Kayak Race set for cuyahoga falls

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Cuyahoga River to serve as course for whitewater race above Gorge Dam

Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio – Whitewater kayakers will test their paddling skills as they compete in the Cuyahoga Falls Kayak Race on Saturday, April 23.

The race will be held on the section of the Cuyahoga that runs through downtown Cuyahoga Falls alongside the Sheraton Suites. The scenic, urban setting provides both racers and spectators alike with spectacular views of the river. In addition, the location offers all the amenities of an urban river, including lodging, restaurants and outdoor supply stores within minutes of the race course.

We are excited to bring an organized race to the upper falls section of the Cuyahoga,” said Tommy Piros, lead coordinator for the Cuyahoga Falls Kayak Race. “This race helps set the stage as local, state and federal E.P.A. officials discuss the pending demolition of the Gorge Dam, the removal of which will restore one of the country’s premiere, urban Class V whitewater stretches.

The race will start at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 23. Practice runs will be permitted starting at 6 a.m. The course will start at the put-in and spectator area below the Portage Trail Bridge. The course will end at the Weeping Cliff rapids below the High Bridge Glens viewing area. The approximately half-mile course includes multiple stretches of Class II whitewater and the Class V waterfalls Rookie Drop and Staircase.

Racers will be judged on their fastest time paddling the course. Only experienced whitewater kayakers with the appropriate paddling gear will be permitted to register. Boaters can register the day of the race. The event also will include a down-river freestyle event starting at approximately 3 p.m.

World Kayak is providing race support along with Burning River Adventures, which is providing shuttle service for racers, Columbus Kayak and Akron Summit Convention and Visitors Bureau. Volunteers interested in helping can meet Tuesday, April 19, at 6 p.m. at the Sheraton Suites observation deck for more information.

The Cuyahoga River has again returned to the spotlight as E.P.A. officials are reviewing plans for removal of the Gorge Dam down river of the race course. Its removal will link the upper gorge of the Cuyahoga River, where the race course will take place, with the lower gorge section that runs through Gorge Metropark. Demolition on the dam could start as early as 2019.

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If you would like more information about the 2016 Cuyahoga Falls Kayak Race, please contact Nic Williams at 330-808-4455 or email at Williamsn74@gmail.com.