Meet the Sweets of the East Team: Jo-Beth StammAugust 13, 2018
While working as a full time emergency room nurse and river guiding, Jo-Beth has dedicated the last 4 years to building and supporting the Sweets of the East women’s raft race team. Her enthusiasm is contagious. Learn more about Jo-Beth in this interview.
How did you get into rafting: I got into rafting while I was driving school buses for a canoe company in Virginia. I came to WV every other week all summer to hang out at NARR and go down the river with my new raft guide friends! My buddy Brian roped me into it and encouraged me to train.
Why do you enjoy raft racing: I love the feeling of everyone in the boat working together to accomplish the goal of going really fast and clean down these rapids. Racing appeals to me over traditional guiding because I’m not just following commands. We all have to work together.
What is your favorite piece of gear? I’m a gear head. If there’s new exciting gear, I might go buy it. Right now, my favorite piece of gear is my Astral Greenjacket. I also love my ShredReady Scrappy because that helmet is so comfortable!
What do you hope to gain from being on the Sweets of the East Team? On the team, I hope to gain lasting friendships founded in teamwork and respect. And some medals. Definitely some medals. Preferably earned in Australia.
Five fun things about Jo-Beth:
- I failed kindergarten then skipped 1st grade. Who needs first grade anyway?
- I was my high school’s first ever female pole vaulter.
- I’ve never liked the Beastie Boys. Or Dirty Dancing. Just no.
- If someone falls out of the raft during a race, it’s probably me.
- I own 10 chickens and always have a surplus of eggs. Please come get some.
Favorite stretch of river you’ve seen: The first 25 rapids on the Zambezi River were huge, scary, and SOOO much fun. Want to go back with me?
What is your whitewater race experience? I have been a total fan since 2006, Upper Gauley Animal Races since 2011, World Rafting Championships 2015 in Indonesia as USA team alternate- raced head to head against Japan, 2016 R4 Nationals in Oregon: Rogue & Upper Klamath, 2016 R6 Nationals in Colorado: Brown’s Canyon of the Arkansas, 2017 R4 Nationals in Oklahoma City at Riversport OKC.
Oh yeah and we just did that Cheat Race! Pretty river.
The National Rafting Championships are coming to southern West Virginia! The US Rafting Association (USRA) recently announced the New and Gauley Rivers will host this prestigious whitewater event September 4-8, 2018. This event is the qualifier for the World Rafting Championship to be held in Australia in May 2019.
- Tuesday September 4th: Team practice at Fayette Station, New River (driving directions)
- Wednesday September 5th: Head to Head Race at Fayette Station, New River
- Wednesday September 5th: Sprint Race at Fayette Station, New River
- Thursday September 6th: Slalom Race at Upper Gauley River put in (driving directions)
- Friday September 7th: Team practice on Gauley River downriver
- Saturday September 8th: Down River Race on Upper Gauley River
Read more here: West Virginia’s Raft Race Team; Sweets of the East
Who is on the team?
This dedicated group of ladies have worked, played, and trained hard together this year to proudly represent the home team. The Sweets of the East team started in 2015 and has rotated team members over the years to accommodate R4 and R6 competitions.
2018 Sweets of the East team members from left to right; Sarah Merritt, Margaret Cadmus, Katee Knight, Jo-Beth Stamm, Abbie Clasgens, Melanie Seiler, and not pictured alternate Christian Mullens. Click on each name for individual bios.
Sweets of the East Sponsors
- Mason Dixon Tower and Technology
- Cathedral Cafe
- Shred Ready
- Oak Hill Garbage Disposal
- Water Stone Outdoors
To become a team or event sponsor please contact Mike Cassidy.