-From PaddlingLife E-zine:

 Composite Kayaks, Slovakia Make Waves at Freestyle World Cup

-From The Ellsworth American

Kayaker Dustin Urban Is Third in World Cup

-From the Salida Citizen

Dustin Urban wins at World Cup

-From The Mountain Mail of Salida, CO

Buena Vista kayaker third in world cup

by Christopher Kolomitz
Mail Managing Editor

Dustin Urban of Buena Vista finished the World Cup of Freestyle Kayaking as the bronze medal winner Sunday in Thun, Switzerland.

Urban entered the final leg of the three stop competition in second place.

Peter Csonka of Slovakia won the top world cup honors followed by Canadian Nick Troutman in second.

Click here for full article.

From The Mountain Mail

8/27/2008 9:35:00 AM 
Photo courtesy World Kayak Buena Vista resident Dustin Urban competes at the second stop of the World Cup of Freestyle Kayaking in Augsburg, Germany, Sunday. Urban placed first and is in second place overall heading into final competition set for Thun, Switzerland, Thursday-Sunday.

Local kayaker second in World Cup standings

by Christopher Kolomitz
Mail Managing Editor

With one event remaining, Dustin Urban of Buena Vista is in second place in the World Cup of Freestyle Kayaking. 

Urban paddled into second place after winning the second portion of the competition Sunday in Augsburg, Germany. 

Urban scored 816 points defeating Peter Csonka of Slovakia by 29 points. American and four-time and current world champion Eric Jackson was in third place with 767 points. 

In overall standings, Urban is 15 points behind Csonka who has 195 points. Jackson is five points behind Urban in third place. 

The world cup event began Aug. 15 in Prague, Czech Republic. It finishes Thursday-Sunday in Thun, Switzerland.

In Prague, Urban placed fifth overall. The competition in Germany was held on a man-made course constructed for the 1972 summer Olympics. 

Joining Urban on the U.S. team is fellow Buena Vista resident Jed Selby who placed 16th for the first round in Germany and was knocked out of competition. 

In Prague, Selby placed 12th in the first round and didn’t advance to the semi-finals. 

Selby and Urban earned places on the U.S. team with top FIBArk finishes in Salida during June. 

In women’s competition, American Emily Jackson is in first place overall with 195 points, leading Ruth Gordon of Canada by 10 points.

Emily Jackson was FIBArk freestyle champion this year while Gordon participated in previous FIBArk events. 

From ChannelBV.net

Update On Buena Vista’s Very Own World Class Athletes

Posted by John A in August 18th, 2008  

_urb0032sm.jpgI’ve really been enjoying my time watching the Olympics this month. No matter your feeling on the fact that the venue this time around is in China, the Olympic spirit sweeps you away into a space of international goodwill and impassioned competition.

However, lest we forget…. While we are watching Michael Phelps clean up in the pool, we have local athletes competing on the world stage. With the possibility of freestyle kayaking becoming an Olympic event (the committee is working on it as we speak), the greatest competition in that sport is now taking place at three venues in Europe.

Locals Dustin Urban and Jed Selby just completed the first section of competition in Prague, Czech Republic. With two more events to follow (another hole and a wave), Dustin Urban leaves Prague in fifth place.

About the semi-final round, Dustin said, “What a night! This was by far the best night rodeo I have been a part of. The lighting was epic, the crowd was jazzed and the whole thing went off. Plus the rain let up!”

Augsburg, Germany August 22nd-24th will be the next event. ChannelBV will follow their progress through the help of the South Main Kayak Team Blog. Check out the blog for more photos and a report of their first event.

Photo: South Main Kayak Team

-World Cup Event Coverage from WorldKayak.com: “Dustin Urban from the USA, was in the 3rd heat getting a 10th place in the prelims, but decided to throw down the biggest ride of the competition so far with a 1,000 point ride putting him in third place.”

From The Mountain Mail in Salida, CO:

8/15/2008 9:35:00 AM 
Kayakers go for gold         

by Matt Kroschel
Mail Staff Writer

Buena Vista residents Dustin Urban and Jeb Selby are hoping to bring home gold for the U.S. from the Freestyle Kayak Worldcup series which began Aug. 15 in Prague, Czech Republic.

The U.S. team has been in Europe for the past week preparing for events testing their whitewater skills in a series of holes located near the outskirts of Prague for the first event.

Selby and Urban qualified for the Worldcup by placing at the U.S. nationals event held in June during FIBArk in Salida.

Other team members include the Jackson family – Eric, Emily and Dane, acclaimed as some of the best paddlers in the world.

Competition will switch venues Aug. 22 to Augsburg, Germany, and conclude in Thun, Switzerland. 

Each event is equally weighted and the points leader after the final event will be crowned World Cup Champion, according to the U.S. World Cup Web site.

Selby began kayaking in 1995, and has won more than 15 freestyle competitions in his career.

He is co-founder and president of the South Main housing development in Buena Vista where he was among the founders of the Buena Vista Pro Rodeo freestyle kayak events.

Urban has been a member of the U.S. Freestyle Kayak Team since 2001. He won the 2005 World Championships in squirt boating and has won several national titles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-Here’s a post on ChannelBV about our World Cup trip. 

-And check out this great article by John Abdelnour which appeared on the South Main website. 

Two Locals Compete in World Cup

by: John Abdelnour

The deep, all-consuming hip hop bass lines rumbling around my rib cage alerted me to the activity down by the river, long before I reached the crest of the hill and witnessed the gathering of colorful boats and helmets bobbing in Uptown Hole eddy. The first annual BV Pro Rodeo played forth below me like an abstract scene from Disney’s Fantasia. Bright green, yellow and red boats flipped and spun in the swirling waters of the hole, while others danced together in the eddies above and below the hole.

I’ve definitely seen a pro competition before. Salida brings Fibark every year, and if the timing is right, we get to watch the pros going off in either of the holes down south. 

But this rodeo was different. 

Three of my friends and South Main neighbors were competing this time. This time, I was serious. 

So as I fired up the camera, butterflies swarmed my stomach as Katie, Dustin and Jed took on the likes of EJ, Stephen Wright and Emily Jackson.

After the dust settled, Dustin emerged first in the pack while Katie, his wife (and their child riding womb-style) took third in the women’s division.

OK. So we’re serious.

Fast forward to August. Dustin won the Teva Mountain Games with an epic (in the true sense of the word) ride that will be immortalized by bards and poets well into the future. More importantly, Jed and Dustin both qualified for the US Freestyle Kayak Team (at the team trials in Salida during Fibark) and will head to Europe for the 2008 World Cup!

Good on ya, fellas!

OK, so I got curious. What is it like to be a pro freestyle kayaker, competing on the world stage? How did it all start? I interviewed Jed in person and asked Dustin some questions via email. Here’s what they said:

JOHN– What brought you into kayaking in the first place?

DUSTIN– I started kayaking at 12 years old with my Dad in Maine. We actually started by whitewater canoeing on local rivers and at a tidal falls (Blue Hill Falls) which reverses directions four times per day. We would go out and try to surf this wave at Blue Hill Falls in our canoe, which was moderately successful until we would flip and spend 20 minutes getting ourselves and our gear to shore. But it was there that we saw kayakers surfing the wave and rolling back upright when they would flip. So we knew we had to get kayaks. Once we did, we were hooked.

JED– I began kayaking in Idaho about 13 years ago. Right after high school, some of my parent’s friends had some boats on a lake in Idaho and I started paddling and rolling on the lake. But, basically kayaking was kind of a natural thing for me to get into because I had always really liked water sports and as soon as I saw some photographs of kayaking in magazines, it was something that I knew I wanted to do. I went to Ft. Lewis College down in Durango, and the week that I moved in, the guy next to me was selling a kayak in the dorms. So I bought the boat and went down into the river and started getting worked and pretty much went from there. Once I began kayaking year round, it was about the time I became sponsored on a local and regional level and shortly thereafter, I  began competing and every year I was kayaking more and more.

The main years of my competition life were 2000 – 2005 and those were the years I competed for the whole season, spring through fall. In 2005 we started South Main. As soon as the project began, I started just doing the local and regional events, staying in Colorado.

JOHN–What do you love about kayaking and/or competing?

DUSTIN– Competing at freestyle and running hard whitewater help me reach a mental state of total presence and focus. It in this state that the highest performance is achieved in any physical activity. Competing gives me an opportunity to achieve my highest potential as both an athlete and a person. I feel really fortunate to know and develop this way of being, and I strive to apply it to other areas of my life. Beyond that I just love being outdoors and in such a dynamic and powerful natural medium. I love learning to work more effortlessly with the water, to execute moves with minimal force and maximal fluidity. I suppose that’s a pretty nice metaphor for life.

JOHN–Have you previously competed for the US team and if so, how did you place?

DUSTIN– I’ve been a member of the U.S. team every year since 2001. That year I placed 2nd in Juniors at the World Championships. My best placement in Men’s was 6th at the 2003 Worlds in Graz, Austria. In Sydney, Australia I won the 2005 World Championships for Men’s Squirt Boating, a niche discipline of freestyle in which the boat is so thin and low volume that it is barely more than neutral buoyancy.

JED– This is my third time on the US team. In 2002 I went to Austria and 2004 to Australia. In Austria I got 13th place and in Australia I got 12th. This year I hope to place in the top ten, that’s my goal.

JOHN– What are the steps to qualify?

JED– To qualify for the US team, you have to place top 5 at the US team trials and there are 5 men and 5 women that go and represent the US at the world cup. Typically US Team Trials is handled in a specific event, and this year it was Fibark. The good thing for me and perhaps Dustin is that we both play in Salida a lot so we are pretty good in that hole.

JOHN–What are you looking forward to most about heading to Europe in August?

DUSTIN– I love international competition, and some of my most favorite experiences in freestyle kayaking took place at international events in Europe. The European kayaking community is a really fun-loving bunch of folks that knows how to party and throw really memorable events. I can’t wait to see Prague for the first time, I have heard so many great things about the city. One of the really unique things about kayaking in Europe is that there are so many good spots at the heart of urban centers. In the U.S., that is pretty rare and Buena Vista and Salida stand out for the way in which the whitewater parks are becoming integrated into the urban fabric. But in all of the three locations in Europe, you have a really unique intersection of kayaking and culture. There aren’t many places in the world where you can hop off the river and stroll medieval cobblestone streets lined with some of the best architecture in the world. I also can’t wait to explore the alps and do some rock climbing.

JOHN–Do you have a competitive “zone” that you get into during a competition? What’s it like?

DUSTIN– I touched on this earlier. I’ll do my best to describe it. Essentially it is a fine balance between excitement laced with adrenaline and calm focus. Just before my ride I like to splash my face with water and take some quick, deep breaths. This helps me get amped up just enough that I can move quickly through my ride and bring enough power to my moves. Too much excitement, however, can lead to a scattered ride where i’m moving too quickly and lose track of what i’m doing. During the ride I’m focused completely on my checklist of moves and executing the move at hand. The whole ride will often blur together in retrospect, but during the ride itself time seems somewhat slower. I find that competing well has just as much to do with the mental game as technical ability. Before my winning ride at Vail, all I told myself was “Go out there and have the ride you are fully capable of having.” This set me up to have one of my best rides ever, but when I tell myself “Go have your best ride ever,” I’m sure to screw up!

JED– When I’m getting ready for competition, I don’t really  do anything specifically other than I just prepare myself; I make sure that I’m not hungry, make sure that I’ve had plenty of water, and, a lot of it is making sure that you don’t ever get rushed. For me that means scheduling out the day, making sure that I’m ready when my time is coming. I think the main thing with competition is just staying focused and not getting caught up in how other people are doing, not getting too caught up in worrying about anything, but just simply staying focused and paddling. That’s it.

JOHN– Do you hear anything when you are in the hole?

JED– No. (chuckles) When I’m competing, its pretty funny. Its almost like I reach a state of blacking out where I just go in and do what I’m doing and it wouldn’t matter what anyone said over the microphone, whether people scream or don’t scream, it really doesn’t affect me. Its kind of strange. A lot of times, I’ll get done with a ride and I won’t really remember what I did and then I’ll be like, I hope that was good. (chuckles) So its kind of funny. A lot of times I won’t remember any of the moves I did, but for some reason, even though I’m not remembering the moves themselves, I can still do all of the moves that I intended to do. So its kind of an interesting state of mind.

JOHN–What are the dates and where are the three competitions going to be held? Is there a URL where people can check stats?

DUSTIN– It will take place from August 15th to 31st. The first event is from 8/15-8/17 in Prague, Czech Republic. The second is in Augsburg, Germany from 8/22-8/24, and the final event is in Thun, Switzerland from 8/28-8/31. The website is:
www.kayaksession.com/WC2008.php 

JED– The 2 features in Prague and Ausburg are holes and then the third feature in Thun, Switzerland is a wave, so the cool thing about the World Cup this year is that you’ve got three different features, three different events, so it’s a cumulative series rather than a single event so I think it will be really good as far as rewarding consistency and rewarding people that are good in a variety of spots. 

JOHN– What do you think will be your best event? 

JED– I mainly just play in holes in Colorado, and so I’ll probably do well in the holes, and I haven’t surfed big waves in a while, so that will probably be the hardest event for me. There are a lot of new wave tricks that have developed over the past few years and I haven’t had a lot of opportunity to practice them.

JOHN–If there is someone new in kayaking that wants to compete at a professional level, what would you tell them?  

JED– I would say that competition is kind of the end, its not really the means. I compete because I really enjoy kayaking,  I don’t really kayak to compete. I would just say that if you really like it a lot and want to practice a lot, then compete.

So, if you are interested in following along the adventure in Europe, check out the South Main Kayak Team Blog here.

Wishing you all the best of success in Europe, guys. Make BV proud!

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