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White Water King of New York Race Series Wrap Up

Most of my early days kayaking (way back when I was in grad school) were spent in the Northeast. I did a lot of river running in my playboat on the Deerfield, then eventually moved up to some creek boating in whatever beat up boat my mentors could find in their old college stomping grounds. The bottom Moose River was a particular highlight of mine, as Crystal rapid was one of my first class V rapids.

Since moving to the Southeast, I’ve wanted to go back to the Northeast to revisit old runs with a new perspective and get on some new runs. This year, Kenny, the organizer of the King of New York race series talked me into it. He pointed out that the Stone Valley of the Raquette race and the Eagle section of the Beaver race were on the same weekend, which happened to be Labor Day. I agreed to go, which motivated me to get on the Raquette for a practice lap during the summer, on my way to the Ottawa. I then returned for race weekend.

At the end of Beaver race, my friend Margaret Williams and I realized that if we showed up for the Moose Race, she and I would be competing for Girl King of New York. Daphnee Tuzlak had a solid lead on us, but was moving out West and wouldn’t be able to make it to Moose Fest. Moose Fest, as usual, turned out to be a crazy weekend. High water meant that the race got moved to the Middle Moose. One bright side of the move was that 5 girls raced – I think that’s the highest number of girls to ever race in any single King of New York race.

Margaret and I ended up tying for Girl King of New York, which was a pretty fitting ending, seeing as we traveled and kayaked together for both race weekends. Margaret won a brand new Werner paddle, which was raffled off to the girls who entered any of the races in the series. Werner really stepped up in supporting women’s racing over the last few years, and we are stoked about it. I’m not affiliated with Werner, but I do want to give them the shout out for their support, and the fact that my Stikine has withstood two pretty epic crashes this year (both associated with racing, or training to race) and is still going strong.

Check out this video wrap up (including me crashing).

If you’ve ever thought about racing, definitely consider the King of New York series. Lots of prizes are raffled off, so you may win something pretty sweet even if you don’t win a race. The series is also neat in that not all the races are really hard. The Black Race is class III/IV, and the Eagle Section of the Beaver and the Bottom Moose are on the lower end of class V (in my humble opinion, depending on water level of course). I hope to see even more girls out there next year!


I started kayaking in Wisconsin of all places, because this is where I am from. I then moved to San Diego and took on kayak surfing along with heading to the Kern River when water was available. I then made the move to Asheville, NC and have been hooked on this sport since my Wisconsin days. With whatever it is that you do, do it because you love it, not because society tells you should or for other outside factors. Don't simply exist, live!