UNLEASHED Quebec MMXIX – Stage 2, The Rouge River – Boater X
UNLEASHED Quebec: MMXIX
Stage 2: The Rouge River – Boater X, presented by Pyranha kayaks
by: Kalob Grady
May 6, 2019 – 7:00pm
The extent to which details of an event can be planned in advance are endless and easy to stress over, but the weather factor is not so easily programmed. When all aligns, it has the unnatural ability to drastically shape the group mindset and inject stoke into the atmosphere.
This morning, Unleashed athletes awoke to a breathtaking spring morning on the banks of the Rouge river. The sun drifted over the horizon and burnt off the early mist to reveal crystal blue skies for the duration of the day; not a cloud in sight.
Following the weather’s lead, athletes gathered at New World Rafting in Grenville sur la Rouge for the morning safety briefing sporting tank tops and flip flops, smiles permanently painted on their faces.
Stage 2 unfolded as a big water Boater X style race through the gauntlet section of the Rouge. (Gauntlet: to go through an intimidating or dangerous course, place, or experience in order to reach a goal). Competitors drew their fate for the heat lists by selecting the number 1, 2, 3 or 4 from the sorting hat. Following the ceremony, with the heats set, they set off for the river!
Format for the day as follows:
– 4 prelims heats, 2 heats of 5 racers, 2 heats of 6 racers, 22 athletes total.
– Top 3 racers advance from each race to the semi-finals.
– All racers eliminated in prelims race in a placement race for final placings 13th though 22nd.
– 2 semi-final heats of 6 racers each.
– Top 3 racers advance to finals.
– All racers eliminated in semi-finals race in a placement race for finals placings 7th-12th.
– 1 Final heat of 6 racers.
Course walked, finish banner set, practice laps completed. Athletes were just getting comfortable with the gargantuan crashing waves, the colossal and chaotic exploding features, and the sheer general size of the Gauntlet. Now it was time to race.
The preliminary round was defined by the finish line. A challenging move highlighted by a massive hole protecting the banner on river right. Play it safe, miss the hole right and go slow through the eddy or risk it for the biscuit, play with the shoulder and potentially get beatdown or miss the eddy entirely. By the end of the 4 prelim heats, every athlete who caught the eddy and touched the banner, with the exception of 1, advanced to the semi-finals round.
Chaos and carnage enriched the lives of all racers as they dropped into the fray for semi-finals. Heart rates were high as the difficulty of the finish move had come to light, but athletes still had to survive the anarchy of the Gauntlet before dealing with the end.
The final heat was a classic combination of young vs. experienced, local vs. foreigner, friend vs. friend. The perfect culminating moment to an epic day of racing. Racers dropped into the madness once more, expecting a different result, but enduring the same outcome.
All in all, the Gauntlet uphelds its reputation of being one of the best, big water Boater Cross courses in the World! Enjoy the results below and stay tuned for the Stage 2 edit being released next.
>>>Read & Watch more about The 2019 UNLEASHED x Quebec
1. Dane Jackson USA
2. Kalob Grady CAN
3. Leif Anderson USA
4. Hayden Voorhees USA
5. Jakub Hanoulle BEL
6. Josh Collins USA
7. Pierce Huser CAN
8. Tom Dolle FRA
9. Garrett Madlock USA
10. Seth Ashworth CAN
11. Luke Pomeroy CAN
12. Adrian Mattern GER
13. Bren Orton GBR
14. Michael Ferraro USA
15. Arthur Paulus FRA
16. Andreas Brunner AUT
17. Sam Duff CAN
18. Natali Anderson USA
19. Tom Dunphy IRL
20. Quinton Kennedy CAN
21. Andrew Oxley CAN
22. Darby McAdams USA