gravel lot by the powerhouse between 930 and 945 (CST). This will be a typical Freestyle event. Competitors will be given two 2 minute heats in the hole to get as many tricks as possible in. But here’s the thing. World Kayak is all about fun, and bringing newcomers into our awesome sport. So anything goes, not only will the competitors be judged on the tricks they perform, but also on how much style and flair they bring to the table. So you definitely want to “woo” the judges in any way you can. Entry moves count too. The judge panel will consist of 5 judges, not competing, who will give points between 1 and 100, based on the performance of the competitor. This event   should last till around lunch. After lunch, we will pay homage to the State Park for allowing us to use their facilities free of charge. Also for lending us extra Rangers down on the water. We will perform a litter clean up down on the water, in places only paddlers can go. The State Park is giving us trash bags to use and may possibly supply us with a raft to paddle out the garbage. After the clean-up, probably around 3pm, we will begin our second event (which I am most excited about), the downriver freestyle. In this event the competitor will be given two 2 minute runs down our course. Once again, everything goes, there will be several judges monitoring different views of the course and will give you a score between 1 and 100 based on the tricks you perform and the style you bring. So bring it hard! After the event, we will all gather in the powerhouse gravel lot to raffle off some killer swag from our sponsors. Our sponsors are all listed at the bottom of this post. We’re so lucky to have so many great companies backing us! They provide us with tons of great gear, to just give away at our events. Free is awesome, no matter how you shake it. After the raffle we will award trophies to the overall winners of Race Day and The Freestyle Cup, and then one more to the Overall World Kayak Rock Island Open 1st place winner.

So let me tell you about these trophies.. You’re gonna love them. These things are hand carved by local legend, James “Woody” Woodall, of the Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association. Woody is an master craftsman in the art of wood carving, and has a specialty for carving kayaks. His work is auctioned off every year at the TSRA’s annual Rendezvous event. It is also for sale. So if you like what you see, you can shoot Woody a message via email at jamestwoodall@gmail.com. He’ll get you set up with pictures of his previous work, as well as what he has for sale. Remember, Father’s Day is right around the corner. What dad wouldn’t like a hand carved sculpture to set on the mantle? Who knows? Here’s a picture of these three trophies.

Rami Ayoub has already laid claim to the Race Day one, by winning overall at our last event. What do you think Rami? So there’s two more up for grabs, our Freestyle Cup one and The Rock Island Open overall trophy. This is so awesome. Woody, big thanks to you from me, World Kayak, and everyone involved, for producing these awesome works of art in such record time, one week! So come one, come all this Sunday, June 9th to our World Kayak Rock Island Open, Freestyle Cup at Rock Island State Park in Rock Island, TN! Special thanks to the Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association, for their continued safety support, to WeStroke.com for providing our event with stellar coverage nationwide on their awesome website, and to Rock Island State Park for allowing us to have this event in the first place. See you Sunday!

P.S. if you haven’t already, please register here. And remember, there is a 30 competitor limit, as designated by the State Park.


Philip Byard

Nashville WK Ambassador