In 2008, whitewater kayaker Patrick Camblin came up with an idea to allow paddlers to submit nominations online for the sport's best moments, athletes, and expeditions. "So many of the incredible things that happen in our sport never gain an audience," he says. "I wanted to do something that might help change that."
There was only one problem with his first attempt, called Tribe World Order. A Turkish hacker got into his website and wrecked it. In 2009, he built a better site and came up with a new name, the Rider of the Year Awards. Now on their third run, the awards allow kayakers, photographers, and filmmakers to nominate their favorite whitewater moments, chroniclers, expeditions, and athletes in one of 17 categories. Nominations can be entered for the best trick, the best photo, the best expedition, carnage, the best film—you get the idea.
People have until October 14 to submit nominations. At that point, the entries will be whittled down to 10 or so finalists in each category, and then voted on by more than 100 paddlers. The winners will be announced in November.
For kayakers, the preview video for the Rider of the Year III Awards is meant to be a motivator, because Camblin wants to see more entries. For the average viewer, it will be something else, a raw glimpse into the powerful and sometimes dangerous world of whitewater kayaking. Ideally, for Camblin, that leads to sharing on Facebook and Twitter, and a growing audience.
To stay on track of new developments and view more submissions, follow Rider of the Year on Facebook.