The world rafting championships were complete Monday. How did the local team with Andy Baxter, Pete Newport and others do in the championships?
— CLM, email submission
The six-person Masters team, including four Rogue Valley paddlers, who represented the United States in last weekend's world rafting championships in Japan had a rough go in the Yinsho River, finishing eighth out of 10 teams in the over-40 division that wrapped up competition Monday.
The team was led by Pete Newport, president of Talent-based Sawyer Paddles and Oars. He was joined by Matt Dopp of Medford, Andy Baxter and Jon “Shaggy” McLaughlin, both of Ashland. They were rounded out by draftees John Catlett, a Grand Canyon guide from Arizona, and veteran rafter and instructor Julie Sutton from the rafting-rich state of Colorado.
They managed 615 points, besting only the teams from Argentina and Indonesia, according to the championship's website. Their best finish in the four events was in the downriver competition, where they finished sixth.
The overall champion was the team from Japan, which swept all four events to finish with 1,000 points.
The events included time trials, head-to-head, slalom and downriver.
None of the teams representing the United States fared well. The best showing came from the U.S. Open Women's team, which finished fifth out of 12 teams. The U.S. Open Men's team finished eighth out of 17 teams.
The U.S. Junior Men's team finished ninth out of 10 teams, and the U.S. Junior Women's team finished fifth out of six.
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