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Sunday, June 10, 2001 -- Oak Hill, WV
New River Rolling Rodeo (iPO Event Id#: 3234)
Story and photos by George Gannon

[Details] [Coverage] [Overall Results] [Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [Pic Set 3]

Alt
This ain't your normal rodeo
"I'm getting in that hole."

That phrase resounded throughout the New River Gorge on Sunday, June 10, at the first ever Rolling Rodeo held on the New River. With water at a exceedingly high, and powerful levels, the kayakers faced a major challenges getting their boats into the surfing holes. But with competitors like Shane Groves, the Nelson boys, and Ted Phuller, it was going to take a lot more than some fast water to keep them from showing their marquee stuff.

The event started off right when a few of the boaters, wanting to get the party started, slid off a 20 foot long boat access ramp into the New. While it may not have been what the National Park Service intended when they put the ramp in, it set the tone for an event the likes of which the world's second oldest river had never seen.

Race Pic
A surfin' safari
After a few warm ups the boaters went into the hole at Upper Railroad. Groves, a native of Nettie WV, beat the current in, did a few turns and rolls and inspired a multitude of yells from the onlookers. Carving up the hole like it was a plump, cooked turkey was the order of the day for Groves. He did so well, that he took top honors for the event, and was awarded a new Dagger Kayak. Eric Nelson, of Abingdon MD, who even shed a little blood took the number two spot. His brother Jeff Nelson took the number three spot. Rounding out the top 4 was another West Virginia, Lookout native Ted Phuller.

For more Rodeo action, ACE is sponsoring a two day event on the Gauley in mid-September. If it was anything like this, you won't want to miss it.!