WCU groups sponsoring Sept. 11 amateur paddling race

Spectators stand on the banks of the Tuckaseigee River in Cullowhee watching the Citizens Race in September 2009. The 2010 race will be held Sept. 11.

Spectators stand on the banks of the Tuckaseigee River in Cullowhee watching the Citizens Race in September 2009. The 2010 race will be held Sept. 11.

Western Carolina University organizations are co-sponsoring the second annual Citizens Race, a competition for amateur paddlers, on a calm section of the Tuckaseigee River on Saturday, Sept. 11.

Participants will paddle canoes or kayaks through 10 slalom gales, which are plastic poles hung over the water about three feet apart, on a flat section of the river off Old Cullowhee Road (S.R. 1002). Entrants may get a feel for the water and boats Friday afternoon, Sept. 10, as they practice the course, with timing set for Sept. 11. Canoes and gear will be provided for participants who do not bring their own equipment.

“This is not for experts, so it will not be a difficult course,” said Maurice Phipps, WCU physical education professor. “It will be fun to get on the river, and it will be a fun event to watch.”

A fundraiser for the Cullowhee Revitalization Endeavor, the race is sponsored by WCU’s parks and recreation management program, Parks and Recreation Management Club, Base Camp Cullowhee and the Quality Enhancement Plan administration. Registration is $5 per person, and registration forms (one per boat) are available at Base Camp Cullowhee.

The Citizens Race is part of the “Cullowhee Happening,” a cultural event to be held from 3 to 10 p.m. on Sept. 11 at Avant Garden farm in Cullowhee. The race awards ceremony will be held at the farm.

For more information, contact Phipps at 828-227-3844 or by e-mail at phipps@wcu.edu.