Caption: New Zealand kayaker Mike Dawson on his way to victory in the Great Falls extreme race in the United States over the weekend.
Kiwi kayaker Mike Dawson has added another whitewater extreme race title to his collection with victory in the Great Falls Race in the United States.
The 27-year-old Olympic slalom paddler, taking a short break from the world cup circuit, was peerless in the short-boat race on the Potomac River in Washington DC, capturing the title by nearly 5secs.
Dawson’s time of 65.1secs down the jaw-dropping section of the river, flowing over a series of 6m waterfalls, was easily ahead of the 69.9 effort recorded by Geoff Calhoun (United States), with American Olympian Scott Parsons third in 70.8.
“It was a pretty hectic trip just to make the start-line after competing in Ekstrem Sport Veko in Norway last week but I’m stoked to have raced here,” Dawson said. There were huge crowds lined up on the banks and this place is one of the birth places of extreme kayak racing and I was pretty buzzed to be able to take the win.”
The Tauranga kayaker finished third in the Norway event, with fellow Kiwi Sam Sutton capturing his second consecutive title, ahead of Frenchman Eric Deguil.
Dawson will now put his extreme ambitions on hold again, spending the next month in Maryland concentrating on slalom training at the site of September’s canoe slalom world championships.
Dawson, who made the semifinals of the London Olympics, has enjoyed a strong start to his world cup slalom campaign, qualifying for the semifinals in London and Slovenia and picking up his best-ever finish at the latter event, finishing ninth in the final.