On Saturday and Sunday, March 26th and 27th, Nantahala Outdoor Center will be hosting the Nantahala Racing Club Whitewater US Open Slalom and Wildwater Competition. During this southeastern classic event hosted by Nantahala Racing Club, elite paddlers,up-and-coming youth and junior athletes and even a few ambitious amateurs run a challenging slalom course through the Nantahala Falls. Meanwhile, Wildwater racers race down the entire Nantahala River, paddling as fast as possible through the various whitewater features in boats that look more like torpedoes than traditional kayaks.
Slalom paddlers strive for precision and speed on the legendary Nantahala Falls course. They paddle through a series of red and green slalom gates positioned along the course. The racers must paddle downstream through the green gates and upstream through the red ones. Gate placement determines the challenge level of the course, and this will be a very challenging race! Racers will paddle through strong currents, waves and hydraulics as they attempt to navigate through the course without missing or touching a gate. Touching or missing a gate results in a time penalty. The racer with the fastest time wins.
Spectators are invited to enjoy the show from the Forest Service walkway along the Nantahala Falls, which affords excellent views of both races. Bring a cup of fresh coffee or perhaps a craft beer from River’s End Restaurant, located just downstream of the race course, and warm your hands as you enjoy US Whitewater racing at its best!