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Jackson Kayak and Team JK have been dominating the rivers of the West, as the 2006 whitewater competition season gets under way.
Jackson Kayak’s Star series of freestyle boats swept the podium and then some at the American River Festival held April 21 â€“ 23 near Placerville, CA. Riding All-Stars, Team JK member Stephen Wright upset his sponsor and reigning World Freestyle Champion, Eric â€œEJâ€ Jackson to finish first. Jackson took second ahead of fellow Team JK boater Jay Kincaid in a Super Star. Dave Garringer, in a Wave Sport Project finished fourth, followed by Dan Rubado and Eddie Hake in fifth and sixth, respectively, in their Jackson Super Stars. Teen Emily Jackson won the women’s class in her Star and Dane Jackson, 12, won the men’s expert class in his Jackson Fun 1, since all the juniors decided to be â€œmenâ€ at this event.
Sending a clear message that they intend to be Olympic contenders in 2008, the Jackson family mounted Jackson designed and manufactured Ricochets, a slalom boat available in regulation men’s, junior and cadet class sizes, for the festival’s Sierra Cup Slalom Series. In Men’s Expert class, EJ Jackson took top honors while Dane Jackson took fifth. Competing in Women’s Expert, Emily Jackson claimed first place. An asterisk to the results is that US Senior Team Trails were being held concurrently in South Bend, IN.
At the Kern River Festival a week earlier, Team JK also had an impressive showing. In the Brush Creek Extreme Race, EJ Jackson in a Super Hero finished first while Kincaid, piloting a Rocker, took third. In the women’s division, 16-year-old Emily Jackson, styling in her pink Hero, was second – only by eight seconds – to Olympic Silver Medalist Rebecca Giddens.
The Kern River Festival also featured US Canoe/Kayak qualifiers for Southwest Team Trials and Junior Olympics. Racing in their Ricochets, EJ Jackson, who competed in the 1992 Olympics, finished second behind 1996 and 2000 Olympian Eric Giddens. Meanwhile, the elder Jackson’s progeny, prodigies Emily and Dane, qualified for the Junior Olympics with second in junior and first in cadet class, respectively. EJ Jackson also won the Tom Johnson Classic Slalom in K1 Men’s Expert Elite.
Founded in 2004, family owned and operated Jackson Kayak is dedicated to growing the sport of whitewater kayaking through the development of boats and accessories that make it easier and more enjoyable for people to try, learn, play and compete. For further information visit jacksonkayak.com.