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

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