This years Wenatchee River Festival starts off like it does every year on Friday evening at Rodeo Hole for the R2 Rodeo.  These guys do their best to get the longest ride as well as put on the best show possible for the crowd.

Wenatchee Rafting Games R2 Rodeo Competition

On Saturday, everyone rendezvous at the Cashmere Riverside park.  Every year the WKC pulls together other river enthusiast to help raise money for American Whitewater.  Here, you can sign up for any number of events.  This year we had; a freestyle clinic, a downriver clinic, freestyle competition, a down river race for kayakers, rafters, and now SUPs along with a silent auction, throw bag toss, and many other fun things to do.

Wenatchee River Festial 2013


Throw bag competition not much different than playing horse shoes.

Will had the opportunity to paddle with Tao Berman and when I met up with him later he was so stoked.  He was smiling from ear to ear for the rest of the day.

Will Demarest representing at the LMS booth

In the morning, I volunteered to teach a beginner to intermediate playboat clinic.  In the clinic there were three guys with abilities going from one end of the spectrum to the other.  Mike was an older gentlemen who had recently bought an old school playboat, a Necky Bliss.  He has been sea kayaking for number of years and  thought it would be fun to take up playboating.  Kevin is an endurance athlete and at the clinic was hoping to refine his flat spin technique and gain a little more confidence back surfing.  Then there was Ben.  Ben was younger guy mid twenties and really fit, he was ready to unlock the secrets of looping big and hitting air blunts.  We had a great time!  We cover everything from peel outs and eddy turns to stern squirts on the line to mystery moves to loops to air blunts.

Kevin Hall came out for the freestyle clinic

Mike participated in the freestyle World Kayak freestyle clinic.

Kevin Hall super stoked and Rock'n the World Kayak Logo.

This years freestyle competition seam to go almost unnoticed.  Many of the usual competitors were off doing other events this year, attending weddings or siblings graduations.  No worries here, Matt Kurle step in and cleaned house taking home a Mountain Khakis gift voucher worth $75.  Matt has a unique style combining the grace surf moves with the snap and power of advance playboat techniques.  Really fun to watch him throw down.

Matt Kurle the undisputed freestyle champion.

This thing, the C4 Waterman SUP Squatch was entered into the down river rafting race hours before the event.  All the rafters didn’t think twice that this monstrusity would even be a contender.  Oops, they were wrong!  After the race I had a moment to talk to Adam Mckenney he said “by the time they reached Turkey Shoot they  didn’t need to evening paddle any more.”  Even through these guys had such a dominating lead they kept going to see fast they could complete the course, finishing in 19:40.  I think next year we will have to add another category.

This board dominated the down river rafting race, I don't think the rafters were too stoked either.

I am still working on a little video from the freestyle events so check back soon.

This is Jean-Luc Robichaux signing off until next time. Later.