The 2014 Clearwater Kayak Fest was a huge success this year. An annual event that was created by Ben Earle in 2007, the fest continues to grow in popularity with paddlers. As always the river delivered the goods with some big water levels for paddlers. The Clearwater River is famous for its high volume push and big features. The fest is also famous for its paddle party on Saturday night!
As usual there were paddlers from around the world at the event. Competitors came from Chile, Australia, Argentina, America, and Canada to compete, paddle and party!
The festival kicked off on Friday night when paddlers pre-registered, drank beer, ate chili, and got things started.
Saturday the Down River (DR) race was held on the 3-kilometer section of the Middle Canyon. There was a free shuttle and lunch for paddlers.
High levels and a dry land mass start kept things entertaining.
Issac “Hippy” Carter (Australia), was the winner of the men’s race. Ashley Taylor & Rose Beagley (Canada) tied for first in the women’s race.
There were plenty of spectators who had great views of the race as competitors paddled through the final rapid, Shane’s Demise.
After the race everyone paddled different sections of the river till dusk. The party and camping was held outside of town beside the Thompson River. Over 300 people parked trailers, buses, trucks, teepees and tents to party for the night. The party lasted until dawn.
There was great prizes at the event including: SRT courses from Raven Rescue and Boreal River Rescue. Gift certificates from Level 6, True Outdoors and Western Canoe and Kayaking. Great swag from Undercurrents, Rescue Canada, Just Liquid, Liquid Lifestyles, BC Parks, Paddle Canada, and Interior Whitewater Expeditions (IWE). The t-shirts generously donated by NRS, were a huge hit. Endless Adventures offered a kayaking trip to Ecuador for auction. We are lucky to receive such great support for this event!
Sunday in the late afternoon kayakers rallied to shake off the hangover and join the freestyle competition on Pink Mountain. The levels were high and it was an old school big boat kind of contest!
After the day kayaking paddlers headed over to the Wild Goose Hostel for the prizes to be awarded free BBQ and another raffle draw.
2014 Clearwater Kayak Fest rocked. Thanks again to all the volunteers and local businesses for helping to make it happen. Can’t wait for 2015!