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Dispatches : Adventure Lab

Dane Jackson Wins the Whitewater Grand Prix

242894_439535979447069_441333566_oDane Jackson on the final rapid of the Big Water Enduro race. Photo: Tait Trautman Photography

Kayaker Dane Jackson nabbed his second straight Whitewater Grand Prix title on Friday after winning the event's fifth and final race, the Big Water Enduro. Jackson outpaddled his competitors down Chile's Rio Futaleufú to secure the victory. The U.S. paddler grew up on the road, traveling from river to river in an RV with his family. His dad, Eric, owns Jackson Kayak and is a world champion freestyle kayaker. His sister, Emily, is also a world champion freestyle kayaker.

The last time Jackson won the event, in Quebec, it featured a combination of freestyle and race competitions. This year's event was all races, and the Whitewater Grand Prix Facebook page said Jackson was an underdog.

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This Week's Missing Links, December 15

The best articles, photos, and videos that I didn't post this week—until now. If you only click on one thing, make it "A Soap Opera on the High Seas," by Charles Homans.

For the best longreads of the week, check out "Weekend Reading: If You Love Them."

ADVENTURE
A profile of the man behind "Deadliest Catch,"
The New York Times Magazine

The Taliban blew up my climbing wall, Adventure Journal

On the end of the tall tale, Outside

Oscar Pistorius races ... a horse? In Qatar? YouTube

What happens with a 10.1 100m sprinter when you put him on a rugby pitch? YouTube via David Epstein

Everything you wanted to know about the catch of that 445-pound yellowfin tuna, including why it isn't a world record, San Diego Union Telegram

Wait, Shackleton left whisky behind? DHL

What's your Himalayan IQ? Outside

Snowboarder Jeremy Jones wants you to learn from his mistakes, Jones Snowboards

Surfer Taylor Knox retires, Surfer

Diary of a Yosemite climbing steward, Alpinist

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Dane Jackson Leads the Whitewater Grand Prix

477343_438761746191159_1857635410_oAthletes battling it out on the Más O Menos Rapid of the Río Futaleufú. Photo: Eric Parker Photography

Kayaker Dane Jackson won the fourth event—a multi-stage, derby-style boatercross event down the Rio Futaleufú in Chile—to take the overall men's lead in the Whitewater Grand Prix. Jackson is trying to repeat as champion, but a number of other paddlers could still win the title. Katrina Van Wijk of Canada won the women's race. The video below offers a look at the boatercross results and the overall standings. There is one race left in the five-event competition.

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The Most Inspiring Use of a Wavejet Surfboard Yet

Wavejets are surfboards with an electronic propulsion system. Users wear a wrist controller with a button that turns the board on and off. The company markets the high-tech planks to individuals who want to spend more time surfing and less time paddling, catch mushy waves, or drop into giants without a tow-in. Those uses are all interesting, but the most inspiring testament to the power of the invention was released yesterday.

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French Mountaineer Maurice Herzog Dies

2224343822_c8528c15d7_bAnnapurna. Photo: BrewBooks/Flickr

French mountaineer Maurice Herzog, who led the first documented summit of an 8,000-meter peak, died in his sleep early on Friday, December 14. He was 93.

On June 3, 1950, Herzog and countryman Louis Lachenal reached the top of 26,545-foot Annapurna. The team climbed the world's 10th highest mountain, located in Nepal, without supplemental oxygen. On the way down, things did not go well. There was an avalanche and the climbers suffered frostbite. Lachenal lost his toes. Herzog lost all of his fingers and some toes. He dictated a book which has been placed at the top of at least one major adventure book top 10 list. His story, Annapurna, became the most popular climbing book of all time, selling more than 11 million copies, though later his telling of the climb was criticized. Before the expedition, he barred his three climbing companions—two others did not make the summit—from publishing about the attempt for five years. After Lachenal's death, Herzog edited his companion's expedition journal so that it jived with his telling of the tale.

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