Boater X – Tears, Smiles, and Champions (Inside the North Fork Championship with Capo Rettig #6)
Inside the North Fork: Boater X – Tears, Smiles, and Champions, By Capo Rettig
The Boater X is the black sheep event of the NFC.
It is the race that some athletes hate due to the physical grind and body abuse, while others see it as an opportunity put their mark on this year’s event. It is a competition that rewards, scrappy, sometimes dirty, and always determined paddlers as they crash down rapids, and into each other, as they battle towards the finish line.
The “X” factor in the boatercross is historically pretty high…… the “X” factor meaning that this is an event that is hard to pick a winner, because traditional measurements of skill and talent often get thrown out the door.
The Boater X took place on S Turn, a long rapid that takes a few bends in the river, delivering crashing waves, funky eddies, exposed rock, and plenty of opportunity for choosing creative lines. Each heat included 6 racers, with the top 2 winners advancing to semifinals. The remaining 6 racers after the two rounds of cuts made the finals.
Racers started out sprinting across a short section of flat-water, which separated the pack before entering the whitewater. The entry to the rapid consisted of three breaking waves leading into a hard left-hand turn, which was the crux. From there, racers just needed to hold on and grind it out.
Alec Voorhees went way out ahead in his first heat, beating everyone quite easily. Eric Deguil and Dane Jackson did the same. These three would continue through round two and into finals.
After the first two rounds, Jackson, Deguil, and Voorhees (youngest competitor in the race), were joined by Kalob Grady, Nouria Newman (the only female competitor of the day), and Seth Swallen for the finals.
Could it be that Eric Deguil could win the NFC BoaterX 3 times in a row?
The finals started off close….. at least at the starting line. Then it was all about the defending champion from France, Mr. Eric Deguil, who quite easily took the finals to become the 3x BoaterX NFC Champion…. The only person to ever win an NFC event multiple times.
The podium finishers for this year’s BoaterX
1 – Eric Deguil, 2 – Dane Jackson, 3 – Alec Voorhees
– There were TWO pink kayaks on the podium (Deguil and Jackson)
– During the first round heat, Galen Volckhausen crossed the finish line last, but finished in the top two. How? The two guys in front him forgot to touch the rock banner, which was the finish line. Future NFC BoaterX racers, take note.
– At one point the two red bull girls shot-gunned a red bull and took photos of each other doing it.