Family friendly paddling competition set for Sept. 10 in Cullowhee

Two WCU students compete in the “open touring canoe” category at the Cullowhee Canoe Slalom. (Photo courtesy of Debby Singleton)

Two WCU students compete in the “open touring canoe” category at the Cullowhee Canoe Slalom. (Photo courtesy of Debby Singleton)

The seventh annual Cullowhee Canoe Slalom, a family friendly paddling competition on a calm section of the Tuckaseigee River near the Western Carolina University campus, will be held on the morning of Saturday, Sept. 10.

Competition will begin at 9 a.m. at a new site – the Locust Creek Access Point at the Jackson County Greenway bridge on Old Cullowhee Road (SR 1002). The venue is being changed this year due to bridge construction at the old site. Categories will include single open canoe, double open touring canoe, decked double canoe, parent and child canoe, men’s single kayak, women’s single kayak, kid’s kayak (ages 12 and under) and stand-up paddleboard.

Nine gates will be set up for paddlers to negotiate on flat but moving water. Canoes, paddles and personal flotation devices will be provided, but kayakers and paddle boarders are expected to bring their own kayaks and boards. An awards ceremony will begin 30 minutes after the last run.

The course will be erected by 1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9, and will be open the remainder of that day for practice.

Registration is taking place at the offices of WCU’s Base Camp Cullowhee, located in the Campus Recreation Center, and also is available online. Registration will not be offered the day of the event. The entry fee is $5 per person, per category.

Event organizers are students from WCU’s Parks and Recreation Management Program and Base Camp Cullowhee. Proceeds from the race will benefit the PRM Scholarship Fund.

In conjunction with the slalom, the Cullowhee Revitalization Endeavor organization will be holding a raffle to benefit a proposed river park project.

For more information, call Base Camp Cullowhee at 828-227-8813.