DAY 2 EVENTS
After another night paying ‘the Man’ for the bright lights and lethal fluids of Reno another gorgeous sunny day dawns here in whitewater utopia. The Reno Fiver Festival is not just fun on the river…there is much more to see on do on the shore.
There are the hourly clinics (all day long) teaching the basics and advanced techniques where you can perfect your offside roll or try out the slalom course. The Festival has no slalom event but there is a sweet slalom course permanently installed in the River Park.
The Festival is kid friendly also…the Jackson Family can attest to that. There are youth clinics each day teaching the basics to any kid who wants to trade in their Pooh Bear for a paddle.
For music fans there is plenty of live music all day and into the evening at the riverside amphitheater at rivers edge. Last night there was a free screening of the 7 Rivers Expedition movie followed by a concert. No wonder I had trouble getting up this morning!
BR>Saturday the Whitewater Expo is set up again on the lawn at rivers edge. Tents full of the latest and greatest whitewater toys which will leave you drooling and your wallet aching. Then there is the beer and food garden. The pulled pork BBQ is really tasty.
After lunch the Riverwalk Merchants’ Association is holding a Wine Walk to you can cleanse your pallete. It may be a bit too sophisticated for beer swilling dirt bag boaters but you’ll get a buzz on just the same.
WHITEWATER EVENTS TODAY:
There is the preliminaries for the Wave Sport Boater Cross and the Pros will be comparing their Phonics Monkeys and Felixes while they cartwheel through the Pro Freestyle Competition.
So grab your Phonics Monkey and get on down to the Truckee for a full day of Whitewater Phun!
CROWDS OUT TO SEE HOT COMPS
Well, the rains hammered downtown Reno last night, but the River Gods blessed the purported “Biggest Little City in America” with bluebird skies and 80-degree warmth Saturday. I can’t tell you how lucky I feel to be inside an office space (albeit a darn comfortable one, replete with ergonical chairs and high-speed connections), but I can’t wait to get on the river again.
Meanwhile, it seems like the rest of the Reno/Tahoe outdoors crowd has ditched the Sierra Cement to converge on the whitewater park. There must be about 1,500 people watching the men’s pro rodeo comp right now. Hundreds (maybe even thousands, if I feel like exaggerating, or just using more parentheses) of others are wandering through the booths, making this THE place to be in Reno.
A surprise entree is freaking out some of the competitors with his massive aerials. Stephen Wright, who won yesterday’s open comp, must’ve visited Sammy Sosa’s cork-bat manufacturer for some tweaks to his Jackson kayak. His boat is popping out of the water, and he knows how to play to the crowd. But the biggest applauses were going out to three-time defending world champ Eric “EJ” Jackson and local favorite “All Day” Jay Kincaid.
EJ got flushed out of the wave on his first run, which is sort of like Kobe Bryant missing a layup.
“I wasn’t so hot out there,” EJ said afterward, “but my first half was good.”
His second run was much better, and he looked forward to causing major damage in the on the way to the final round.
However, he’ll find Kincaid, last year’s Reno champ, vying for the first-place prize money.
The pros all cheer each other on, but don’t be tricked into thinking they don’t want to win. Stay tuned to see how this event pans out.
Earlier today, the women’s invitational rodeo narrowed its field from eight to three: Tanya Faux, Emily Jackson, and Brooke Winger.
SHAMELESS PROMOTION: Earlier today, I was out on the water with Dan Scurlock, an ACA-certified whitewater instructor from Different Strokes Kayaking. One of the cool things about this event is you can sign up for clinics and work on everything from rolling to playboating.
OK, this wraps it up for me right now; I’m heading back to the river to watch the rest of the comps and get in a little twilight river running. Y’all be cool.