Foreigners First at Teva Games’ Steep Creek Champs

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An Olympian from Down Under got up and over the competition at this year’s Homestake Creek Race at the Teva Mountain Games. On a bluebird Colorado spring day, Mike Dawson from New Zealand claimed a repeat victory in the Bud Light Lime Steep Creek Championships presented by Thule in Vail. Dawson, who will paddle for New Zealand in this summer’s Olympics Games in London, navigated convoluted course for the fastest combined time after two runs. On the women’s side, Martina Wegman of The Netherlands beat out the women’s field for top honors…

It was a pretty intense race, with a high level of paddlers all nailing their lines,” says Dawson, who attended the event immediately after competing in the Paddling Life Open in nearby Steamboat Springs. “The low water level meant that there were a lot of tricky technical places that made it easy to screw up. Actually, right at the top I smashed a rock and almost flipped, luckily another rock flipped me back up. Both runs we’re pretty consistent which was the goal. Sam Sutton had a fast first run, but got knocked off line at the bottom, which shows how quickly the race can change. Dane continued his dominant form in all types of kayaking. I was pretty impressed with how fast he was. He’s getting us Kiwis nervous.”

After the first run for the men, three paddlers–Dawson, countryman Sutton, and Jackson –were separated by less than one second. Dawson showed off the slalom skills that make him an Olympian with the fastest time of the day on his second run to take the overall victory in a combined time of 3:58.06. Jackson beat out his father (Eric Jackson, who finished in fifth) and claimed second place, while Sutton took bronze.

Without perennial Steep Creek favorites Tanya Faux or Nikki Kelly in the field, the women’s race was wide open. Martina Wegman from Schoorl, The Netherlands, finished in third place last year and this year had two consistently fast runs to finished in first place overall with a time of 4:36.45. Louise Jull from New Zealand finished in second and Anne Hubner finished in third.

A full list of results is available HERE