Monday, August 18, 2008

Midwest Freestyle Championships

The event kicked off with a great playboating clinic, taught by some members of Team Jackson. The clinic lasted for two days, while athletes from all over the Midwest came to train and practice new moves for the championships. The weekend was when the real competition got going. I had been having o.k. training sessions, but I wasn't feeling exceptionally confident.
Saturday morning, we drove up early, and I got ready for Womens' Expert Prelims. I was really nervous, but I turned in a good ride, and finished 3rd---that was great, and I got to finals! After that I started to get a bit more comfortable. After lunch, I competed in the C1 class. There weren't enough of us to have gender separation, so I competed with the boys....I turned in a really smooth run, and ended up placing first (with one of the highest scores a C1 had ever earned at that venue ; D). My next competition on saturday was the Junior Womens. I guess Saturday was my day, because I ended up winning that as well. Sunday started out with team runs. I got together a womens team, and we had a blast, but didn't place. Then came Womens' Expert Finals. I couldn't really pull it together, and handed in a mediocre ride, which brought me in fourth, one slot short of the head to head for final placing. I was disappointed, but I'm ready to give it my all next year! The race organizers held a boater-x, which was a total blast (my wave had some exceptional carnage that may have made its way to YouTube....). All in all, it was an awesome event, and I came out happy with two 1sts and a 4th place. Next up: West Virginia!

Sea Kayaking in the Apostles

What a beautiful trip! The Apostle Islands are an archipelago in Lake Superior, that are home to some gorgeous sea caves, lighthouses, sunsets, and more....and I just got to spend two weeks sea kayaking there! I was out with five other girls, and we visited 15 of the 18 islands. We put in at Bayfield, WI, and 85.5 miles later, took out in Little Sand Bay, WI. Our trip was determined to make it out to the beautiful, but evasive, Devil's Island, and we got lucky. With great weather, and small waves, we made it all the way. We spent one of our nights there, saw the historic and beautiful light house, and then the next day, we paddled to the other side and went thru all of the sea caves. One of my other favorite islands was Raspberry. We didn't stay the night there, but we did stop and play croquette, and see yet another gorgeous lighthouse, while we were on our way to Sand Island. It wasn't anything like whitewater, but it was still a blast!