It was the old man’s day. Aspen’s Charlie MacArthur, at 57 a kayak and SUP legend throughout the Rockies, cemented his stature in stone at the 2015 Gore Fest on Gore Canyon of the Colorado, winning both the long boat kayak race and downriver SUP race…
While historically an extreme race only, sending kayakers and rafters through Class V Gore Canyon outside Kremmling, with the new whitewater park now in its first season this year’s event also included a Sup Cross, Sup Downriver and kayak freestyle event at the new play park.
“It’s definitely becoming a way more rounded river festival and event,” says Hala Gear founder Peter Hall, who took third in the Sup Cross event, but whose boards placed 1, 2, # on the podium. “It’s always been a great extreme kayak race, but now it’s drawing even more people.”
Following MacArthur at a blistering 21:28 in the longboat class on Saturday’s marquee downriver kayak race was Crusie Quinelle in second at 21:49 and Connor Flynn in third at 21:50. For the short boaters, it was Steamboat’s Brian Burger in first at 23:03, who had to catch a plane to a teaching stint with World Class Academy right afterward, followed by Ben Hymes and Chris Berenotto.
From there it was onto the 4-mile SUP downriver race from Pumphouse to Radium, where MacArthur again proved his Master’s Class mastery, winning the whole event at 15:31. Jojo Chiam followed at 20:31, with Chris Menges taking third.
For the rafters, it was team Liquid Descent taking top honors.
In SUP Cross, Matt Paul battled his way to first, followed by Matt Buckley and Peter Hall, and for the women Anna Fisher took first, followed by Brittany Parker and Gertian Nuzzo. Finally, in the final day’s freestyle event in the new playpark, while it might not have been the Worlds on the Ottawa, Quinn Strauch took first, with Riley Frank in second and Chris Menges taking third.
“It was a great event and great turn-out,” says co-organizer Hattie Johnson, thanking such sponsors as American Whitewater, Colorado River Cattle Ranch, Blue Valley Ranch, Part’s City Kremmling and Adventures in Whitewater for making it such a success. “The new whitewater park is drawing a lot more people to it, and it’s becoming a great festival for all paddlers.”
1 Charlie MacArthur 21:28
2 Crusie Quinelle 21:49
3 Connor Flynn 21:50
1 Brian Burger 23:03
2 Ben Hymes 23:08
3 Chris Berenotto 23:19
Results SUP Cross:
1 Matt Paul
2 Matt Buckley
3 Peter Hall
1 Anna Fisher
2 Brittany Parker
3 Gertian Nuzzo
1 Charlie MacArthur 15.31
2 Jojo Chiam 20:31
3 Chris Menges