Pat Keller Triumphs at Green Race

Local favorite wins his third Green Race title in 2013

Pat Keller styling Gorilla

Pat Keller styling Gorilla. Photo: Curtis England

Local pride ran high last weekend as the whitewater world converged in North Carolina for Saturday’s Green Race. Many of the planet’s best paddlers competed in the landmark men’s longboat event, but it was Asheville’s own Pat Keller who claimed victory with a time of 4 minutes 14 seconds.

“It’s awesome to see him Keller win again, and I’ll be surprised if this is the last time he wins the Green Race,” said Jordan Poffenberger, himself a champion Saturday in the OC-1 division, and runner-up in C-1.

This is Keller’s third Green Race victory. He also won in 2006 and again in 2008. But Keller not only won this time around; he absolutely crushed his previous winning times by nearly 20 seconds.

Keller’s longboat win was followed by Isaac Levinson’s victory in the shortboat class for kayaks less than nine feet. Though he recently moved to Washington State, Levinson grew up in nearby Georgia, and his connection with the Green and the local paddling community runs deep.

“Pat and Isaac are the best of friends,” said Woody Callaway, co founder of Liquidlogic. The two had trained together almost daily the week leading up to the Green Race. “They both felt that one of them was going to win.”

Levinson was unsure a couple months ago he would race the Green after breaking his back on a bad landing off a Class V+ waterfall in North Carolina. Levinson paid his dues, however, got into full training mode with Keller and ran the lines he needed to earn his victory.

“Isaac had a great time going in longboat then got beatered in Go Left,” said Callaway. “What is crazy is that his short boat time was 4 minutes 35 seconds, which is in the top 10 and only two seconds off his long boat time. That is called crushing it. Pat just killed it from top to bottom.”

For the first time in six years, the Queen of the Green title left local grounds as Canada’s Katrina Van Wijk won with a time 4 minutes 43 seconds, breaking Green River local Adriene Levknecht’s five-year winning streak.

“One of my biggest dreams came true this past Saturday!” said Van Wijk on her Facebook Page. “I paddled the Green River Narrows faster than I ever had before under the falling leaves and into a huge cheering crowd. I am so happy to take a beautiful stained glass piece of art home with me to Canada.”

The weather cooperated for the race, with a storm a couple days prior raising the water by only an inch to 9-10 inches. Last year’s 12 inches had created a lot of river carnage so most athletes were stoked by the reasonable water levels this year. Race day was cooler, with the autumn foliage setting the forest ablaze in bright red and gold over the water.

Green Race 2014 is 361 days away. Time to start training for next year.


Men’s Long boat
Pat Keller at 4:14 in a Dagger Green Boat
Dane Jackson at 4:20 in a Jackson Karma Unlimited
Eric Deguil at 4:21 in a Liquidlogic Stinger

Men’s Short boat
Isaac Levinson at 4:35 in a Liquidlogic Remix 79
Joel Kowalski at 4:41 in a Jackson Karma L.
Dane Jackson at 4:42 in a Jackson Karma M.

Katrina Van Wijk at 4:43 in a Liquidlogic Stinger
Adriene Levknecht at 4:52 in a Liquidlogic Stinger

Benn Fraker at 4:47 in a Liquidlogic Stinger
Jordan Poffenberger at 4:57 in a Liquidlogic Stinger
Bradley McMillan at 4:59 in a Dagger Green Boat

Jordan Poffenberger at 8:16 in a Blackfly Ion
Bradley McMillan at 8:34 in a Blackfly Option

Hand paddle
Geoff Calhoun at 5:40 in a Dagger Mamba 8.6
Bill Clipper at 5:43 in a Liquidlogic Stinger
Jake Trotter at 6:15 in a Dagger Nomad 8.5

Click for full results


Katrina Van Wijk at Scream Machine just below Gorilla. Photo: Curtis England

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  • photodoc

    How do I submit photographs of the 2013 Green River Race to Canoe and Kayak?


    Pat ~ I love you are so supportive of a close friend bringing him through with a strong recovery.

    Woody, awesome to see recognition across the boundaries of competing brands.

    Katrina ~ you are doing awesome & I loved seeing the boob tube promoting women’s active participation.

    Adrienne ~ Wow! 5 years! That is awesome, and I admire your talents, respecting your consistent athleticism & high-end accomplishments, though it is hard when my own opportunities seem constantly sabotaged, the authenticity of my story ignored & disrespected… a buried, hidden treasure lost deep beneath the surface of our kayaking cultural fabric… it is difficult in fact, to respect and appreciate the entire kayaking industry & community while wondering how many like me could and would be active in our sport… with talented potential, promise, prestige, a story, a background…

    Not to give anyone a guilt trip, but women’s rights were innitially based on access to education, reliable work, and supportive communities of intellectual people. Also, talent and passion were quintessential. I have these. I do apply myself. Somehow I just feel “defaced”. There is a theory, equal work for equal outcomes to explain what people earn for how much they apply themselves. I apply myself & it get’s lost… doesn’t get supported & brought through… sabotaged? Discrimination? I do question corruption and that is why I speak up to ensure I am not one getting held under, ruled out…where is the line between competition and liberty with rightful roles of cultural identity? What is the defining factor for being ostracized, a political outcast… coming from all I have been through? Where is the opportunity to transgress? Are we a white, male-supremicist, gangster run, mafia-based athletic community? What about women’s rights, inclusion… what other corrupt oppression is there to make peace with and overcome in the world of kayaking? What about the inspirations from our roles as leaders in the sport, internationally active athletes and talented young people? Humanitarianism? I thank heaven two of my greatest influences are way beyond the competitive outdoors realm (A UN Peace College! WOW!!! Studying as monk in India & now in the 12th ranked International Affairs Grad Program? AWESOME coming from a skate punk!!!) and question why I seem so damaged by my role in it, from the U.S. Team during my adolescence to ongoing turmoil since… 8 years sober, periods of very real talent & success… there is opportunity to thrive & I have kept trudging forward individualistacally because there hasn’ been much trustworthy, good support & nurturance from I community I believe in so much more than what trouble I have seen.

    I know it’s convoluted, we can do better than this, though! (Going into an activism project for my individualized studies program & women’s studies minor geared towards participation, involvement, and fully refining my authentic identity, intellect, and skills for upholding my role in the mountains, kayaking, skiing, and action/outdoors sports as well as being a world citizen, good community member with a social work precept, and world traveler).

    I write this for the same reason I push through reports on assault, because most everyone turned to for help hinders saying don’t & then ridicule… but awareness needs to be raised to make a change… because I was nearly going to do a newsletter explaining why I seem to be a missing person turning up destitute, ransacked when there are things to be involved in that interest me and an authentic identity & role to uphold. Thrashed, sabotage… early phases of plans that may never come together due to some kind of melt-down for speaking up? Perhaps better outlets & opportunities to transgress will come through, solutions presenting themselves, corrupton, oppression, (PTSD?) alleviating.

    Great to see the camaraderie & community of a local event! What would it be to recover the camaraderie, talent, and sense of integrity that I hold so deeply instilled and yet is nothing but in ruins when I take presence in the kayaking culture?

    • Joseph

      You are women we hear you roar. Now get off your soap box. Or better yet take that long unorganized rant back to your personal blog.


        That wouldn’t serve it’s purpose of activism and making a statement rather than keeping under the influence of secrecy beyond the public eye, which is where it needs to be when deceit and oppression seems to be blocking participation.

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