Jackson Kayaks is thrilled to announce that coming up in September, Jackson Kayak Founder and Four-Time World Freestyle Kayaking Champion Eric Jackson (EJ) will face his son Dane Jackson at the International Canoe Federation’s (ICF) Canoe Freestyle World Championships, to be held at the Nantahala Outdoor Center in Bryson City, North Carolina from September 2-8, 2013.
After recently qualifying for the USA Team in Freestyle Kayaking for an impressive 25th year in a row at the U.S. Freestyle Team Trials, EJ placed second to Dane, who qualified for the Men’s USA Team for the first time grabbing the top podium spot with a score of 453 followed by EJ with a score of 403.
“Being a father of the toughest competition I have in the World Championships is everything I could want from being a father,” commented Eric Jackson. “Having Dane be such a wonderful individual off the water is what makes it a dream come true.”
EJ’s qualification of the USA Team this year marks the 25th consecutive year that EJ has represented the USA in whitewater kayaking, including both U.S. slalom and freestyle teams, dating back to 1989. After tying Dane in the first big Extreme race of the year (the Alseseca Race in Mexico) and trading wins back-and-forth all year, EJ and Dane have been going head-to-head this summer leading during the U.S. tour leading-up to the World Championships in September.
“Dane has beaten me more times than I have beaten him this year, but it is a real competition and if either one of us aren’t on our ‘A-Game,’ the other one will win,” added Eric Jackson. “We are both paddling really well here at the World’s site, and it will be a great matchup!”
Known as the most decorated paddler in the world in history, EJ won his first World Championships in freestyle in 1993 (the last time the World Championships was held in the
U.S.), followed by the 2001, 2005 and 2007 World Championships and has collected numerous Gold Medals over the past thirteen years at events including the Pre-World Championships and World Cup along with being inducted into the 2008 International Whitewater Hall of Fame. Dane, who is primed to dominate the men’s national and international kayaking competition, won three Gold Medals at the 2012 World Junior Championships.
In addition to this, EJ’s daughter (and Dane’s sister) Emily also boasts impressive wins, with Emily dominating the national and international kayaking scene the past eight years, winning two World Championships and every national event she has competed in, with her most recent victory coming at the Payette Games while she was nine months pregnant.
Jackson Kayaks, founded in 2004 by EJ and Tony Lunt, is now the number one seller of whitewater and fishing kayaks in the world with 150 employees, including most of the Jackson Family. Headquartered in Sparta, Tennessee, all of the Jackson Kayaks are made in the U.S. and distributed worldwide with Jackson Kayaks making products for whitewater, recreational paddling, touring, fishing, accessories and clothing along with custom manufacturing for playgrounds, other kayak companies and more.
Photos courtesy of Leverage Agency