Photos & report from our “Day with Clay” on the Ocoee River

Recently, Rock/Creek and Jackson Kayak teamed up for a unique contest: paddlers who signed up in-person at our Ocoee or Down Under stores would be entered for a chance to win a day on the middle Ocoee with Jackson Kayak athlete Clay Wright, in the Jackson Kayak demo boat of their choice. Here’s a report from Sara Horne!

Our “Day with Clay” winner was 15-year-old Blaine, who had a solid skill set and healthy appetite for learning. We started the day off about 10 am, meeting Clay and Blaine at R/C Ocoee. Our winner picked the medium Jackson Rock Star as his weapon for the day. After a quick outfitting tutorial, we headed to the river.

On the ride up, Clay asked about goals for the day, and we settled on cartwheels and stern squirts as a good place to start.

As soon as we put on, Clay had tips and advice for our young grasshopper, and he picked up quickly. I was really impressed with how much effort he put into listening and following through. They worked for a while at spots like Staging Eddy and Slice n Dice before paddling down to a lunch of chicken salad bagels, fruit, & water at Goforth Creek.

During lunch, a friend of Blaine’s showed up, and we agreed that he should tag along for the rest of the afternoon.

After lunch, the crew paddled off for the second half of their day. When they finally took off the water, at about 7 pm, both students looked like they had run a marathon, and Clay was smiling. He said, “I was just happy to be teaching young men. They had so much energy and enthusiasm all day. They worked hard and never cried uncle.”

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