Rey Del Spirit: Progressive Waterfall Event Spices Up 2016 Little White Salmon Race

Photo and video highlights from the Spirit Falls freestyle waterfall competition last weekend

Above: Galen Vockhausen wowed spectators at the 2016 Little White Salmon Race’s Spirit Falls event by forging a new line and attempting to throw a backflip. He didn’t stick the landing, but he definitely opened people’s eyes to new possibilities.

Photos, video and words by Eli Spiegel

Last weekend marked the sixth successful edition of Washington state’s Little White Salmon Race with over 50 racers competing on a challenging technical course. In years past, there has been an additional extreme slalom event at Spirit Falls, just downstream from the race course. Due to access issues and organizers’ desire to reduce the race’s impact, the event was changed this year to a Rey-del-Rio-style waterfall freestyle event.

The competition was judged on three categories: creativity, smoothness, and line choice. These categories were intentionally broad to encourage paddlers to mix things up and push what was possible on these drops.

The winner of the LWS race proper, Gerd Serrasoles, showed just how technical of a paddler he is by catching every eddy and styling every line. Other competitors decided to throw down, getting super creative and showing how far this sport can go. Two of the highlights were Galen Vockhausen nearly sticking a backflip off of a completely original line, and Pat Keller almost bringing around a back-kickflip off the main drop. In the end, Dane Jackson combined a paddle spin with technical and smooth lines down both Spirit and Chaos to take home the win at the waterfall competition.

We can’t wait to see what competitors cook up for next year’s Spirit Falls event.

Dave Fusilli, one of DemShitz's founding members, throws a huge brown claw off Spirit.
Dave Fusilli, one of DemShitz’s founding members, throws a huge brown claw off Spirit.


Above: Pat Keller throwing what was arguably the most progressive freestyle move of the competition.

Brendan Wells sticks a perfect backwards line off Spirit.
Brendan Wells sticks a perfect backwards line off Spirit.


Above: Dane Jackson sticks a super clean line off Spirit while managing to throw a super-fast paddle twirl as well.

Rush Sturges showing off his signature cross-bow.
Rush Sturges showing off his signature cross-bow.
Kyle Hull displays just how far you can lean and still stick a perfect line.
Kyle Hull displays just how far you can lean and still stick a perfect line.
Gerd Serrasoles lays down a super technical and smooth line, catching every eddy and nailing every stroke.
Gerd Serrasoles lays down a super technical and smooth line, catching every eddy and nailing every stroke.

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–Scroll down for full results of the race portion of the 2016 Little White Salmon Race:

Women’s Results

# Racer Name Time
1 Nouria Newman 16:23
2 Nicole Mansfield 17:04
3 Adriene Levknecht 17:05

Men’s Results

# Racer Name Time
1 Gerd Serrasolses14:36
2 Dane Jackson 14:44
3 Isaac Levinson 15:03
4 Rush Sturges 15:08
5 Todd Anderson 15:12
6 Todd Wells 15:15
7 Alec Voorhees 15:19
8 Kyle Hull 15:25
9 Pat Keller 15:31
10 Geoff Calhoun 15:33
11 Dave Fusilli 15:34
12 Joe Morley 15:36
13 Galen Vockhausen15:44
13 Erik Johnson 15:44
15 Brendan Wells 15:45
16 Will Pruett 15:46
17 Lane Jacobs 15:47
18 Rafa Ortiz 16:00
19 Adrian Mattern 16:03
20 Chris Stafford 16:04
21 Seth Stoenner 16:06
21 Brad McMillan 16:06
23 David Spiegel 16:07
23 Trevor Sheehan 16:07
25 Ben Ghertner 16:26
26 Marty Smith 16:28
27 Jeremy Bisson 16:29
28 Nick Murphy 16:33
29 Will Hartman 16:42
30 Michael Welch 16:43
31 Colin Hunt 16:45
32 Ryan McAvoy 16:46
33 Patrick Liddell 16:47
34 Kyle Anderson 17:04
35 Alex Morton 17:20
36 Dan Warner 17:21
37 Tim Madison 17:26
38 Rob Fusilli 17:29
39 Alex Weinert 18:04
40 Noah Kleaver 18:14
41 David Jackson 18:43

Team Results

# Racer Name Race Time
1 Andrew & Weaver 16:43
2 Natalie & Leif 17.32
3 Brandon, Orion, Mike 17:36
4 Chris & Niko 17:55
5 Michael & Nate 19:00
DNF Seth & Max