Sometimes life throws you those ultimate challenges to step up to. This one involved adrenaline, overhead waves of white water, and a peak level of concentration. One year after my first drone flight I was presented with the opportunity to film a couple of the worlds best whitewater kayakers on Class V rapids. Trying not to crash was hard enough considering the river was lined with trees... Keeping them in frame at high speeds upped the level of difficulty even more.
The mission was to meet Marco Collela and Aniol Serrasolses in Leavenworth, Washington for a couple days of filming on the Wenatchee River at Tumwater Canyon. On the way into town, I remember looking at the roadside rapids and thinking that if these guys are hitting this up, it's going to be some next level stuff!
Both days we shot at the same 3 locations along Highway 2: Tumwater Dam, Chaos, and The Wall. Everything went smooth until the second day Aniol had an intense moment with some rapids at The Wall. His boat got flipped from fighting a massive rapid, and he was rushed down river upside down as his boat started to fill with water. After exhausting all efforts to fix the seal on his spray skirt, he ended up having to pull out of his boat and hold on as he flowed over more white water. I was able to capture the whole event by drone despite a roadside crowd of screaming ladies that had formed around me.
This weekend of filming gave me a new respect for the powerful river and these extreme athletes that push the level of their sport.