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A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children.

- John James Audubon


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Events

Jul 10, 2018

The 2018 Whitewater Awards: Nouria Newman and Benny Marr take the spoils.

The Whitewater Awards is a gathering of the world’s best kayakers to show off the biggest and best things that have happened in the sport over the past year.

WRITTEN BY

Brooke Hess

 To be considered for an award, athletes, photographers, and filmmakers submit media taken over the past year that they believe showcases the best progression in the sport.  

There are sixteen different categories for submission, including separate male and female categories within the “Best of” kayaking categories. Categories include Photographer of the Year, Film of the Year, Expedition of the Year, Best Trick, Best Line, River Stewardship, Grom of the Year, Rider of the Year, along with several others.  Awards are decided upon by a voting process done by the Association of Whitewater Professionals.

This year’s Whitewater Awards was held in the Egyptian Theater in downtown Boise, Idaho. It was hosted on June 14th, the same weekend as the North Fork Championships, which takes place on the North Fork of the Payette River just outside of Boise.  The North Fork Championship is regarded as one of the hardest kayaking races in the world.

The race takes place on Jacob’s Ladder rapid, which is a rapid so difficult and consequential that most kayakers feel accomplished simply by surviving the rapid, much less racing the rapid. Nouria Newman, a 3-time NFC racer and winner of this year’s Whitewater Awards Female Rider of the Year describes it well,

“The NFC is the hardest race in whitewater kayaking. [Jacob’s Ladder] is a scary, consequential rapid. Running it is challenging, and it only gets harder to race it and make the gates.”

In order to minimize the risk involved in the race, event organizers have developed a strict qualification process for racers. 30 racers will qualify to race Jacob’s Ladder. Ten of them are pre-qualified from placing top ten at the event the year before. Those ten then read numerous athlete applications and vote on the next ten racers who will join them.  The last ten racers are decided through a qualification race on S-Turn rapid, another one of the North Fork’s infamous class V rapids.

Every year on this same weekend in June, kayakers, photographers, and filmmakers from around the world flock to Idaho to celebrate quality whitewater, progression of the sport, and the community that surrounds it. Both the North Fork Championship and the Whitewater Awards had great turnouts of athletes and spectators this year.

John Webster

The finalists of each category in the Whitewater Awards were presented in film format at the Egyptian Theater for the entire audience to view, with the winner being announced live. Winners were presented with an award and expected to give a short speech at the event. The big winners of the night were Nouria Newman and Benny Marr, who were awarded with Line of the Year and Rider of the Year in the female and male categories. Nouria says that voting for the “best” in each category is a challenging process, “…voting is always tricky, (look at both French and U.S. presidents, not too sure if they are really the best available option). And it is also very hard to compare lines and rapids. What’s bigger? What’s harder? I got voted Best Line of the Year with a good line down Parque Jurassic, a long technical rapid, but Rata’s line down Graceland, which is a huge slide, was equally as good, if not better.”

No matter how tricky the voting process can be, Nouria agrees that the Whitewater Awards plays a large role in the progression of the sport, “I think it’s super cool to see what people can do in their kayak, how they push the limit of the sport and how they open new possibilities.”

For more information about the Whitewater Awards, you can visit whitewaterawards.com, you can also follow them on Facebook and on Instagram.

You can follow Nouria on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

You can follow Benny on Facebook and Instagram.

Cover photo courtesy of Ari Walker

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Adventure Travel

Jan 27, 2018

Adventure Sports Expo Asia 2018: Day One

With a goal to promote adventure travel and responsible tourism, India's first large-scale adventure sports expo has launched in New Delhi, India.

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WRITTEN BY

The Outdoor Journal

The three-day event brings together leading travel companies, gear manufacturers, and an accomplished cast of speakers.

Organized by RN Sports Marketing, one of India’s leading sports marketing companies, the  Adventure Sports Expo Asia 2018 is a first of its kind event. While gatherings like this exist around the world, this is a significant step for the country in promoting adventure tourism. The event has been organized in collaboration with the Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI), the country’s premier organization that promotes safe and responsible travel.

Day one of the event began with an inauguration by Shannon Stowell, the CEO of the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA)—the most prominent leadership voice and partner for the adventure travel industry around the world.

The first panel discussion focused on women in the world of adventure, featuring Suzanne Al Houby—the first Arab woman to climb Mt. Everest, Archana Sardana—India’s first female BASE jumper, Sunita Singh Choken—the first Indian female to do a solo cycling expedition from Kanyakumari to Khardungla, and Dr. Neharika Yadav—India’s fastest lady superbiker.

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Other impressive presentations featured tales from Brigadier TPS Chowdhury—the leader of India’s first round-the-world sailing expedition, and Malavath Purna—the youngest person in the world to climb Mt. Everest, along with her mentor and guide, Shekhar Babu.

The event concluded with a keynote address by Shannon Stowell, where he focused on global trends as well as making India an adventure tourism powerhouse. The common theme and mission statement of the event, panel discussions, presentations, and exhibitors, promotes the message of ecotourism, responsible travel, safety, collaboration, and environmental managment.

Apart from accomplished speakers and trusted gear manufacturers, the expo includes the country’s leading adventure travel companies and is supported by numerous organizations such as Incredible India, the Ecotourism Society of India, PATA, ATTA, Lonely Planet, and the UIAA, amongst many others.

 

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