2018-04-11 / Sports & Outdoors

Whitewater rush

Smalls to the Wall Steep Creek Race
By Dee Menear Irregular Staff Writer

A scene from the 2017 Smalls to the Wall Steep Creek Race. This year’s event takes place on Saturday, April 21. (Dee Menear photo) A scene from the 2017 Smalls to the Wall Steep Creek Race. This year’s event takes place on Saturday, April 21. (Dee Menear photo) TOWNSHIP E — The 5th annual Smalls to the Wall Steep Creek Race is set to take place April 21, according to race founder and organizer Andrew Cooper. The time trial format race takes place at Smalls Falls on Route 4, a popular spot for whitewater kayakers

Kayakers are not the only ones who enjoy the thrill of the race. The race draws spectators who flock to their favorite vantage point to get their fill of adrenaline as they watch paddlers make their way down the rushing waterfalls of the narrow gorge.

To take part in the event, kayakers must be at least 18 years old and must have previously run Smalls Falls or have had suitable experience on a similarly difficult section of water. Athletes will be required to sign an athlete eligibility form as well as an American Canoe Association liability waiver prior to racing. Athletes must be equipped with the appropriate boat, gear and safety equipment sufficient to sustain whitewater race conditions. Plastic whitewater kayaks only and length must not exceed 12’ 6”.

There will be men’s and women’s divisions with individual time trials. Kayakers will have two opportunities to run the course and both runs will be added to determine their fastest overall combined time. There will be a special prize awarded for the fastest single run of the day.

Registration is $30 and current ACA members are covered under temporary event insurance. Non-ACA members will need to pay an additional $5 for event insurance. Registration will be held on site from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. the day of the event. Have your ACA number handy at registration. Racers will receive a free t-shirt, which will also be available for purchase after the race.

Registration fees cover some of the costs associated with the event but because there are no pre-registrations, Cooper never knows what it is actually going to cost for insurance, ambulance crews, t-shirts and so on. To keep the race sustainable, Cooper has included a link on the event website for donations.

There is no fee for watching the race and spectators should plan on being in place by noon to catch the first run. No alcohol at the race site.

For more information, visit smallstothewall.com or find Smalls to the Wall on Facebook.

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