Unless you were living under a rock this spring you probably saw some or all of the coverage of the first UNLEASHED whitewater competition. This multi-stage whitewater event traveled through Ontario and Québec seeking the biggest waves on the planet and some world class whitewater.
Following the highly progressive format of the late Whitewater Grand Prix (WWGP), a new collective of whitewater rippers calling themselves SEND, have taken the torch from the WWGP creating UNLEASHED. Held from April 28 to May 7, the SEND crew (Bren Orton, Adrian Mattern, Dane Jackson and Kalob Grady) invited some of the top big-wave kayakers to taste the north. Over the course of the 10-day competition, 15 men and five women would battle it out for cumulative points in four stages of the event to determine the best all-round kayaker.
Using a points system based on each athlete’s finishing position in each event, Kokatat’s Dane Jackson and Darby McAdams came away with the wins. Unleashed tested kayakers in a number of disciplines of big-water paddling and created their own scoring system for the freestyle components, placing an emphasis on amplitude, style and use of the wave. The camaraderie of competing while encouraging and looking out for each other was another unique aspect of this event.
Check out a gallery of images by Seth Ashworth and stay tuned for the next UNLEASHED on the legendary whitewater of the White Nile in Uganda, January 5 - 13, 2018.
Read more about UNLEASHED at Canoekayak.com
Stage 1: Three-trick freestyle stage at the Ruins on the Ottawa River in Ontario
Stage 2: Big-water boater cross race on the flooded Rouge River in Québec
Stage 3: Giant Slalom course on the Basse Cachée River in Québec
Stage 4:Ten-trick freestyle competition at the Molly Wave on the Mistassibi River in Québec