Hard-fought Kayak Battle at Epic Creek Race

Finishing second for the third time, victory at Green Race still eludes kayak champion Dane Jackson.
Dane Jackson paddles Gorilla Falls at The Green Race in Hendersonville, NC, USA, on 1 November 2014.
Dane Jackson - Action - Gorilla Falls © Matt Shaw / Red Bull Content Pool
By Scott Hart

Over the years, the Green Race in North Carolina has grown from a small group of sixteen buddies in 1996 – who simply wanted to see who could run their gnarly backyard river the fastest – to a field nearly 175 entries strong at the 2014 event.

Now considered by many to be the marquee event of creek racing, the nineteenth running of the creek delivered on its reputation of top-level action and excitement.

In one of the most tightly-contested finals in history, Green Race organizers were challenged to declare a single winner when both the first and second place men’s longboat finishers crossed the finish in a dead heat. Three of the four stopwatches clocked both athletes' finish times at 4:19, but the deciding factor was revealed with the fourth watch showing only one racer at 4:19 – the other a slower 4:20. 

The fastest boat pilot was identified as Isaac Levinson, relegating accomplished 21-year-old kayak heavyweight Dane Jackson to the runner-up position for the third consecutive year at the premier creek race.

I love racing the Green and I'll be back for years to come – still love racing it, no matter what place I get

"Missing first again is a bummer," said Jackson. "I was definitely stoked with my run, but there is always next year. I'm still fired up and stoked for Isaac."

Jackson admits that making it through the day, injury-free, while having an awesome time is the ultimate goal. "[Green Race] is this very simple, epic race – great people, great section," he says, but his competitive nature will keep him returning for this annual event.

"One day, hopefully I'll come in and take a Green Race win," Jackson added. "I love racing the Green and I'll be back for years to come – still love racing it, no matter what place I get."

Want to learn more about Dane Jackson?

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