Recap: 2012 Upper Wind River Festival

With the fifth annual Upper Wind River Festival postponed 1 week due to high flows, tension was building as race day grew near. Come race day, the level was a good medium flow of 5.8 feet, and racers were ready to rock and roll!

Over 50 paddlers showed up, under clear blue skies, to race the various categories: Cataraft, R2 Raft, Long and Short kayak. Each category would race a three mile course full of numerous class IV rapids (boulder gardens, ledge drops, wave trains) from the  Stabler put-in to the finish line below the major rapids.

I took part in the Short boat kayak race, a mass start event with over 35 paddlers, and had a BLAST! I have never been in a mass start with so many paddlers! It was pure chaos…

Short boat mass start (Photo by Zach Collier)

Zach Collier pushing hard through the bottom hole on Balls to the Wall Right (Photo by Jesse Becker)

Short Boat Chaos  (Photo by Zach Collier)

Sundance’s very own Zach Collier took first in the cataraft race, and myself 1st in women’s short boat. Go Sundance!

Full results and photos to be posted soon.

Kim Russell

About Kim

Kim Becker is a professional whitewater kayaker with a passion for any form of river play. A Bend, Oregon native, she grew up paddling (11 years ago!), and will always have a soft spot in her heart for the Deschutes River. She is 2010 and 2011 Women's Champion of the Western Whitewater Championship Race Series. She paddles for Wave Sport Kayaks, AT Paddles, Kokatat Watersports Wear, Snap Dragon Designs, and FiveTen.