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The signing of Dawson, who formerly paddled for Bliss-Stick, brings a highly decorated creek racer, seven-time national champion and slalom Olympian to its mix. No one's happier about it than company president Eric Jackson. "It is an honor to be approached by Mike Dawson about paddling our kayaks for racing, exploring, and playing," he says. "He is not only one of the fastest people to ever sit in a kayak, but represents the Jackson Kayak way of life. He loves all parts of the sport, helps others, and pushes the sport to new levels. It's going to be fun having him around."
Dawson is equally stoked. "I'm fired up about it," he says. "Not only am I stoked to be paddling the Karma and All Star but also to be involved in a company that's pushing the boundaries in everything from freestyle to creek racing. It's also a buzz to be able to paddle and work with guys that I've looked up to since I was a youngster like EJ."
Dawson raced slalom at the 2012 Olympic games for New Zealand, competes on the World Cup Circuit and maintains constant podium results in the creek-racing scene. Competitive highlights include being the four-time Teva Mountain Games championships, three-time Adidas Sickline medalist, and two-time Green Race and Russell Fork champion.
He'll also have some strong company on the female side. Jackson Kayak also recently announced the signing of top female whitewater paddler, Nouria Newman to its team. France's Nouria is a top ranked slalom paddler, the current World Extreme Champion and was voted the top female paddler of the year for 2012 by Canoe and Kayak magazine.
"I'm looking forward to being involved in a company who understands me and supports all my kayaking projects, whether it's in a plastic boat or competing slalom," she says. "I'm excited to be part of a team who loves kayaking as much as I do!"
Past World Freestyle Champion and team manager Emily Jackson is fired up about the addition to her team. "I'm super excited to have her on our team," she says. "She's a great competitor and I've had the pleasure of sharing an eddy with over several years. Nouria is a big package in a little frame which makes her fun to watch! She can go big and is one of the most diverse paddlers around."
This year Newman won podium finishes all over the globe, including winning the Whitewater Grand Prix in Chile, the Voss in Norway, the Ottawa XL, and multiple top finishes at the Slalom Worlds and the World Cup.
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