Published on mai 2nd, 2017 | by Kayak Session https://www.kayaksession.com/img-current-issue/upload-your-video.png

UNLEASHED 2017 – Stage 2, Boatercross I Rouge River

The rain gently fell on the over saturated ground as athletes slowly emerged out of the warmth and comfort of there sleeping bags. The rain has continuously pounded Western Quebec for the better part of the past 2 days and the forecast shows only rain as the rivers in the area trend towards historic levels. Everything was set for Stage 2, a chaotic Boater-cross on the Rouge River. The “Gauntlet” is a rapid that was formed for Boater-cross; its high volume and has massive waves, unpredictable reactionaries and general glorious chaos. Puddles created a minefield across the parking lot as we moved our morning meeting inside, athletes firing on all cylinders and coffee.

The chaos and madness in this race was simply ridiculous. No lead was safe and ultimately the river was in charge ©Seth Ashworth/ SEND/ Kayaksession.com

The Boatercross section of the Rouge is so good, we wanted to give athletes more than 1 opportunity to make it to the final round, tweaking the typical format and introducing a new system. The men would race 3 heats of prelims, 5 racers in each, top 2 advancing directly to the finals round. All racers outside the top 2 will participate in one mass start consolation round, the top 2 in this “lucky loser” race will round out the final heat of 8. The women will race a heat of 5 and reset for a finals of three. Safety plans and media assignments in place, we all rallied to the put-in of the Rouge and had a mega stoke float down to the race course. With a quick course preview and time for an optional practice lap, we had all but forgotten the rain falling from above and got Stage 2 underway.

©Seth Ashworth/ SEND/ Kayaksession.com

Raoul Collenteur took a paddle stroke under his left eye at the start line and battled through to win the first heat despite the gash, the chaos and madness we desired was instantly fulfilled. Heat 2 followed with an entanglement before the first rapid, allowing Kalob Grady to cruise ahead while the main pack rallied into the crux entangled. Heat 3 was stacked, simply no other way to put it. Doug Cooper and Emrick Blanchette faced off against event organizers Bren Orton, Dane Jackson and Adrian Mattern. In the closest race of the day, the boys came into the Gauntlet so hot, Adrian had to go OVER Doug to make the pass. The Ladies sprinted away from the start line and into the main current, no one holding back as they entered the middle of the course. There eyes the size of gold coins, they disappeared into the monstrous waves and re-appeared charging towards the finish line with Brooke Hess claiming victory!

©Seth Ashworth/ SEND/ Kayaksession.com


The mens final was the highlight of the day, 8 of the Worlds finest dropping into largest set of “safe” rapids on Earth. Kalob again got out to a fast start, along with local Emrick Blanchette, they lead the race into the Gauntlet. Taking advantage of favorable surges through the crashing giants, Kalob cruised towards the finish line. Unfortunately for Kalob, Dane Jackson was also in finals and happens to not enjoy losing, making up 5 boat lengths at the final move and edging Kalob out by only inches. Willing his way from 4th to the top of the podium while Bren came crashing into the finish line for 3rd place.

This photo finish defined UNLEASHED in the most applicable way; great friends traveling throughout the best the best Whitewater in Quebec, all in the name of fun, friendly competition and good times.

The rain did its best to piss on our parade today and we did not let it ( although it did rain on our drones and FS700) . The positive vibes and general stoke from so many rad athletes in one place prevailed and Stage 2 is in the books as another memory filled, unforgettable day!   Check out the full results below and stay tuned for the Stage 2 edit dropping early later today…

©Seth Ashworth/ SEND/ Kayaksession.com


  1. Brooke Hess
  2. Jordan Slaughter
  3. Darby McAdams
  4. Genevieve Royer
  5. Katie Kowalski



  1. Dane Jackson
  2. Kalob Grady
  3. Bren Orton
  4. Adrian Mattern
  5. Raoul Collenteur
  6. James Rowlinson
  7. Emrick Blanchette
  8. Seth Ashworth
  9. Devyn Scott
  10. Paul Palmer
  11. David Silk
  12. Louis Phillipe Rivest
  13. Andrew Oxley
  14. Arthur Paulous
  15. Doug Cooper (DNS consolation round due to Injury)

Enjoy the Stage 2 edit and check into kayaksession.com Tuesday night for more info on Stage 3.


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