Jackson Takes North Fork Crown


While the format of this year’s North Fork Championships was changed, the results were pretty similar, with Dane Jackson again showing his dominance in extreme racing by notching his third win in the Class V badge of courage.

“Normally with the NFC if you end up in the top 10 from the year before, you automatically end up being able to race on Saturday at Jakes the following year,” says Jackson, whose time in the finals was four seconds ahead of second-place finisher Joe Morley. “But this year added another level of stress knowing that no one was safe, because it was two days of qualifiers on the easier section and there were no bye’s. So you had to make sure to be on your line, on a rapid that was hard to be faster than the other guy.”

Mariann Saether topped the podium for the women.

Jackson outdueled Joe Morley in the finals, adding to wins in the event in 2017 and 2016.Last year Aniol Serrasolses took top honors.

This year’s format offered racers a do-or-die format over three-rounds of racing, the field being whittled down each day. This new structure, says organizers, allows winners to pass through each round, eventually ending up in Saturday’s final on Jacobs Ladder.

In short, the 186 racers all got a chance to deliver their fastest time in S-Turn Rapid, with the top 40 men and top 10 women going on to round two. In Round Two’s North Face Head-to-Head, racers got placed based on their times from the previous day, with the fastest time matched with slowest time. The winners of each round, a field of 20 men and 5 women, advanced to the finals on Saturday, held on Jacob’s Ladder, where the day’s fastest paddler won.

And this was no easy feat on a surging race course flowing a hefty 3,000 cfs, meaty by anyone’s standards — let alone when having to maneuver the gates set-up throughout the course.

“Luckily I was able to make it through both days and race the big day on Jake,” says Jackson. “It ended up being one of the hardest years for the gates and the rapid in general, especially to be fast. So to be able to come out on top with both runs I could not have been more stoked! It was another epic day with great friends, and really is one of the greatest Saturdays of the year.”


Place Name Bib No Fastest Time
    1 Dane Jackson 1     1:23.18
    2 Joe Morley 6     1:26.39
    3 Tad Dennis 5     1:27.45
    4 Gerd Serrasolses 8     1:28.78
    5 Michele Ramazza 9     1:29.22



Place Name Bib No Fastest Time
    1 Mariann Saether 1     2:49.92
    2 Pavlina Zasterova 5     2:51.14
    3 Jen Chrimes 3     3:43.96
    4 Natalie Anderson 2     3:44.37