The Next Great American Kayaker?

Dane Jackson leads junior world champs


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The 2011 International Canoe Federation’s Freestyle World Championships kicked off in Platting, Germany, on Monday.   Dane Jackson, son of four-time world champion Eric Jackson, finished day one of the junior men’s freestyle competition in first place, well ahead of Spain’s Joaquím Fontane and Aleix Salvat. Jackson, 17, was the junior winner at the Whitewater Grand Prix in Quebec in May. He has kayaked for the past 15 years and travels 6 months out of the year, including to his favorite rivers in Africa. Organizers expect 25,000 spectators for the event, which runs until June 26 and features 400 athletes. Still to come are has quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals for men’s and women’s squirts, kayak, canoe sprints and slalom events.