Low water, high spirits in Summer Iowa Games whitewater contests in Charles City
By Bob Steenson, firstname.lastname@example.org
There were plenty of examples of different ways to traverse river whitewater demonstrated Saturday as part of the Summer Iowa Games competition held at the whitewater park in Charles City.
Kayaks, standup paddleboards (SUPs), canoes and various sizes of rafts, with two, three or four paddlers, all took part in the competition in a variety of events based on speed or speed and paddling accuracy.
Some of the events were just all-out races from start to finish, with the fastest times taking the top places. Others measured the fastest time while maneuvering through various gates stretched on cables hanging above the river, and around markers anchored in the river.
Gates needed to be traversed in the right order, in the correct direction upstream or downstream, “and the paddler’s head must pass through the plane of the gates above water to consider the gate successfully run,” according to the official rules for the events.
Hitting a gate tacked on five seconds to the competitor’s run time. Missing a gate added 50 seconds.
Dave Hillman and Piper Wall, the event commissioners for the whitewater slalom competition held in Charles City, said everyone visiting the community had a great time in spite of the low water level, and they complemented the organizers and volunteers for making it run smoothly.
The whitewater slalom competition is just one of more than 50 sporting competitions held in various locations around the state between May and August each year. The largest number of events will take place in Ames and on the Iowa State University Campus this summer from July 29 to Aug. 1
Competition divisions are available for males and females in a wide variety of age categories.