All eligible voters are automatically entered to win one of three prize packages.
Voting closes July 20, 2016 at 11:59 PM PST. Prize Pack #1: MTI life jacket of winner’s choice + NRS Wedge Rescue Throw Bag Prize Pack #2: MTI life jacket of winner’s choice, NRS Wedge Rescue Throw Bag + GoPro Hero 4 Silver Prize Pack #3: MTI life jacket of winner’s choice + Level Six Chochee 2.0 Short Sleeve Dry Top OFFICIAL RULES
Adriene Levknecht Age: 28 | Greenville, SC Known For:Racing fast, throwing down on waves, and consistently crushing the competition at the Green Race. This Year:With yet another win in 2015, the seven-time Green Race Champion proved that she is an unstoppable force on the South East’s most iconic creek. She also took 1st place at the Lord of the Fork and 3rd at the Little White Salmon. The Queen of the Green continues her reign as of the best racers on the planet. Levknecht also has a strong freestyle hustle. She represented the USA at the ICF Freestyle World Championships on the Ottawa River last August with a top ten finish and took 2nd place at the 2016 GoPro Mountain Games freestyle.
Ashley Nee Age: 27 | Bethesda, MD Known For:USA’s top K1W slalom racer This Year:Ashley spent 2015 following the Road to Rio, competing at qualifying events to earn her spot on the United States Olympic team. Nee clinched her spot by winning at the US Olympic Trials in Oklahoma City. What’s Next?:The 2016 Olympics in Rio!
Claire O’Hara Age: NA | Leeds, UK Known For:One of Europe’s premier freestyle and squirt paddlers This Year:Claire, who’s been a force in freestyle for a while now, won two medals at the 2015 ICF Freestyle World Championships— Bronze in K1 and Gold in Squirt. She capped off her paddling year with two big freestyle wins this spring: 1st at the European Championship in Plattling, Germany, and 1st at the GoPro Mountain Games in Vail, CO.
Emily Jackson Age: 25 | Rock Island, TN
Known For:Standing on the podium in every freestyle event she enters. This Year:She’s the world champion, national champion, and seems to be an unstoppable force in women’s freestyle. She also took 1st place at the 2015 GoPro Mountain Games freestyle. With these decisive victories under her belt in 2015 and 2016, Jackson cemented her position as the current queen of freestyle kayaking.
Jessica Fox Age: 22 | Penrith, New South Wales, AUS Known For:A dominant slalom paddler from down under. This Year: Jessica Fox took 1st place at the ICF Canoe Slalom World Championship in the C1W division last year. Leading up to world championships, the Australian paddler sat on the top of the World Cup rankings for C1W and won bronze in the overall K1W ranking. Off to a strong start this World Cup season, Fox finished earned three podium finishes in the first two events in Italy and Spain. She’s versatile, consistent, and is on her way to the Olympics as one of the favorites for a medal. What’s Next?: The 2016 Olympics in Rio!
Mariann Saether Age: 35 | Voss, Norway Known For:First descents throughout her native Norway and the world, and competitive excellence across the whitewater spectrum, from freestyle to slalom. This Year:Last June, Mariann kicked off her paddling season with a commanding 1st place finish in the Brandseth Downhill at Norway’s infamous Extreme Sport Week (Ekstremsportveko). After charging hard on multi-day runs in Northern Norway all summer, Marianne traveled to Austria to compete at the Adidas Sickline in Austria for her first time. She won gold and, in doing so, was declared as the first Women’s Extreme Creek World Champ.
Martina Wegman Age: 26 | New Zealand/ The Netherlands Known For:Consistently performing under pressure in slalom and extreme races around the world This Year:Martina had two strong finishes on the extreme race scene this year with 6th place at Sickline and a 2nd place finish at Norway’s Extreme Sport Week. Always a force at extreme races, Martina refocused her paddling to pursue a career in slalom two years ago. After just two years of training slalom, she is already placing in the top 20 spots at international level events. This Year: Continuing her steady rise through the slalom ranks.
Natalie Kramer Anderson Age: NA | Fort Collins, CO Known For:A freestyle specialist with class V+ big water and creek chops. This Year:Natalie showcased big air freestyle moves at Skookumchuck and the Slave River, styled “99-Problems” on the South Branch of the Feather River, and paddled the Little White Salmon above 4ft (that’s high water), proving that she is quietly one of the sport’s most versatile and accomplished paddlers. And she did it all while defending her Ph.D. dissertation about the geologic history of the Slave River in Canada’s Northwest Territory. What’s Next?: Training freestyle on the Slave River with a new carbon kayak.
Nicole Mansfield Age: 33 | White Salmon, WA Known For:Steep creek style and ease. This Year:Nicole won the Jondachi Race in Ecuador and took 2nd at the Little White Salmon Race in Washington this spring. Based in the Pacific Northwest, Nicole traveled to Ecuador and British Columbia for exploratory paddling missions in 2015 and 2016.
Nouria Newman Age: 24 | Pau, France Known For:Taking her slalom background into the extreme race scene. 2015 C&K Female Paddler of the Year. This Year: After a 1st place finish at the 2015 GoPro mountain games Steep Creek Championship in Vail, CO, she made a strong statement at the North Fork Championship IV. She was the only female competitor in the Elite Division and crossed the finish line with a commanding 8th place finish among the male dominated field. After recovering from a wintertime shoulder injury, Newman cruised to first place in the Little White Salmon Race during a spring trip to the PNW that included a clean descent of 70-foot Koosah Falls. Off to Vail, Colorado, Newman stood at the top of the podium for the Homestake Steep Creek Championship at the 2016 GoPro Mountain Games.
Sage Donnelly Age: 15 | Carson City, NV Known For:Dominating the junior women category in all disciplines and competing with the pros as a teenager. 2014 C&K Female Paddler of the Year This Year: At 15, Sage is already a contender in all disciplines of kayaking. She started the year with a gold medal at the ICF Freestyle World Championship, completely dominating the other junior women. From there, Sage shook off a disappointing long boat run at the Green Race to place 2nd in the short boat category later the same day. Sage, who competes in spite of suffering from Type 1 Diabetes, placed 3rd and 1st in the KW1 and CW1 divisions at Olympic trials for slalom. What’s Next?: Representing the USA at World Cup slalom events in Europe.