Wednesday, September 5th, 2012...10:46 am

Pigeon River event

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So we left Rock Island Tennessee for Hartford Tennessee, not too far, about 1:30 of driving. What made it long is that we had to go back to Nashville first to drop off the bike. Yes, you read right, I said the bike :) Robert rented a Harley for a few days, he could not take the time off work to drive down with us so he flew to Nashville and then met us in Rock Island by bike. He took Emily for a long promised road trip and as it turns out, the mountain roads were perfect for them, they had a great time while Zachary was still training and made it back in time for his first competition run. Zachary finished 11th, he only needed a few more points to make the cut to the semi finals (they take the first 10) but he learned a lot and mostly is figuring out a way to relax during competitions so he paddles as well as during his practice runs.

We were set up very close to the feature on the Pigeon river which was great, the kids could just paddle down to the feature for training and walk back up whenever they were done. For the spectators, we got a ride by raft to the other side of the river as it was a better viewing area and we were in the shade all day, which was great!

We also took the time to run the river twice, not a stressful run at all, actually pretty small for the most part but enjoyable none less. We found a few good waves and holes to play on and also a jumping spot on an eddy line in which Zachary was trying to get the most down time. 11 second I think was is best. He also made me jump but my goal was the least down time :) The water was warm and the weather perfect all week except the last night so we packed up 3 wet tents :(

On the Friday, before running the river (the water only turned on at 3) we went to Pigeon Forge for some go-karting and tried indoor skydiving! That was a lot of fun and Robert is hooked!!!

Zachary finished 6th there and again was only 20 points behind 5th and they take 5 into the finals but he paddled better than at the last event and we are all very happy with his results!

We took our time to drive to the Nantahala, stopped in Pigeon Forge so Robert and Emily could go indoor skydiving again, made it in time for the kids to paddle a bit while Robert and I went to set up camp. As we were finishing the first tent, it started pouring so the wet tent just became soaked. The next day, we found a campsite with tent platform covered by canvas tents, we set up camp underneath and it is perfect! We are trying to stay dry but it is raining a lot and when it is not, it is so humid that everything is in a constant state of dampness!

We have a training schedule, we get one hour every day on the feature, there is some open time slots as well and Zachary is taking full advantage of every minute he can get on the feature, it is a nice feature and they are having a lot of fun while training! The whole Canadian team filmed their session this morning and had a video session after with lots of tricks/advice from the more advanced paddlers, they also help each other a lot on the water. Robert was timing so paddlers would not spend more than a minute each on their practice rides, the feature is very retentive and you can very easily paddle back into it and spend a great deal of time in there. He forgot his whistle at home or maybe I forgot ( I packed everything, he was in Toronto) so he bought one for the job and has he got excited watching the paddlers towards the end of the session he threw it in the water by accident :( We’ll see what happens to whistle # 3.

Competition starts on Friday, we’ll keep you posted. You can also find the results here: http://www.freestylekayaking2013.com/world-cup.html

 

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