Press Releases

Astral Team Members Nab Coveted Wins at Green River Narrows Race

Asheville, NC – Astral Team members Pat Keller, Katrina Van Wijk, and Jordan Poffenberger each took home first place honors at the Green River Narrows Race, one of the toughest whitewater competitions in the United States. Occurring on the first Saturday of each November, the “Green Race,” is a highly-anticipated event for elite whitewater paddlers and fans all over the world. This year’s event marked the 18th annual race, with over 120 athletes battling it out down the 2.9-mile stretch of the Green River, located about 35 miles south of Asheville, NC. 


Asheville local and Astral Global Team member Pat Keller took first place in the Men’s Long Boat category, adding a third title to his previous wins in 2006 and 2008. Keller, one of Astral’s original athletes and co-creator of company’s LE7 Hawkeye PFD, took six seconds off of his personal best time to capture the win. 

Astral Pro Team member Katrina Van Wijk shattered the women’s race record by 14 seconds, taking home wins in the Long and Short Boat categories. Van Wijk, a native of Ontario, Canada, is the founder of “TiTS Deep,” a project bringing greater recognition to women participating and competing in extreme sports. An accomplished slalom paddler and creek racer, Van Wijk took second in the Green Race in 2012.

Astral Pro Team member Jordan Poffenberger took first in Open Canoe and second in the Sprint Canoe category. Poffenberger, a native of Fairfax, VA, has been a member of the US freestyle team since 2009. In September, Poffenberger took home two gold medals at the 2013 ICF Canoe Freestyle World Championships in Bryson City, NC.

The Astral Team is a select group of internationally recognized athletes and industry professionals who display an impressive balance of character, performance, and influence on the outdoor culture. Athletes are selected for the team for their ability to inspire and motivate paddlers both in and out of the water.

About Astral

Founded in 2002, Astral leads the life vest industry in innovative design and responsible manufacturing. Expanding on its commitment to serving core outdoor enthusiasts, Astral now offers award-winning footwear and an innovative collection of products made from industry scrap materials. Astral operates out of three locations worldwide: North Carolina, Vietnam, and Bali. For more information about Astral and its new footwear line, see or contact Mandy Gresham at

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