15 Die-hard souls and a handful of spectators braved torrential downpours and 40+ mph wind gusts in the name of Western PA Region’s first Home Town Throwdown. The event began around 2:00 with Riversport School of Paddling out of Confluence, PA providing a FREE boat demo featuring the new Jackson Kayak Rockstar series and the Wavesport Project X. Paddlers were stoked at the opportunity to try side by side two of the newest playboat designs. Along with the Demo local experts Erik Johnson, Eli Loiben and Matt Bernstein shared their skills with Throwdown goers, with a couple partipants coming out for their first time side surfing in a hole. It was great to watch the groups skills progress throughout the afternoon. Come 5:30 we were about to break out into our classes for the scored competition and the days heavy rains caught up to us bringing the river up to 7 feet on the gauge and more than doubling the volume. With the river at flood stage and now flowing through the trees and the fact that you needed to use a throw rope to tow into the hole we unfortunately had to cancel the competition for the day. However since our crew was so great in showing up despite the constant heavy downpour and crazy fast winds, we decided to go ahead and hand out some prizes. Everyone was incredibly excited and a few people fared better in the drawing than they did in the hole, but there’s always time to practice for the next one.
The next Hometown Throwdown for the Western PA region will take place the weekend of the Stonycreek Rendezvous in Johnstown, PA the weekend of May 13-15. Events begin Friday night with a 3.2 mile class 2/3 downriver race, a class 3/4 playboater x race on saturday morning , a flatwater race at noon, and the grand finale a freestyle throwdown at 5:00 in front of the big CROWD.
For more info : Stonycreek Rendezvous 2011