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2014 Black River Race
Tuesday, 26 August 2014 00:00
 
5 KONY Changes in 2014
Sunday, 23 March 2014 00:00

The 2014 King of New York race series features the same great lineup of Adirondack race courses: the Black River (8/2), the Raquette River (8/30), the Eagle Section of the Beaver River (8/31), and the Moose River (10/18). While the races remain the same, there are 5 exciting changes to announce in 2014.


2013 Dagger Green Boat winner, Billy "Big Deal" Thibault

1) More Prizes
Dagger Kayaks will again award a brand new Green Boat to a King of New York racer at random! Returning sponsors Dagger Kayaks, Mountainman Outdoor Supply Company, Werner Paddles, NRS, Immersion Research, Sic Byrd, RVR Apparel, and Aquaholic have all generously pledged to support the King of New York by furnishing prizes that will go to participants, volunteers, and fans of the race series. We also welcome Bomber Gear as a new sponsor in 2014. One lucky athlete will walk away with a 2014 Bomber Gear K-Bomb Octopod Sprayskirt.

2) More Ways to Win
Every time an athlete races in a 2014 King of New York event, they receive an entry into the Grand Prize Lottery. Winners will be announced on October 18, 2014 during the Moose River Festival in Old Forge, NY. King of New York participants can win a Dagger Green Boat, a Bomber Gear sprayskirt, and many other prizes. You don’t need to be present to win the Grand Prizes but there will be plenty of other prizes (including a custom Werner Paddle!) to give to those that join us at the Mountainman Outdoor Supply Company awards party. Immersion Research will be there to announce the “Are you gonna eat that?” winner and award them with a 2014 Arch Rival Drytop for the year’s best crash. Blake Longworth will return as host to a roshambo (aka rock, paper, scissors) tournament with fabulous prizes from NRS. 100% of tournament buy-in will go to charity.


2013 Girl King of New York, Daphnee Tuzlak

3) Girl King of New York
Werner Paddles is helping to increase female participation in the King of New York race series. A custom Werner Paddle from the premium product line will be awarded to a random female King of New York athlete. Every time a lady athlete races in a King of New York event, she will receive an entry into a women only prize lottery in addition to being entered into the main prize lottery. The 2014 season will also introduce separate tracking of women’s classes. The added prizes and tracking changes are aimed at cultivating a strong community of women racers at the King of New York events.

4) Double Header at the Black River
The annual Sic Byrd “Bro-Down” brought freestyle competition back to the Black River in traditional New York style. The relaxed judging and friendly rivalries set a tone that harkens back to the early days of whitewater rodeos. This year, the Black River Festival is merging with the Bro-Down for an August 2nd double header of whitewater competition. The late afternoon King of New York Black River Race will precede an early evening Bro-Down freestyle competition. The fun will then continue at Willie’s Bulldog Tavern in Dexter, NY with an awards party within stumbling distance of $5 camping at the Black River Bay campground.

5) 3 Events in the AWP World Series
The Association of Whitewater Professionals (AWP) will again include the Eagle and Raquette races in the AWP Whitewater World Series. This year, the Moose River Race has been added to the AWP’s member selected list of the world’s top creek races. Participants in the King of New York's Eagle, Raquette, and Moose races will receive points towards the AWP’s international ranking of creek racers.

 
2013 Announcements
Thursday, 11 July 2013 00:00

It has been a banner year for whitewater in the North East. The natural flow season has extended deep into the summer and paddlers have been getting after it. For those of you paddling strong this season, the King of New York has 4 expert whitewater races throughout the Summer and Fall in the Adirondack Mountains. We are excited to announce several changes for the 2013 season to make the King of New York bigger, more fun, and safer than ever.

Prizes
Dagger Kayaks has returned as the premier sponsor of the series. Dagger has a strong connection to grassroots whitewater racing and they have supported the King of New York series from the beginning. This year, Dagger will be awarding a Green Boat kayak to a random competitor at the end of the season. If you possess the skills to post a time in one of the races, you could walk away with a brand new Dagger Green Boat or one of many other prizes from Mountainman Outdoor Supply Company, Werner Paddles, NRS, Sic Byrd, RVR Apparel, and Aquaholic.


2012 King of New York, Geoff Calhoun, on his way to victory at the Moose River Race - Photo: Scott Martin

Race Changes
This year, the Raquette Race has been moved to the Saturday of Labor Day Weekend (8/31) and the Eagle Race will follow on Sunday (9/1). The Eagle will release for one extra hour to 5:00pm and the race will be held from 3:00pm to 5:00pm. The Saturday release level of the Raquette will remain consistent all day Saturday (8/31) since the high water release has been moved to Monday (9/2).

AWP Sanctioning
The Association of Whitewater Professionals (AWP) has included the Raquette and Eagle Races in its AWP World Series. These 2 races, along with 29 other class V events around the world were selected by the AWP membership to determine creek racing’s international rankings. Racers at the Raquette and Eagle races will earn points towards both the King of New York and the AWP World Series.

ACA Affiliation
To make the event safer for all involved, the King of New York is working with the American Canoe Association to build safety plans and obtain insurance coverage for the event. To help recoup some of the expenses associated with these efforts, we are asking racers to pay a suggested entry fee of $5. Participation by capable racers is our goal so nobody will be turned away because they don’t have $5.

Volunteers
If you are capable of racing, please post a time. Otherwise, we can always use help with things like safety, registration, timing, and media. If you are willing to help, please reach out to us via the Facebook page or just find a KONY organizer on the day of the event.

 
King Of New York Race Series Wrap-Up
Monday, 19 November 2012 00:00

by Matt Young
with Moose River photos by Scott Martin

The 2nd edition of the King of New York Race Series wrapped on Saturday, October 13th with a grand-finale, mass-start race on the Moose River near Old Forge, New York. The Race was held as part of the weekend's Moose River Festivities. The race capped off a series of four hotly-contested, highly-varied races that were tallied together to determine the eventual KING of New York.


2012 King of New York, Geoff Calhoun, on his way to victory at the Moose River Race - Photo: Scott Martin

Racing on difficult whitewater has been a staple of the paddling community in Northern New York since the first Moose Race in 1995. The King of New York series has continued in this vein broadening racing in 2011 to events on the Black River, Beaver River, and Raquette. The 2nd edition of the series in 2012 took a quantum leap forward with series partners like Dagger Kayaks, Werner Paddles, and Mountainman Outdoor Supply Company stepping forward with significant prizes for overall podium winners.

After much anticipation, and a lot of talk, racing began on the Black River on July 14th with a mass start format over a 6-mile course. The longest in the series by a large margin. Pyranha's Speeder was the boat of choice for this race as the course contains a significant amount of flatwater. However, it is no easy task to negotiate a nearly 14-foot long boat through the 12-foot tall Glen Park Falls or the infamous broken dam known as "Poop Chute". In the end, a lot the talk was silenced when myself and Chris Gragtmans jumped out to a significant lead early on. Chris gained some separation through the lower part of the course to take the first place spot. I was forced to settle for second place for the second year in a row.



Matt Young (left) and Jesse Wilensky battle it out at Crystal Falls on the Moose River - Photo: Scott Martin

Racers looking for redemption, including myself, had to wait an entire six weeks for the Labor Day Weekend double header on the Beaver and the Raquette for their chance to gain some points on Gragtmans. When over 45 racers showed up at the starting line for their run at the oh so controversial race down the short but thrilling Eagle section of the Beaver, organizer Kenny Unser knew he had created a movement. Short boat assassins Jared Seiler and Emrick Blanchette were able to rise as high as 6th and 5th respectively, which was impressive considering they beat out most of the long boats on the technical course. Another impressive performance was from sixteen year-old Ryan Mooney snagging the 4th spot. But none of these stellar performances were any match for two whitewater warriors from South of the Mason-Dixon Line. Geoff Calhoun and Chris Gragtmans finished first and second respectively, setting the stage for an epic showdown on the Raquette the following morning.



Geoff Calhoun (1st), Jesse Wilensky (2nd), Matt Young (3rd), and Chris "Kill" Kyle (4th) - Photo: Scott Martin

You could hear the dub-step music blocks away from the put-in of the Stone Valley section of the Raquette River on the Monday morning of the race. Racers, paddlers, and spectators were fired up to get the most intense race of the series under way. An international group of 35 racers had assembled to test their skills and their luck on the mile and a half long course. Since the race’s inception in 2010 crashing in the final rapid and plenty of backwards lines throughout the remainder of the run have become an expectation. This year was no different. There were at least a couple of swims across the finish line, and yours truly had a particularly spectacular backwards to stern piton line down Colton Falls. Once again Jared Seiler impressed everyone with creative lines and a short boat time that was very competitive with the long boats. When the dust settled Geoff Calhoun emerged as the man to beat besting his rival Chris Gragtmans for the second time in as many days. Competitors went home thoroughly satisfied from a weekend of hard racing and spectacular paddling eager to return in six more weeks for the grand finale on the Moose.



Geoff Calhoun: King of New York 2012 - Photo: Scott Martin

The Moose race has existed in many forms since it was first contested in 1995. According to Moose River patriarch Chris Koll, “back then you didn’t have to have separate classes unless people were paddling Wavehoppers,” which they did. The 2011 race as part of the first King of New York series was cancelled due to high water levels that were determined by race organizers to be unsafe for racing. The 2012 version saw optimal flows for the mass start format from Agers Falls through Crystal Rapid. Paddlers fired over Agers in a mob with Geoff Calhoun, a familiar site at this point, lurching out of the front of the pack. What he didn’t know was that there was a fierce battle going on behind him for second place. While Geoff crossed the finish line first with ease, Jesse Wilensky, Chris Kyle and myself each held the second place spot at some point during the race. As Jesse and I came through the final rapid with the finish line in sight, our boats were touching. I gave it everything I had to pass him before the final ledge, but could not get safely by, and had to accept my fate as the third place finisher. It was close.

Later that evening, at the awards ceremony back at Mountain Man Outdoors we all took our ceremonial swigs, and Geoff Calhoun collected his coveted prize as the King of New York. Danny Mongno from Werner Paddles, Elaine Campbell from Confluence Watersports, Will from Mountain Man, and Blake from NRS did a great job entertaining the crowd, and everyone was already getting excited for next year. It's important to remember that everyone came together to make this year's series great. From the paddlers who traveled great distances to come partake, to the sponsors who donated prizes, to the volunteers who helped keep us safe, and to the organizers who make it all happen, we are so grateful…See you next year.

Five 2 Nine Productions put together a great short documentary about creek racing featuring the King of New York series. You can find it at Bomb Flow Magazine.

Full results from the series can be found here.

More of Scott Martin's Moose River Race photos can be found on the King of New York Facebook page.

 
Currents - Creek Race
Thursday, 20 September 2012 02:44
 
Mountainman Rounds out the Podium
Wednesday, 04 July 2012 00:00

Old Forge, NY - Mountainman Outdoor Supply Company, the best gear shop in New York State and dealer of Dagger whitewater kayaks has announced their sponsorship of the King of New York race series. Mountainman is furnishing prizes for each of the top 3 spots in the overall point series.Mountainman and Werner In addition to the Green Boat provided by Dagger Whitewater Kayaks, the grand prize winner will receive a Werner Powerhouse paddle from Mountainman and Werner Paddles. The first runner up will receive a $50 gift certificate at Mountainman. The second runner up will receive a $25 gift certificate at Mountainman. Mountainman Outdoor Supply Company is located on Route 26 in Old Forge, NY in the heart of Adirondack paddling. Mountainman is staffed by paddlers that know their gear. The King of New York race series is very fortunate to partner with such a solid retailer. Mountainman has a great connection with the paddling community and has come through in a big way to support the core of the sport. Please show your support of the local businesses that keep our community strong when you make your next gear purchase.

 
Dagger Announces Sponsorship of the King of New York Race Series
Wednesday, 23 May 2012 18:33
King of New York Eagle Race

Greenville, SC - Dagger Whitewater Kayaks, manufacturer of the most proven creeking kayaks on the market has announced their sponsorship of the King of New York whitewater race series.King of New York Eagle Race This year's King of New York winner will receive a brand new Dagger Green Boat at the Moose River festival on October 13, 2012. Dagger's commitment to downriver racing is unparalleled in the industry. The Dagger Nomad has been a staple of creek racing for over a decade. More recently, Dagger became the only manufacturer to put a creek race specific design into production with the Dagger Green Boat. Results speak for themselves. Dagger designs capture podium spots in nearly every downriver race in the country including the top 3 spots at the King of New York Eagle Race in 2011.

To the organizers of the King of New York race series, there could be no better partnership than with the Dagger whitewater brand. The collection of races on the Black, Moose, Beaver, and Raquette rivers are a grass-roots series of events organized by the paddling community. The fact that Dagger sought out the opportunity to sponsor the King of New York series illustrates their connection to the river community and their commitment to the core of the sport.

The volunteer organizers are excited to be able to offer prizes to race participants. In addition to the Dagger Green Boat being offered as a grand prize, several local companies have donated prizes that will go to race participants. Racers can look forward to goods from Sic Byrd, RVR Apparel, and Aquaholic in addition to prize donations from other supportive local paddling companies. Please show your support for the brands that support your river community.

 


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