Move over Jacksons, there’s a new kayak family in town.
That’s what played out at this year’s U.S. Freestyle Kayaking National Championships on the Chattahoochee River in Columbus, Georgia, where six children (from the 12-child Kellogg family, ages 5-21) made it to the finals of their divisions. For the pro women, Kady Kellogg took second for the pro women behind Adriene Levknecht; and for the men, it was Paul Palmer of Durango, Colo., taking top honors, ahead of Jackson Kayak’s Stephen Wright…
In all, 60 men competitors showed up to compete in this year’s championships, held on a feature known as “The Good Wave” on April 14 -15. With classes for Cadets, Juniors, C-1, OC-1, and Seniors, the event was held on the raging Chattahoochee River in downtown Columbus, which has quickly earned itself a reputation as harboring some of the best play waves in the country. Especially this year, when torrential rains flooded the river up to 30,000 cfs during the practice week beforehand, creating monstrous waves throughout the entire section.
By race day, the rains and flows had subsided somewhat, and with the help of GA Power, the target level of 8,000-10,000cfs let kayakers compete on the “Good Wave,” whose breaking foam pile had the freestylers throwing every move under the sun – or thunder, lightning and tornados, as the case was.
“It was an awesome event this year,” says Kady Kellogg. “The whitewater feature there is one of my favorite features in the country. I was super excited to hear that they were going to hold the championships there. The water was at a perfect level for the first few days, running 3 generators, which makes Good Wave a really good wave”
As for the week leading up, however, she adds that everything was huge. “Because of all the rain the Chattahoochee hit flood stage. The water rose all the way up to the riverwalk. But this didn’t stop us from kayaking. As the water level was changing every day we found many new fun waves to play on.”
Case in point: the raging Cutbait wave, which the brave ventured into (watch Jackson Duo surf by Kenny Kellogg and Tom Dolle below)
“They had a totally epic surf that’s been circulating and going viral on social media,” says Kady. “It was awesome.”
By the day of the event, the water level went back to normal and everyone started showing up.
As for the Kelloggs, all six Kellogg competitors made it to their respective finals, including Kenny and Dally in Junior Men’s; Kady in Women’s Pro, taking second behind Levknecht; Cardy and Rowdy in Cadet Men’s; and from Brody in Pro-Men’s down to Rowdy in Cadets; and Brody taking fifth in Men’s Pro. For the men, however, it was Paul Palmer dialing in the day’s best rides, taking his first-ever national championship title with a narrow win over Stephen Wright and Hunter Katich.
Watch video of the event below
Results (See full results HERE)
1 Jordan Poffenberger
2 Amet Jake
1 Seth Chapelle
2 Jordan Poffenberger
3 Tom Dolle (France)
4 Brian Miller
5 Tad Dennis
Jr Men Finals
1 Corey Sheehan
2 Tom Dolle (France)
3 Hayden Voorhees
4 Kenny Kellogg
5 Dally Kellogg
1 Adriene Levknecht
2 Kady Kellog
3 Rowan Stuart
4 Maria Noakes
5 Katie Jackson
Cadet M Finals
1 Mason Hargrove
2 Landon Miller
3 Kaelin Friedenson
4 Cardy Kellog
5 Rowdy Kellog
1 Palmer Paul
2 Wright Stephen
3 Katich Hunter
4 Smith Bennett
5 Kellogg Brody
Read more on the event HERE.
Other Must-make Whitewater Events to Hit This Season!
[See our full paddlesports events CALENDAR]
June 3 – 4: Lyons Outdoor Games – Lyons, CO
June 2 – 4: Yampa River Festival – Steamboat Springs, CO
June 3: Animas River Days – Durango, CO
June 8 – 11: GoPro Mountain Games – Vail, CO
June 15 – 18: FIBArk – Salida, CO
June 22 – 25: Gunnison River Festival – Gunnison, CO
June 23 – 24: Royal Gorge Whitewater Festival – Canon City, CO
June 23-25: Deerfield Festival Weekend – Charlemont, MA
July 22: FUNC Fest – Montrose, CO