Friday, June 25, 2010

FIBARK festival

This year marks the 62nd anniversay of FIBArk, the nation's oldest whitewater festival and Salida's signature event. Since 1949, every June during the Spring snow runoff, Salida has hosted FIBArk, "First in Boating on the Arkansas."

Located in Salida's historic downtown, Riverside Park is the center of FIBArk activity and entertainment. Food, arts and crafts, and industry vendors are available, as well as a beer tent, a carnival, and a state-of-the art amphitheater for this year's extraordinary musical line-up.
HEAD TO and check it out

My 1st run down the river was the time trial where I was getting the feel for the pushy water and figuring how to get around the big hole
The set up for the race was heats of 3 people the 1st round then heats of 4. the1st heat was pretty fun, Tod got out in front off the start as he had pick for starting position, but he picked a slower line to miss the hole which gave us time to get beside him and we all ended going past the big hole together, which gave the crowd something to cheer about.
Its pretty hard to paddle with a boat on eather side of you but I used some good old kiwi style racing skills to push my way past and win the heat
2nd heat, Brian Kirk got out in front from the start and I was in second. Just chilling out and not trying to push too hard on the big puchy water I find is the way to go, just picking your line and keeping the boat moving. It paid off this time as I saw Brian going over the wave in front of me straight into the big hole. Thanks Brian for handing me the win in the semi final! 
The final was set and ready to go bar 1, as he took a run up the side of the river to get warm before we could start. There was a freezing wind blowing all day and walking the mile up to the put-in each time really took it out of you at 8000feet. I had a bad start in the final getting tangled with the other guy that was in the middle. Pushing hard to catch up didn't really pay off, but I did nearly jump clean over Graeme Seiler's boat here above the hole and into the finish line eady! I was happy coming in 3rd for the 1st time paddling the river. And thanks to the three swimmers out of the big hole for providing the entertainment!
I don't like little short boats so decided to do bit of freestyle in something I feel more comfortable in...
As well the creek race there's a slalom, freestyle, downriver, and hooligan race
The hooligan race is awesome, with boats made of anything and everything. This guy was the stand-out for me, simple but effective, a bike with 2 floats on each side and the back wheel when paddling gave it alot of momentum and he made it the whole way through the hole! 10 points!!

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