In The News

Filming action TV and Lobin Run on the Feather

Carls Kitchen, or Right of Right





This week was a VERY big week for me. It started on Wednesday on the American River where I filmed a kids action TV show pilot  that will most likely be on Kids Discovery, Nickelodeon, or ABC. I was the kayaking kid and I taught the host kids how to wet water exit and even roll. Mom and Dad took them down C to G in Dynamic Duos and a few other kids in Sidekicks and Punk Rockers and we all had a blast!  The next day Dad took each kid through Trouble Maker in the Duo, then they hopped in a raft while I was in my kayak and we all went down the gorge. We wrapped up filming late Friday evening and headed up to the Feather River for a scheduled American Whitewater release. My friend Lance recently had shoulder surgery and really wanted to paddle, so he and another friend named Mike borrowed the Dynamic Duo and took it down the Rock Creek class 3 section twice. They had a ball! Then I went down the Class 4 Lobin section with my Dad, Colin Kemp, Toby Ebens, and several other Reno boaters including Newt, Debbie, and Noah. It was my first time down this section and I was nervous, but after the first 4 rapids, I relaxed, smiled and really enjoyed it. My Sidekick was great at boofing and punching holes. This is one of my favorite class 4 rivers. Next week, the Pitt-another one of my favorites and also a scheduled AW release!

North Fork of the Feather






Perfect weekend, kayaking the American and Climbing at Phantom Spires

Climbing at Phantom Spires

Climbing at Phantom Spires

I had a perfect weekend!  I spent Saturday kayaking Chili Bar on the American and had a blast surfing Maya, then on Sunday I spent the day climbing at Phantom Spires by Kyburz, Ca.  I love this area because the hike in is short and the climbing is great.  I climbed my favorite lie back and Mom and Dad played a lot on a 5.10b crack.  We also had a lot of inter-action with a rattle snake that was sunning itself along our route.  I named him fatty because he was the fattest snake I've ever seen!

Truckee River Foundation Kids Safety Fair

Teaching River Saftey

Truckee River Safety Fair, 2009

We just wrapped up another successful safety fair sponsored by the Truckee River Foundation and I was lucky enough to help! We had about 120 kids from the ages of 4 to 14 show up to get a free helmet, pfd and water shoes and learn how to safely float through the rapids on a river. The most important thing I learned was to never dive head first into a river because you can not see the bottom, and always make sure someone has an eye on you. All the kids separated into age groups and I helped out with the little kids, which was mostly teaching the parents about water safety, and that most drownings happen in the presents of an adult. After each class, the kids received a free t-shirt and ice cream and then decorated their helmets at a station set up by the girl scouts. Some of the designs were super neat. Thanks to all the volunteers that helped!


Sage Donnelly

Peace helmet

Debbie explaining proper swimming

  Truckee River Races

I just got back from my whirlwind 7 week tour of whitewater competitions in Colorado and I had a blast! 


 This month has been very busy for me.  It started out with the Truckee River Races in Reno, Nevada where I ran the Downriver Race on Saturday and the Slalom Races on Sunday.  I placed first in both of the races and qualified to compete in the Junior Olympics as a Cub Cadet this summer in Canada!  It was also the first time I paddled my new fiberglass slalom boat.  It is super fast and fun to race in- and it’s orange!

After the races we packed our van and drove to Colorado for several weeks of kayaking on rivers and competing in rodeos, clinics and races all over the state.  We started out at Glenwood Springs where the river was running about 15,0000 cfs, way bigger than I’m used to seeing rivers flow, and surfers on surfboards were riding it like they do in the ocean.  It took a lot of tries but I finally caught the wave!  Team Trials were held here and I was the only female cadet who competed.  I was able to catch the wave and front surf it but it was super flushy and I had a hard time staying on it After team trials , we drove to Buena Vista on the Arkansas River where I helped teach a kids clinic with Dane Jackson and Lauren Buress.  It was a lot of fun and the kids had a great time playing Red Rover and chase around the pond.  After the clinic My family and I ran Browns Canyon and the Fractions on the Arkansas River. It was a blast! We then hit the Golden Community Rodeo where, as usual, I was the only girl in the cadets and I placed 4th over all.

Sage and Dad on the Glenwood Wave


After Golden we hit the Buena Vista whitewater park and ran the Numbers section of the Arkansas River.  It is a solid class 4 section and I ran it with my Mom and Dad, fellow Team Jackson members Devon Barker and Alec Vorhees and Devon’s friends Kat and her husband David.  The Numbers was super fun and it was the first class 4 I ran in my Shooting Star.  To top it off, I only had 2 braces the whole run!

Kids clinic in BV



Our next stop was the Lyons Outdoor Games where they have a large cadet competition on the South St. Vrain creek.  It attracted a lot of participants, including fellow Reno paddler Trevor LeMay!  There were 14 kids total in the cadet rodeo and, as usual, I was the only girl and there was only one other 8 year old, my friend Henry Hyde from Texas.  It was a tough competition and I was second, with fellow Jackson team mate Alec Voorhees taking first.  After the rodeo, I ran the slalom race and placed second in Jr. girls behind fellow Jackson paddler Lauren Buress.  I had a blast!

2nd place ride



After Lyons it was off to Fibark for another rodeo with a large junior class.  There were 4 of us under 10 so they broke the results down and made a cadet class where I placed second again, and then I raced in the Slalom races where I once again placed second to my friend Lauren Buress.

2nd place slalom in Lyons, Co


Our final destination was the Gunnison River Festival in Gunnison, Colorado.  The wave there was huge  and I managed a few practice runs, but was super happy to find out the cadet rodeo was on a much smaller wave.  I met Evan and Anna Schehrer and we had a great time competing.  I was able to stay on the wave the entire 45 seconds and did spins and shuvits on each side-I had a ball!  I managed to get my 1st first and also competed against my first girl ever!  Hopefully other girls decide to compete and we can get our own cadet girls class!

Gunnison Rodeo First Place!



Back in Carson City now where the only rivers running are American Whitewater scheduled releases.  Lots of fun still to be had and lots of rivers/races/rodeos still to be run!  

Biking in Gunnison




American with the Girls

This week  I got to kayak the Chili Bar section of the South Fork of the American river with some of the greatest kayakers in the world!  My coach, world champ and Canadian champ Ruth Gordon, Australian champ Tonya Faux, my mom and dad, mom's cousin Jessica, our friends Shelby and Brett and Ruth's boyfriend Toby who was trying his shoulder out after surgery.  It was incredible watching Ruth and Tonya play at Maya and First Threat but the highlight was acing Trouble Maker with everyone watching me-Tonya even told me it was awesome!  One of the best parts too was the fact that we had more women paddling then men in our group.  That doesn't happen very often.  See you on the river going through Gunsite in Troublemaker