High Water Highlights FIBArk

High Water Highlights FIBArk
Arkansas Valley celebrates 61st annual river festival

report by Kate Stepan
photos by Kevin Hoffman and Josh Oberleas

High Water Highlights FIBArk

After a rainy, blustery spring, the weekend dawned mostly sunny in Salida, Colo., for the 61st annual FIBArk (First in Boating on the Arkansas) festival June 18-21. With water levels reaching a second peak for the season, boaters flocked to the Arkansas River for races and freestyle events that also drew several thousand spectators throughout the four days.

Boater-Cross on the Class V Pine Creek rapid kicked off the weekend Thursday morning. At 1,300 cfs, the hole at the bottom of the half-mile stretch delivered a few beatdowns, including one dished out to Salida local Nicole Mansfield, but allowed most kayakers to escape unscathed. Bryan Kirk of Team WaveSport took the men’s title while Adrienne Levknecht bested Mansfield to win the women’s division.

Perhaps the most anticipated FIBArk event, the yearly Hooligan Race through the Salida play park, failed to disappoint spectators who crammed the river bank to get a glimpse of the anything-that-floats action coming downstream.

Sunday saw the river jump to almost 2,500 cfs for the final rounds of freestyle competition, making it tougher to land tricks in the hole. Stephen Wright won the men’s competition, flying high to a 950-point ride in the new Jackson All-Star design that made its debut earlier this month at the Teva Mountain Games. Nick Troutman, just 25 points behind Wright with a score of 925, took second while Buena Vista local Dustin Urban nabbed third with 840 points. Ruth Gordon, while paddling in pink gear and a pink boat to raise awareness for breast cancer research, scored 480 points to beat out Emily Jackson with 305 points and Kat Levitt of Chattanooga, Tenn., who scored a 155.

Meanwhile, downstream at Class III Cottonwood rapid, racers blessed the high flows for FIBArk’s oldest event, a 26-mile downriver race from Salida to Cotopaxi. Andy Corra of Durango, Colo., paddled across the finish line in two hours and three minutes to take first place, while Tierney O’Sullivan of Athens, Ga., was first in the women’s class and 12th overall with a time of two hours, 16 minutes. A local raft team known as Team Blaze, with Mark Mattson at the helm, won the raft division title for the 15th time at FIBArk since 1984 with a time of two hours, 39 minutes.

COMPETITION RESULTS
PINE CREEK BOATER X — Thursday, June 18
Men:
1. Bryan Kirk (Fayetteville, WV)
2. Josh Bechtel (Salida, CO)
3. Geoff Calhoun (Washington, DC)

Women:
1. Adrienne Levknecht (Flat Rock, NC)
2. Nicole Mansfield (Buena Vista, CO)

WILDWATER SPRINT — Thursday, June 18
MASTER K1
Men:
1. Mike Freeburn (Durango, CO)
2. Andy Corra (Durango, CO)

OPEN K1
Women:
1. Tierney O’Sullivan (Athens, GA)

WILDWATER CLASSIC — Friday, June 19


MASTER K1
Men:
1. Andy Corra (Durango, CO)
2. Mike Freeburn (Durango, CO)

OPEN K1
Men:
1. Mike Harvey (Salida, CO)

Women:
1. Tierney O’Sullivan (Athens, GA)

JUNIOR K1
Men:
1. Peter Lutter (Bethesda, MD)

Women:
1. Haley Popp

MASTER C1
1. Ed Gordon (Reno, NV)

OPEN C1
Men:
1. Tom Wier (Boulder, CO)

JUNIOR C1

Men:
1. Craig Adams

C2
1. Rich Roehner and Mike Baker

FREESTYLE — Sunday, June 21
PRO
Men:
1. Stephen Wright (Washington, DC)
2. Nick Troutman (Ontario, CAN)
3. Dustin Urban (Buena Vista, CO)

Women:
1. Ruth Gordon (Ontario, CAN)
2. Emily Jackson (Rock Island, TN)
3. Kat Levett (Chattanooga, TN)

EXPERT
Men:
1. Michael Patterson
2. David Schmitt
3. Matt Kurle

Women:
1. Natalie Kramer (Fort Collins, CO)
2. Liz Block (Salida, CO)

JUNIOR
Men:
1. Dane Jackson (Rock Island, TN)
2. Jason Craig (Reno, NV)
3. Michael Palmer (Glenwood Springs, CO)

OC1
1. Dane Jackson
2. Jeremy Lauks
3. Jacob Ament

C1
1. Dane Jackson
2. Jordan Poffenberger
3. Eric Jackson

SPORT
1. JP Griffith
2. Charlie Von Thadon
3. Shawn Semb

CADET
1. Evan Moore (Kernville, CA)
2. Alec Voohes (Idaho)
3. Paul Palmer (Glenwood Springs, CO)

CUB CADET (10 AND UNDER)
1. Hayden Vooches (Idaho)
2. Sage Donnelly (Reno, NV)
3. Henry Hyde (Frisco, TX)
3. Kai Marshall Franken (Steamboat Springs, CO) — tie

61st ANNUAL FIBARK 26-MILE DOWNRIVER RACE — Sunday, June 21
MASTER K1

Men:
1. Andy Corra (Durango, CO)
2. Mike Freeburn
3. Peter Lutter

Women:
1. Chrissy Zeltner

OPEN K1
Men:
1. Geoff Calhoun
2. David Hammond
3. Evan Ross

Women:
1. Tierney O’Sullivan (Athens, GA)
2. Lauren Goulding

JUNIOR K1
Men:
1. Peter Lutter
2. Spencer Lacy
3. JP Griffith

Women:
1. Laura Adams
2. Marissa Dederer
3. Hailey Thompson

OPEN C1
Men:
1. Tom Wier

OPEN MIX C2
1. Reeves/Adams
MASTER OC1
Men:
1. Nate Lord

OPEN OC1
Women:
1. Heather Menzie

MASTER K1 RECREATION BOAT
?Men:
1. Kent Davidson
2. Gary Fleener
3. Knox Kinlaw

Women:
1. Nicole Mansfield

OPEN K1 RECREATION BOAT
Men:
1. Rob Murphy
2. David Levitt
3. John Lovseth

OPEN STAND-UP PADDLEBOARD
1. Charlie McArthur
2. Walker Ferguson
3. Victor Myers

SLALOM – Saturday, June 20
MASTER K1
1. Mark Poindexter

OPEN K1
Men:
1. Nathan Davis

Women:
1. Emily Jackson

K1 JUNIOR
Men:
1. Niko Peha

Women:
1. Marissa Dederer

K1 CADET
1. Cully Brown

Results compiled from reports in the The Mountain Mail

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