Monday, May 21, 2007

The Clackamas River Festival

Date: May 19-20th
By:Christina Russell

This year was my first visit to the Clackamas River Festival just east of Portland. There were several events open to the public: boatercross, PBR relay races, raft races, slalom, and the big air ramp. I headed up on Saturday and unfortunately missed the PBR relay- but did manage to hit the Big Air Ramp that afternoon and the boatercross on Sunday.

The Ramp comp began around 3:30 with roughly fifteen competitors. Lots of talented paddlers. One of them was Robby Virostek. He just started paddling last year but you guys need to watch him...he's a true prodigy. With less experience than nearly everyone there, he was throwin the best airscrews out of the bunch....even grabbing a paddle out of someone's hand mid flight.

(Below) Shots by Mr. Virostek Sr
Paddler: Robby Virostek
(Check out the paddling prodigy's site at

RobbyVirostek-paddling prodigy

Boat of choice: Vision 44...she rocks my stinky socks :D

So the first time down the ramp, I had no idea what the hell I was doing. Never been down a ramp, never seen a ramp...this was going to be fun. The first time down was also my ONLY practice ramp jump before the competition so I was a little nervous about that (and the result wasn't surprising). Someone at the top of the ramp gave me a good push and somehow I went over the handlebars...If I hadn't had the wind knocked out of me, I should have tried to throw a loop..I had a great bounce after that landing!

Cuz we all love carnage, I've decided to post my fantabulous biff :) .....oh wow perfect biffing form too....

That was painful...

From the left- Turan, Christina, and Sandra

Round two: Spottin the landin of a clean blunt

Goin' for the Pan Am(Above)

And the flat landing....


1. Christina Russell
2. Sandra
After the big air comp, everyone felt like they'd been hit by a semi, make that a couple semi's. Despite the slight discomfort, a few of us decided to play in a hole upstream and later, head down with Devon and his dad to Bob's Hole (which isn't so great since the boulders shifted).

At Bob's new hole (above)

EJ surfing Bob's

The Boater X- Sunday May 20th

there were only two female competitors (including myself) so the judges decided to combine the mens and womens for a total of roughly 12 competitors. We broke the group down into two sets with two heats. Group A, Heat 1 had five people (everyone else hadn't shown up at the top in time). The first heats were run around noon followed by the finals at 1:30.

Below- this is Dave. I also call him Moldy. Why? Everyone sat in their drysuits in the pouring rain. I commented on how I felt moldy, which led to calling him more moldy, which led to....Dave= Moldy 1 and I=Moldy 2....not that you wanted to know that but it was important to mention! It entertained us for a wee bit...

Moldy 1 !!!!

Results: Semi Finals

Advanced to the Finals:
1st- Dave AKA moldy #42
2nd- Me (Christina Russell) #22


he winners of heats one and two combined for a great race. I pulled out way ahead of the pack but was trailed by an RPM....arg. I hit gates one, then two.....two was where things went wrong. :( The RPM decided to hit me square in the side of ma boat as I was turning for gate three. I couldnt make it to gate three so I DQ'd!! WOO HOOO! it was a bummer but that's boatercross. Exciting up till the last second. Next year, that RPM is goin' down!

1. Dave "Moldy"
2. :( This is horrible but I cant remember....whoever you are....YOU ARE AWESOME and you can hit me for this next time you see me !
The entire event was great. Lots of people stoked on the sport and lots of great dutch oven cooking. Thanks to everyone who helped with the event and put that kick ass ramp together.

Make sure to hit this event next year....Mid May on the Clackamas River. Hope you enjoyed the post! Stay tuned for the next one shortly.... Lava Falls=BIG water. :D

Happy Paddling,
Christina Russell

Thursday, May 17, 2007

What we do when we aren't kayaking....

A Day at PIR-Portland International Raceway

By: Christina Russell
Date: May 16, 2007

This Wednesday the fam and I (along with Mr. Todd Baker) headed on over to the Portland International Raceway for some coaching and racing :) The race day started off at 7:45 AM with some course discussion and rules for the day. Basically the number one rule was DONT pass anyone on the turns-only the straights (the person you are passing MUST give you the all good to pass signal-your blinker) and for god sakes stay on the track! "If you skid out, make sure to put in the clutch" was another reminder. (Thankfullly no one took an off roading trip in their track cars)

On the track that day, we had a couple M3's, some modified Hondas, a Lexus, a NICELY modified Mercedes,Nissan 350 Z, some Subaru STI's, Porches, Salines, Ford Shelby GT500s and our mini cooper :)

Kim and I shared the cooper for the day. In total, our track time came out to about 6 hours...lots of squeeling tires and shifting. The fastest speed for the day in the Mini was recorded at 120mph (much slower than the rest of the field but then again, the turns are where it does its job)

The Readers Digest summary of the course:
Total Number of Turns: 12
Most difficult turn: turns 1-3 and turn 12
2 straightaways
1.9 miles including the festival turns

A Day at the Portland International Raceway

At the's inspection time

(Above) Christina apexing at turn 12

(Above) Christina chasing the "bunny"-M3

(Above) exiting turn three

(Above) comin' out of turn three...again

(Above) Christina catching the Porsche 911 on the turns

(Above) takin' a break after a session

(Above) Mwhahahaha helmet hair... she's proud of it

All in all, the day was sweet! No one went off the track, we beat our fastest track time in the mini, AND we got the course all dialed in for the next race! Yeah it's not whitewater kayaking but the rush is just as great..."hmmm can I make this turn at 100? " Track racing is friggin awesome! We even had our Liquidlogic sweatshirts on....still representin! :)

If anyone comes to visit, maybe we'll take ya out for a spin at PIR.... just make sure you put on your seatbelt!


Steelhead Falls Vid :)

By: Christina Russell
Date: May 13, 2007


-miss Chris

Steelhead Falls

Date: May 12, 2007
By: Christina Russell

Today I headed out to Steelhead Falls with my good buddy Josh for some park and huck goodness. It's about thirty minutes North of Bend and sort of confusing to find. On the way out we stopped by the Aldercreek and picked up Josh's broken playboat. Still broken, he chose to fill the crack (fresh from 51) with wax...worked like a charm :D

Josh Mckeown discovering the many uses of paddle wax

With the crack all filled up, we put on and headed down to the falls. Steelhead is a nice 18 footer (some say twenty but I dunno...) with a soft landing. Since the canals were turned on a month or so ago, the flow was substantially lower than before. I had been thinking of freewheeling Steelhead for a while and today seemed like the perfect opportunity. The flow was great, landing zone was good, and there was a minimal chance of getting stuck behind the curtain. We fired it up.....

I wanted to make sure I got enough footage and photos so I shot while he did a few laps....

Josh droppin Steelhead Falls

josh hiking back to the top...twas a bit of a walk

Im so proud of this shot :D

Me freewheelin the falls too :) ...I apologize for the BAD quality photo...took it off the video

And landing......


At the bottom...

Now Im kind of bummed I cant provide more shots but....I do have a short video I put together of the day :) .
Check it out!

All in all, the day was fantabulous. It felt great to get out after a week of no paddling AHHHH!!! I've been sick with some cold but I couldnt take it any longer. Though I will probably be sick for a bit longer, I maintain that it was definitely worth it! Hope everyone else is getting out and staying healthy!

Happy Paddling,
Miss Chris

2007 Oregon River Games

Kim Russell on Canyon Creek, Washington © Lana Young Photography

2007 Oregon River Games:

Friday: Extreme Race on Canyon Creek, Washington

After school, I met up with the VOZ crew, Matt Salomon, Corey Volt and Todd Baker in Washington to settle in on Canyon Creek, Washington and get ready for the race. Wohoo!

With flows being super low, about 4 inches below the unit, the beat-down factor was pretty low, but the chunky gnarly sections were pretty chunky. Manky Chunky. Oh well. There was a pretty good turn out with about 62 paddlers showing up for the event. Everyone had a good time and made it through clean although there were some pin rumors goin' around. (I even had to drink some bootie juice for my first swim... ya!)

Over the course of the day, I think the weather went something like this: rain, sun, clouds, hail, rain, clouds, sun, sun, sun, rain, hail. It was pretty sweet. Especially when Trip Jennings and the Epicocity crew brought out the Red Bull. Yee-haw!


Men: 1st Tao Berman 3:12
2nd Josh Bechtel 3:21
3rd Andy Maser 3:22

Women: 1st Heather Herbeck 4:07
2nd Kristi Murrin 4:10
3rd Andrea Triplitt 4:15

Check out the pics...

The start
Photo by: "ICE"of Facelevel Riverboards

Todd Anderson dropping Big Falls, the start, on Canyon Creek, Washington
© Lana Young Photography

Tobey's: The normally portaged boulder garden mank below the double drop falls (super fun)
Photo by: "ICE" of Facelevel Riverboards

The finish below "Hammering Spot
Photo by: "ICE" of Facelevel Riverboards

Photo by: "ICE" of Facelevel Riverboards

Saturday: Bob's Hole Rodeo, Clackamas River, Oregon

Saturday turned out to be a bum day with water levels being not quite so good for a comp. We went to the hot springs instead. Mwuahaha!

Then I drank bootie juice (Photo by: Todd Baker)

and then we went climbing...

and THEN we made Mexican tofu! (Photo by: Kim Russell)

Sunday: Boatercross, Clackamas River, Oregon

Christina, Josh Bechtel and Rob Virostek duked it out with Matt Salomon, Corey Volt, Todd Baker and I unofficially racing with them to create distractions.... mwuahaha. It worked out nicely, with Corey gettin' worked in one hole, and Todd and Rob in another. Matt pulled off an unofficial second place starting from the top of the eddy, but technically it didn't count because he didn't sign up. Oopsies!


1. Josh Bechtel
2. Christina Russell
3. Rob Virostek

Photo By: Kim Russell

For more information on the event, check out:

See you on el riviero!


Photo by: Todd Baker