Steep Creek Cracker
New Zealand kayaker Sam Sutton, 21, has won the men’s division of the inaugural steep creek event at the 21 Teva Mountain Games in Red Cliff, Denver, while fellow New Zealander Nikki Kelly placed third in the women’s division. Dropping some 48 feet per mile, the twisted gorge that is Homestake Creek got the upper hand on Sutton during his first training run two days ago, pinning his boat underwater and ripping off his helmet beneath a sizable waterfall known as “Leap of Faith.” “I actually got pinned underwater and thought I was drowning for a second, but managed to pull my deck (skirt) and was swimming like a fish. So I’m pretty stoked to turn it around,” Sutton said. He is the second consecutive New Zealander to win the men’s division of the steep creek race, taking down last year’s champion, Mike Dawson, along with the rest of the 35 competitors. Sutton placed second at the Adidas Sickline Extreme Kayak World Championship in 28.