Published on September 3rd, 2021 | by Kayak Session

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After a year’s hiatus, the ninth North Fork Championship once again kicked off in Banks, Idaho, where familiar faces were joined by a crowd of up and comers to make the NFC’s largest-ever competitive field. This year, under new ownership from the Voorhees family (Mike, Jodi, Alec, Hayden, and Connor), the event returned to the traditional race format of Qualifier, Boater X, and the Giant Slalom on Jake’s, where 35 athletes would compete for the chance to be North Fork King or Queen and earn themselves a big, fat, $5000 check. Thursday morning, over 150 registered athletes and last-minute hopefuls gathered to compete in the Kokatat Qualifier on S-Turn rapid to try and earn themselves a spot to race at Jake’s. 10 spots for the men and all 5 for the women were up for grabs. The crowds gathered at Payette Brewing in Boise for the North Fork Film Festival and race results later that night. The range of ages and talent was impressive, with veterans like Women’s winner Natalie Anderson standing onstage with 16-year old Maddie Kimmel, while Men’s top qualifier Bernie Engleman was accompanied by up and comers who had never been to the North Fork before and local legends Chad and Tren Long. Friday kicked off bright and early with the North Face Boater Cross, brutal battles won by Sage Donnelly and Dane Jackson. On Saturday, with the river at a lower flow of 1800 CFS but a challenging course, the banks were packed, safety was set, the Red Bull Ramp was built, and the Tower of Power was ready to kick things off. DJ Revolve pumped the beats, keeping the vibe and stoke high. New this year was a Livestream broadcast of the event thanks to John Grace and his crew at the Hammer Factor. The Livestream is still available for purchase at www.hammerfactor.com/NFC-Live. $5 of each purchase goes to Idaho United. Anticipation was high, and spectators could be heard making bets… Who would miss Gate 2? Would Dane Jackson earn his 4th NFC title and take the triple crown, winning the Qualifier, Boatercross, and Jake’s? Would one of the newer names, like Jeremy Nash, find their way to the podium? After a moment of silence from MC Bailey, Anna Wagner was the first off the ramp and on the course. Athlete after athlete made their way down, two runs, the best single time counting for the win. With no automatic timing, it was anyone’s guess who would take the 2021 crown. Late that evening, as dusk was falling in Weilmunster Park, it was official. The new North Fork Champions were Dane Jackson and Sage Donnelly. With racing complete, there was only one thing left to do: Head to the Shame to revel in the moment. A massive thank you to the Voorhees family, James and Regan Byrd, the city of Crouch, Bailey, Preston, McCleod, Tommy Hilleke, John Webster, John Grace, and to all the volunteers and sponsors that made NFC IX a reality.

Thanks goes to:Toyota USA, Red Bull, Visit Idaho, YETI, Payette Brewing Co., NRS, Kokatat #northforkchampionship #nfcIX #thereturn #kayaksession Full results at northforkchampionship.com.

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