Sierra Time: Nick Troutman, Brendan Wells Tie at Kernfest Brush Creek Race


The runoff’s happening out West, and it showed up full force at this year’s Kern River Festival and its popular Brush Creek Extreme Race, which was held for the first time in six years thanks to ample Sierra snowmelt. That made energy levels among competitors reach an all-time high, especially those of Jackson Kayak’s Nick Troutman and Brendan Wells, who tied for first…

Not only did this year’s Brush Creek race have runnable flows for the first time in a long time, but it had high flows, making it a little more challenging for racers (just ask racer and Pyranha paddler Pete DeLosa, who swam). The ledge drops all had sticky holes at the bottom, making boofing paramount, and the action came quickly in the staircase-like Sierra classic.

That also gave the advantage to those who know the run well, as local Rebecca Giddens, co-owner of Kern River Brewery, demonstrated by winning the women’s division by 13 seconds over second-place finisher Nicole Mansfield. For the men, her husband Eric put in a strong showing, tying for fourth place at 2:19, but it wasn’t enough to make up the three seconds Nick Troutman and Brendan Wells bested them by at 2:16. Evan Moore took third at 2:17.


1st Tie: Nick Troutman/Brendan Wells: 2:16
3rd Evan Moore: 2:17
4th Eric Giddens/Geoff Calhoun/Dave Fusili: 2:19
7th Johnny Chase 2:20
8th Spencer Josif 2:22
9th Phil Boyer 2:26
10th Darin McQuioid 2:29

1st Rebecca Giddens 2:27
2nd Nicole Mansfield 2:40
3rd Liz Duxbury 2:53
4th Kenzie Roan 4:55
Jr Mens:
1st Antonio Reinoso 2:20
2nd Matias Meneses 2:30
3rd Owen Kurth and Ethan Howard 2:32